Galaxie 500Tugboat / King Of Spain

Label:Aurora Records (2) – AU 001
Vinyl, 7", Single, Limited Edition, Numbered, Blue
Style:Indie Rock


BKing Of Spain4:37

Companies, etc.



Numbered edition of 500 on blue vinyl.

Pressing plant uncredited, identified by the center labels, matrix numbers and back sleeve.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A): NR-17427A-RE-1
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B): NR-17427B-RE-1

Other Versions (3)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
Tugboat (7", Repress)Aurora Records (2)AU 001US1988
New Submission
Tugboat / King Of Spain (7", Single, Limited Edition, Numbered, Black)Aurora Records (2)AU 001US1988
New Submission
Tugboat / King Of Spain (7", 45 RPM, Single, Test Pressing, Stereo)Nashville Record ProductionsNR 174271988


  • streetmouse's avatar
    Edited 11 years ago
    Just for those of you how don’t know ... when Dean Wareham left Galaxie 500, he formed Luna, and when Luna disbanded, they became Dean & Britta, and still, Tugboat is “the” most requested song during any of their sets. Tugboat has to be hands down one of the best songs ever when it comes to implying double meanings, and certainly gets me going whenever I hear it; especially when they stretch it out, as they once did for me on New Year’s Eve at Southpaw. The single was released on three colours of vinyl, red, blue, and black, in limited editions of 500 each. The coloured editions command prices of nearly $100, and show up for sale every now and then. There is an ultra rare insert from Aurora Records that accompanied many of these blue vinyl records, having this insert completes the treasure [click on "More Images"]

    The song begins simply enough, sounding a bit surreal and off the wall, but then that was what Galaxie 500 were known for ...

    I don't wanna stay at your party
    I don't wanna talk with your friends
    I don't wanna vote for your president
    I just wanna be your tugboat captain

    It’s not until they get to the chorus that the truth in unveiled, that the little man in the boat, a woman’s vagina, and the Captain of the cruse is where, and what Dean so dearly wants to be ... commanding that tiny wondrous ship of pleasure ...

    There's a place I'd like to be
    There's a place I'd like to be
    There's a place I'd like to be
    There's a place I'd be happy
    There's a place I'd like to be
    There's a place I'd like to be
    There's a place I'd like to be
    There's a place I'd be happy

    Like all good sex, the music builds slowly, the mind begins to reel and echo with reverb and passion, if not outright pleading. The vocals sound like fumbling, and who of us doesn’t fumble when we’re lost in the arms of someone we love; if not just outright desire. And then the instrumentation begins to build and unfold like a flower giving up its nectar, blossoming into full blown passion, where two people are not only lost in each other, but in themselves ... A place where they’ll be happy, free of everything that is going on around them, and completely carefree, if only for but a few moments.

    It’s always amazed me how much music Dean manages to get out of so few notes, and Tugboat is no exception. It’s just a deep slow drive into the nether regions of Galaxie 500, and will stand forever as one of their best and most successful numbers.

    King of Spain has never been done in concert, at least not during a show which I attended, nor is it on any of the live bootlegs I have. It’s a simple little song about a man who refuses to allow himself to be hurt, by becoming the King Spain. Everyone knows a King is never disappointed, because no one would ever do anything to offend a King. Yet even so, in the end we learn that being a King is lonely, with no one to trust ... where one just roams the hallways of his palace mumbling to himself.



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