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The Magnetic Fields
(United States) From Cambridge Ma, now New York City
The Magnetic Fields is a New York-based group fronted by Stephin Merritt. Recent albums released under the name “The Magnetic Fields” usually consist of synth-pop music in a 1980s style underlying clever lyrics which are often heavily ironic. While synth-pop often forms the foundation of their music, The Magnetic Fields’ music borrows from many other styles, notably country, folk and indie pop.

The band was originally formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1990 by friends Merritt and (percussionist/pianist/vocalist) Claudia Gonson. While 1991’s Distant Plastic Trees and 1992’s The Wayward Bus (now most easily available together as a compilation, The Wayward Bus / Distant Plastic Trees) are sung by Susan Anway, all subsequent albums are principally sung by Merritt himself.

Longtime members include: Gonson, (cellist) Sam Davol, and (banjo player/guitarist) John Woo. Contributors include (but are not limited to) the singers Susan Anway, Dudley Klute, Shirley Simms, and LD Beghtol, and the accordionist/writer Daniel Handler (famous for writing the childrens’ books A Series of Unfortunate Events under the alias Lemony Snicket).

Their most popular and best-selling album to date is 69 Love Songs issued on Merge Records as a triple album filled with many fairly short songs that are reminiscent of early Beatles productions.

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100,000 Fireflies (7") Sep 1991
Distant Plastic Trees (CD) 1991
on Red Flame
Long Vermont Roads (7") Dec 1992
on Harriet Records - 17
The House Of Tomorrow EP (7"+CD5) 1992
on Feel Good All Over
- Alien Being
- Either You Don't Love Me Or I Don't Love You
- Love Goes Home to Paris In the Spring
- Technical (You're So)
- Young and Insane
The Wayward Bus (CD) 1992
on Popup Records
- 100,000 Fireflies
- Babies Falling
- Candy
- Dancing In Your Eyes
- Falling in Love with the Wolfboy
- Jeremy
- Josephine
- Kings
- Living in an Abandoned Firehouse with You
- Lovers From The Moon
- Old Orchard Beach
- Railroad Boy
- Smoke Signals
- Suddenly There Is a Tidal Wave
- Summer Lies
- Tar-Heel Boy
- The Saddest Story Ever Told
- Tokyo A Go-Go
- When You Were My Baby
- You Love to Fail
Holiday (CD) 1994
on Feel Good All Over - FGAO #26
- All You Ever Do Is Walk Away
- Deep Sea Diving Suit
- Desert Island
- In My Car
- In My Secret Place
- Sad Little Moon
- Strange Powers
- Sugar World
- Swinging London
- Take Ecstasy With Me
- The Flowers She Sent And The Flowers She S
- The Trouble I've Been Looking For
- Torn Green Velvet Eyes
- untitled intro
The Charm Of The Highway Strip (CD) 1994
on Domino - REWIG CD 16
- Born On A Train
- Crowd Of Drifters
- Dust Bowl
- Fear Of Trains
- I Have The Moon
- Lonely Highway
- Long Vermont Roads
- Sunset City
- Two Characters In Search Of A Country Song
- When The Open Road Is Closing In
All The Umbrellas In London (7") 1995
on Merge Records - MRG 073
Get Lost (CD) 1995
on Merge Records - MRG 091
- All the Umbrellas in London
- Don't Look Away
- Famous
- Love Is Lighter Than Air
- Save A Secret For The Moon
- Smoke And Mirrors
- The Desperate Things You Made Me Do
- The Dreaming Moon
- The Village In The Morning
- When You're Old And Lonely
- Why I Cry
- With Whom To Dance
- You And Me And The Moon
Why I Cry (7") 1996
on Motorway - MOTOR 7
I Don't Believe You (7") summer 1998
on Merge Records
- I Don't Believe You
- When I'm Not Looking You're Not There
69 Love Songs (3 CDs) last 1999
on Merge Records - MRG 169
Also available as three individual discs
- A Chicken with Its Head Cut Off
- A Pretty Girl Is Like ...
- Absolutely Cuckoo
- All My Little Words
- Boa Constrictor
- Come Back from San Francisco
- Fido, Your Leash is Too Long
- How Fucking Romantic
- I Don't Believe in the Sun
- I Don't Want to Get Over You
- I Think I Need a New Heart
- Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits
- My Sentimental Melody
- Nothing Matters When We're Dancing
- Parades Go By
- Punk Love
- Reno Dakota
- Sweet-Lovin' Man
- The Book of Love
- The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be
- The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
- The One You Really Love
- The Things We Did and Didn't Do
- (Crazy for You But) Not That Crazy
- Abigail, Belle of Kilronan
- Asleep and Dreaming
- Epitaph for My Heart
- Grand Canyon
- I Shatter
- If You Don't Cry
- Kiss Me Like You Mean It
- Long-Forgotten Fairytale
- Love is Like Jazz
- My Only Friend
- No One Will Ever Love You
- Papa Was a Rodeo
- Promises of Eternity
- Roses
- The Sun Goes Down and the World Goes Dancing
- The Way You Say Good-Night
- Time Enough for Rocking When We're Old
- Very Funny
- Washington, D.C.
- When My Boy Walks Down the Street
- World Love
- You're My Only Home
- Acoustic Guitar
- Bitter Tears
- Blue You
- Busby Berkeley Dreams
- Experimental Music Love
- For We Are the King of the Boudoir
- How to Say Goodbye
- I Can't Touch You Anymore
- I'm Sorry I Love You
- It's a Crime
- Love in the Shadows
- Love Is Like a Bottle of Gin
- Meaningless
- Queen of the Savages
- Strange Eyes
- The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure
- The Night You Can't Remember
- Two Kinds of People
- Underwear
- Wi' Nae Wee Bairn Ye'll Me Beget
- Xylophone
- Yeah! Oh, Yeah!
- Zebra
i (CD) April 2004
on Nonesuch 7559-79683-2
On compilations:
One Last Kiss  (CD) 1992
on Spin Art Records - SPART 1
- 100,000 Fireflies
Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 1  (CD2) 3-Oct-2004
on Mute - CDSTUMM 239
500 copies with free 7", released by the Rough Trade shop in London
- 100,000 Fireflies
Last updated: 1-Feb-2012 © 1994-2024 TweeNet Creative Commons License