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I find it slightly annoying how everyone here just casually has a copy of The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs. In NZ here,it would cost roughly NZ$80(US$62). So is there some cheaper way of getting it? AND will it be worth it? How good is it?
I think it's a little overrated as an album....but..if you take it down to 12 tracks or so it's amazing. The problem is everybody has 5 tracks they agree on and 6-7 that are different. I guess that justifies the 69 songs. I made my own Cd I titled "69 Love Songs abridged".
It's only 27 bucks on Amazon. I'm guessing the shipping is what gets you? I can't tell you to only get one part either because you'd be missing out on some really good songs. There's just way too much filler, but like I said what's filler to some is gold to others.
Speaking of New Zealand what do you think of The Clean? My friend is obsessed with New Zealand rock in general but the only NZ band I like is The Clean...also Crowded House I guess but mainly The Clean.
Oh OK I hadn't looked on amazon - I usually use www.realgroovy.co.nz for hard-to-find cds. But I think it might be hard to get cds shipped here - there's certain restrictions on the items that can be shipped internationally I think.
And yeah the Clean are pretty good - there's a lot of good underground bands from here - Bailter Space,The Chills,The Bats,Straightjacket Fits and the Verlaines but these bands have a very low profile here and are very very hard to get hold of now - they are possibly more popular with foreign music collectors than locals...
Midaso, I can't tell you what restrictions New Zealand costums will impose, of course, but Amazon will ship you anything they can lay their hands on. That's where I got "In the Aeroplane over the Sea" (one other thing that all hard-core AM'ers seem to possess) after searching every damn CD shop in Copenhagen in vain.
Yeah, he's huge on all of those bands. He's actually going to live there for a year... I'm not a big Chills and Bats fan but New Zealand is probably one of the most underrated countries in terms of rock and roll acclaim.
I'm a big fan of the bats and I'm reasonably fond of the Chills. Somehow I've managed to never hear the Clean - any recommendations?
Back to the original thread (sorry for interrupting):
The problem is everybody has 5 tracks they agree on and 6-7 that are different.
I don’t think so. Just look at the AM Forum Poll for 1999. 17 songs from this album received votes and only two of them five or more votes (“I Don’t Believe in the Sun” and “Yeah, Oh Yeah” . This fact speaks for itself about the high percentage of good songs of an album with so many songs.
In my opinion the album deserves its praise. It’s an ambitious tour de force that widely succeeds. Obviously there’s some fillers (as usual with excessive albums like that), but even these songs (jokes like “Experimental Music Love” have some charm. Only one flaw in my opinion: the voice of Stephin Merritt is not one of the best voices in pop music (although he is one of the best composers for sure). I’ve always thought that the album would have been greater as The 6ths (a side project of Merritt) with guest vocalists. The songs would be much better. Some examples: Johnny Cash singing “Time Enough for Rockin’ When We’re Old”, Alan Vega singing “Underwear” or Phil Oakey singing “Promises of Eternity”.
Damo, I think most of their stuff is out of print but they have an Anthology which is pretty cheap for a 2 disc set. Their early stuff is the best though. This is one of my favorite songs, Anything Can Happen.
What's really hilarious about 69 LOVE SONGS (which I love, by the way, as my 1999 rankings bear out) is that Merritt -does- use several "guest vocalists" on the album to break the monotony of every song being sung by himself - but that these guests, with the possible exception of the husky-voiced Shirley Simms - have voices that are even more, um, unconventional (to put it nicely) than his own.
If you can find it, I highly recommend buying the boxed-set version, which contains the three separate CDs and a booklet containing hilarious song-by-song commentary by Merritt, moderated by sometime Magnetic Fields member and author Daniel Handler - the man who would later become better known to millions of kids as Lemony Snicket.
Our favourite songs from the album, based on the 1999 poll.
1. (CD 1-Song 2) I Don't Believe in the Sun
2. (2-17) Papa Was a Rodeo
3. (3-10) Yeah! Oh, Yeah!
4. (1-8) The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
5. (1-22) Sweet Lovin' Man
6. (1-3) All My Little Words
7. (1-6) I Don't Want to Get Over You
8. (3-6) The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure
9. (2-7) No One Will Ever Love You
10. (2-3) When My Boy Walks Down the Street
11. (3-16) I Can't Touch You Anymore
12. (1-7) Come Back from San Francisco
13. (1-12) The Book of Love
14. (1-4) A Chicken with It’s Head Cut Off
15. (2-16) Kiss Me Like You Mean It
16. (2-10) Crazy for You But Not That Crazy
To answer your original question, I think it's worthy of the praise. Looking at the AM poll makes me think so even more because most of the songs in the poll aren't my favorite. I would say there are a good 40 or 50 songs that someone might really like. I can't remember who it was, but someone who was doing Random Rules on the Onion AV Club said it was his favorite album. I'd have to look up who it was.
I've always thought it could _a.- been "The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side"_Pro-fess-or:Blu_:men. but i:.was.wrong. iTw.as Chris tzhat ukiss_( sed.)afterscuul>> so you share seek.rats wid::l/UH...m/oawwwnin.SN.U.N
My take on it is that disc 1 is all great, disc 2 about 75% and disc 3 about 50%. That makes it about 75% hits versus 25% misses. But even the misses are pretty good.
If you're interested, I could ship you the whole set for about $40 US. I have two copies; one I bought when it came out, and one someone gave to me a few years ago. If you're serious about getting it, let me know.
Cheers - I'll think about it