Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair's 'It's Spooky' Treated to 30th Anniversary Reissue

The 1989 album is arriving on "Casper White" vinyl

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Feb 20, 2020

Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair famously collaborated on the 1989 album It's Spooky — a record that will now be treated to a 30th anniversary reissue.

The release is due out on April 10 via Joyful Noise Recordings, adding another tribute to the late Daniel Johnston.

As the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston highlighted, Fair began corresponding with Johnston in the late '80s and finally met the songwriter in New York back in '89.

"I was doing some recording with Mo Tucker [of the Velvet Underground]," Fair told Rolling Stone. "Daniel was in town, staying with Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth. Daniel and I became friends and I invited him to my home in Maryland to record the album."

The resulting record became It's Spooky, which was completed in just one week.

"It was very intense," Fair recalled. "Daniel was so full of ideas and it was hard to keep up with them. Trying to do new songs with Daniel in two or three takes was a lot to keep on top of. But I was really pleased with the end result."

It's Spooky, which originally arrived as a single LP release, will be presented as a double-LP  vinyl set for the reissue — something Johnston wanted from the start.

"Originally, that's what Daniel and I were wanting, to have it released as a double," Fair said. "It just was difficult for us to do at that time."

It's Spooky has also been remastered by esteemed producer Kramer (Galaxie 500, Butthole Surfers, Ween). The reissue will be pressed on limited-edition "Casper White" vinyl, which includes a bonus disc of Johnston's "I Live My Broken Dreams."

For a taste of the reissue, you can hear the song "Ashes on the Ground" below, where you'll also find a trailer for the release and its tracklist.

As Fair explained, the reissue was actually set to come out in October last year, but it was pushed back when Johnston suddenly died in September at the age of 58.

"I pretty much expected it, because I knew Daniel was in very bad health," Fair said. "But it hit me quite hard.... I can think of so many excellent musicians, but as far as lyricists go, that's a whole different game. Very few lyricists I really think are up to the same standard that Daniel is up to. He was just amazing."

You can now pre-order the It's Spooky reissue.

As previously reported, Johnston will also be treated to posthumous album with Built to Spill called Built to Spill Plays the Songs of Daniel Johnston, which will arrive on May 1 via Ernest Jenning Record Co. A similar album Chicago 2017 made with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy arrived last month.

It's Spooky:

1. It's Spooky

2. Summertime

3. I Met Roky Erickson

4. Happy Talk

5. McDonalds on the Brain

6. I Did Acid With Caroline

7. If I'd Only Known

8. Tongues Wag in This Town

9. Tomorrow Never Knows

10. Oh Honey

11. A Vow of Love

12. When Love Calls

13. Frankenstein Vs. the World

14. Hands of Love

15. Kicking the Dog

16. What I've Seen

17. Something's Got a Hold on Me

18. Villain

19. Chords of Fame

20. Ostrich

21. Casper the Friendly Ghost

22. First Day at Work

23. Fun And Games

24. Nothing Left

25. Memphis Tennessee

26. Come Back

27. Tears Stupid Tears

28. The Making of the Album

29. Get Yourself Together

30. What the World Needs Now

31. Sweet Loafed

32. Ashes on the Ground

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