Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard’s new series showcasing artists’ very own throwback-themed playlists, exclusive to Billboard’s Spotify account. The curated set features the artists’ favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.
This week’s spin comes from Letters To Cleo. The iconic ’90s rockers are prepping the first-ever vinyl pressing of their three early LPs Aurora Gory Alice, Wholesale Meats And Fish and Go!, set to arrive next month. To support the release, the group will return to Boston and the club that launched their career, The Paradise, to perform each of the albums in full for a run of shows (Nov. 16-18), supported by fellow Boston indie rockers the Blake Babies (Juliana Hatfield, John Strohm, Freda Love).
The group — founded in 1990 by guitarist Greg Mckenna and singer Kay Hanley in Boston — became a mainstay of ’90’s and ’00’s pop culture, and earned their mainstream breakthrough when four tracks — including hits “Cruel To Be Kind” and “I Want You To Want Me” — featured on the soundtrack of cult classic 10 Things I Hate About You, with the band also appearing in the film.
Today, ahead of their vinyl re-issue and Paradise reunion shows, Letters To Cleo look back with this week’s throwback set, featuring Veruca Salt, The Muffs, Weezer and more.
“Before there was a tour bus and free dinners and gigs with towels backstage, there were endless (pre-internet/cellphone) cramped tours in the van,” Hanley tells Billboard. “With limited sources of entertainment, we devoured music. Over the years we developed a finely tuned democracy in making our album choices and either by fate or osmosis, a similar collective palate. Here are some of my absolute favorites (in and out of the van).”
Give it a spin and also check out some retro snaps of the rockers below.