Remember Two Things

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I actually remember the first time I ever heard Remember Two Things. It was the summer of 2005, and I had just gotten home from Saratoga Springs, NY after going to my very first Dave Matthews Band concert.
Before that day, I had been a fan, but more of a casual fan. I had heard all the studio albums and a few live ones that had been released up to that point countless times, with the exception of Remember Two Things. I remember thinking of the album as just a demo, being that a number of the songs were re-released on subsequent albums (it wasn’t much later in life that I learned an appreciation for demos).
When the band started playing that evening at SPAC, they opened with a song I didn’t recognize, but everyone else seemed to know. In the pre-smartphone era, there wasn’t a way to Google on the go, so I took a mental note and when I got home I did an internet search.
It turned out the song was “One Sweet World”, and the very next day I was at our local record store buying a copy of Remember Two Things.
The album cover has an autostereogram image on it, which all through growing up I had never been able to see. (Autostereograms are those ‘Magic Eye’ 3D pictures that were really popular in the 90’s.) I spent hours going cross-eyed before I was finally able to see the hidden image. I won’t spoil it for you in case you haven’t seen it yourself yet, but trust me, it’s there.
   Remember Two Things was released on November 9, 1993 on the bands own label, Bama Rags. In 1997, after the band made it pretty big, their major label, RCA Records, re-released the album, helping it go platinum in 2002.
The 2014 re-re-release of the album has four different sections. The first six tracks are full band live recordings that were taped at two separate venues in Virginia and one in Massachusetts. The next two tracks are full band studio recordings, recorded at Flat Five Studios, in Salem, VA. Then there are two more live recordings, but are done acoustically, with just Dave Matthews on rhythm guitar and vocals, and long time friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds on lead guitar. Finally, there are two bonus tracks, early studio recordings of two tracks that would be reworked a bit and released on the debut studio album, Under the Table and Dreaming.
One of the things that had always struck me about this album is the quality of the live recordings. Remember, these were recorded at small venues, in the early 90’s (pre-digital era). Yet the instrument levels don’t wash out the vocals, the ambient and crowd noises don’t thunder over the band… It’s an high standard set right from the get go for the live official releases from DMB.
One of the other things that really stands out to me is the palpable energy given by each band member. You really get a sense of the youth that the band possessed when this was recorded.
More than twenty years later, these songs have all developed their own unique flavor that only time and experience can bring. Listening to these songs in their early incarnations, slightly simpler and stripped down versions, gives a look into the innate talents that each member of DMB possessed from the start, and gives you a baseline with which to view the musical progress of the band from then until now.