I first heard American Football in English class, played as inspiration for a creative writing exercise. Junior year of high school, maybe senior year. The band’s self-titled album soon became the soundtrack for every Friday night I spent holed up in my bedroom wishing I had something cooler to do.
Now I’m listening to that album for the first time in forever and reliving that adolescent despondency, which I promise isn’t as depressing as it sounds. I love American Football, and on May 20, Polyvinyl will be reissuing the band’s self-titled album as a deluxe edition. American Football was originally released in 1999, and the deluxe edition will include live recordings, demos, and practice sessions that document songs the band never ended up recording elsewhere, as well as photographs by Chris Strong, lyrics sheets, liner notes written by the band, and band pictures that no one’s ever seen before.
American Football (Deluxe Edition) will be available as a double LP, double CD, and cassette tape, as well as plain old digital files. When Polyvinyl first announced pre-orders, the label’s website crashed for the first time ever due to such high demand, a testament to how much this album means to so many people. Snag a copy here, and check out “The 7’s,” a previously unreleased track that guitarist Steve Holmes says was one of the first songs American Football ever wrote and one that they typically played as a closer until they wrote “Stay Home”: