Super Deluxe: Via Satellite
Super Deluxe were a alternative-pop band from Seattle whose first album, Famous, gained them moderate radio play on alternative station KNDD. I have seen this band live more than any other band, mostly because I probably went to as many concerts between 1995 and 1998 as I’ve seen since 1999. Via Satellite were the sophomore album by the band, following their debut and a Christmas EP.
Track three on the album, titled “Farrah Fawcett”, is an ode to the 70’s TV star. The song tells of the singer’s infatuation with her, while also giving tongue-in-cheek commentary such as “you were the closest thing, as far as i could tell/like one of Charlie’s Angels”. It goes on to tell of him imagining making out with her in a closet. Not exactly deep material, but very catchy.
One of the singles from the album was track four, “Love Liquid Wraparound”. The song is basically an ode to condoms without ever actually saying the word. It features clever wordplay around the topic like “You’re coming around”.
But that’s not why I chose this album to give a 20th anniversary review. No, the reason I picked this album is a little song called “Years Ago”. It was originally a b-side to the song “She Came On”, but was only available in the UK. It became so popular in the Seattle area that the band put the same recording of the song on Via Satellite. It’s hard to overstate how popular this song was in the Seattle area. KNDD used to have a 10 song People’s Choice Countdown, where they counted down the 10 most requested songs of the day every weeknight. This song must have been on that countdown for at least 7 months. At its core, it is a beautifully written love song to somebody who got away. Lead singer Braden Blake has continued putting the song in his set lists, even though he rarely performs live any more. Because I came of age in the 90’s, my list of 100 favorite songs is heavily stacked with songs from that era, with 22 on the list….this song is one of those tracks.
Super Deluxe went on to record one more album, Surrender, and an EP titled Lolita before disbanding. Braden Blake went on to work for a subsidiary of Microsoft, working as a liaison between recording studios and record labels on behalf of the company before leaving in 2016 to become a partner for an Indoor LaCrosse company. He still sometimes performs solo sets in the Seattle area, most recently in September of 2016 at the High Dive.