More than one version of Istanbul (Not Constantinople)?

I swear I used to own a different version of this song.

The one I have now starts with a short intro with a violin and accordion. My old version began with a long organ and jazzy trumpet (I think) intro. The entire song was a also little longer than the 2:37 version I own now.

Did two versions appear on different albums?

OK, now that that’s out of the way…

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you’ve a date in Constantinople
She’ll be waiting in Istanbul

Uh, you know what I meant.

TMBG just covered the song. I’ve heard the original too and it seemed very weird.

Too bad I lost it.

Is it possoble that one is the original recording by The Four Lads (recorded in 1954), and the other is the cover by They Might Be Giants (recorded in 1990)?

I have the cover by They Might Be Giants, and I’m guessing that one is the one you have now, with the violin and accordion.

I have two versions of the song by TMBG; one is live and has a much longer intro than the version that’s on Flood. It’s been a while since I listened to it, so I don’t remember if the live version starts with an organ. But I do remember that the live intro sounded almost like a different song.

I’m certain they’re both TMBG. The voice is definitely the same.

Also, neither was produced in 1954, that’s for sure.

Sorry, I really should have thought about this before posting three seperate times. Anyway, my old one could have been a live version, but if it is, there is no crowd noise, and the sound quality is very good. The beginning did sound like a different song too. All signs are pointing to this live version.

The live version from TMBG’s Severe Tire Damage starts with an organ solo. That’s probably what you’re thinking of.

I opened this thread expecting to see yet another revelation that TMBG’s Istanbul is actually a cover. My college’s a capella group went as far as to cover the song and write “original by They Might Be Giants” in their album’s liner notes. The first time I realized it was a cover was around 1994 when I was listening to Flood and my mom commented on how she hadn’t heard that song in about 30 years.

Yeah, I just previewed the song on Severe Tire Damage on iTunes. That’s definitely the one. It is odd that there’s absolutely no crowd noise, though. Anyway, thanks for the help.

Somehow I don’t think the people who go to a TMBG show would be terribly noisy. Maybe I’m wrong about that though. :wink:

Ah, but did you know that New York City was also a cover?

And you’ve probably heard The Bobs a cappella version of Particle Man. They’ve also done Dinner Bell, but haven’t released a recording of it.

Original was by Cub…from Vancouver, right? Man that’s a great song.

TMBG has done quite a few covers… “Lady is a Tramp” (can this be called a cover? The song is considered a “standard” after all), “Yeh Yeh” from Mink Car is an old jazz vocal, “Whirlpool,” was a Meat Puppets song, and another old standard, “I’ve Got a World that Swings” was on the b-side of S-E-X-X-Y.

And if you’ve ever seen it live, you know they do a mean cover of “Mr. Tamborine Man.”

I have a version that starts with what sounds like quotes from an old ad - something about white tornadoes. So that may be yet a third version, if I haven’t been sloppy and missed previous mentions.

Somebody tell me I’m not crazy. I remember Sha-na-na covering this song on their variety show when I was (very) young.

Neko Case’s first band! Wow, I never put two and two together there.

I’ve also heard a third version recorded by TMBG - I believe it is titled Istanbul (Brownsville Mix) where there is about a minute of recorded voices at the beginning and some looping toward the end.