“Clark Gable” is Track 6 on The Postal Service Album, Give Up, released in 2003. Give Up was the only Studio Album by The Postal Service, which was an Indie side project made up of Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel, and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie. Jenny Lewis also provided backing vocals for the Album.
“Clark Gable” by The Postal Service
from the Album, Get Up (2003)
Jenny was recruited via a cold call by Ben Gibbard, who knew of her when Rilo Kiley and Death Cab were on the same label. She said yes.
The Song is primarily a post-break-up/wanting-to-get-back-together love Song, at least in how I perceive it. The line “‘I need you to pretend that we are in love again’, and you agreed to” feeds into that theory. I picture the protagonist of the Song faking a film to coax his ex-girlfriend to join him for the day, hoping somehow that what they had once will return. Or maybe it is a real film, one that he may never release, especially if his idea doesn’t work.
I also like the idea that the ghost of Clark Gable is on the set, his reflection briefly caught in the mirror, winking luck to these young once-lovers.
I woke up with this Song in my head, and it has been spinning around there ever since. It leads me to play the entire Album on my way to work which was a good thing. I forgot how much I love it, and it has been awhile since I’ve played it in its entirety. It is definitely one of my Quintessential Albums.
Give Up was released in February of 2003 on Sub Pop in the U.S. It was later released in the UK in April of that same year. It was awarded a platinum certification in October of 2012.
The band toured the US in 2003, bringing Jenny Lewis along for all but one of the performances. She sang and played guitar and keyboards. Due to the heavy electronics of the shows they band used visual effects such as video and lights, and small films for each Song, to play during the shows. (from Wikipedia)