The Dandy Warhols ’13 Tales From Urban Bohemia 13th Anniversary Edition’ – Album Review

For this Indie Rock band from Portland, USA, their rise to mainstream fame can almost be solely attributed to the release one particular album thirteen years ago. “I remember actually being on tour, maybe it was the first tour I went on in Europe and we were in the back of the bus and Courtney had this demo that he had done for Bohemian Like You and right at the end I remember Courtney saying: “So yeah, we got that… So at least we know we got one hit on the next album” And I remember thinking: “ I don’t want to learn that song! I don’t want to play that song! I had this weird feeling. I just heard this crusty cassette demo version of this song and I just know its gonna be a part of my life” says Brent DeBoer putting a hand to his head in despair and laughing.

Anyone who claims to know American Indie-Rock or that simply was around when Vodafone decided to blast the now iconic “Bohemian Like You” in their worldwide 2001 advert campaigns has guessed what this review is gonna be about (In case the massive picture at the top of the page wasn’t enough of a give away)!

Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia, the year 2000 album by genre defining American Indie-Rock band: The Dandy Warhols, is celebrating its 13th anniversary this year. And to fuel the celebrations, the band decided to launched a deluxe re-edited version of the iconic album for their fans enjoy.

The 2- CD release opens on the energetic and catchy guitar of “Godless” and is followed by “Mohammed” and the hazy psychedelic “Nietzsche”, as per the original version. Everything is there to take you, yet again, onto a journey in the Dandy Warhols’ rock and roll world: “Horse Pills” (a personal favourite) for a dynamic dose of heavy-duty energy that will have you “ rocking on the horse size pills” and “feel like Moses” to the slower more melancholic Radiohead-like “Sleep”, not to forget the cult song “Bohemian Like You” there to get you dancing again.

The second CD contains home demos by lead signer Courtney Taylor-Taylor of Mohamed, Bohemian like you and Godless amongst others as well as alternative, early mixes that are sure to be enjoyed by true Dandy Warhols enthusiasts.

As a 7-year old living in a country where Vodafone didn’t and still doesn’t exist, I have to admit that the band’s infamous release completely flew over my head. It was only when the 2008 album …Earth to the Dandy Warhol’s… (which was far less appreciate by critics) came out that I actually properly discovered the Dandies. Listening to their songs walking back home from school, for me the Dandy Warhol’s are always going to be associated with this very passagère and frivolous teenage angst of mine that their songs suited so well. And even though I tend to believe that re-editions, for a band still able to release new music, is a bit of a creatively slack way of making more money, if the re-release of Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia makes a new generation of teenagers discover the album then it’s a job well done.

Sophie Adam