A Collection of Songs Written and Recorded 1995-1997 (1998)
Letting Off The Happiness (1998)
Fevers and Mirrors (2000)
“I wrote all these songs before I turned 20,” Oberst says. “And a lot of them are better than the recordings – the recordings were sometimes really bad – so it was cool to sing them in a way that doesn’t hurt my ears when I listen back.” This was the most explicitly retrospective and intimate part of the whole reissue project, as well as the most immediately gratifying. “You get a re-do,” Oberst says, smiling.
And then there was the pleasure of digging back into Fevers and Mirrors, one of Bright Eyes most beloved and enduringly obsessed-about records. “There’s some percentage of kids every year that get to high school and an older sister or a friend or somebody hands them that record,” Oberst says. “I know that for a fact because I see the royalty statements. It’s not a ton of people but there are a few who keep buying it over and over again, and it’s over twenty years old! That’s really cool to me. That’s the nicest compliment ever.”