With an album released this week and a slot at the ATP festival later today it seemed like the perfect excuse to present our top 10 tracks by The Magnetic Fields.
It would be easy to pick all 10 tracks from the band’s career defining 69 Love Songs album, so we have chosen to concentrate on their other releases. This top 10 presents one song from each of the band’s other main releases in their 22 year career.
The debut album, with all vocals by Susan Anway, was a patchy affair but this track is one of the best of the band’s career.
The Bus, the last album to feature Anway, was more consistent that the debut and ‘Candy’ is one of the stand-out tracks.
The Charm Of The Highway Strip can divide listeners with the country theme and sounds among the electronics, but it is one of my favourites and this is the lead track.
Album number four, Holiday, was their most consistent to date and contains some of Merritt’s best songwriting. This rare early live footage is a real treat.
Love Is Lighter Than Air
This track, from Get Lost, was covered by The Divine Comedy on some editions of their 1997 release A Short Album About Love.
Love Goes Home To Paris In The Spring
This song is the only non-album track in the list heralding from the 1996 EP The House Of Tomorrow.
It’s Only Time
Coming after 69 Love Songs, the economically titled, i was always going to struggle to please, but several of the songs included were among Merritt’s best.
I find the Jesus and Mary Chain homage fuzz and reverb on Distortion difficult to listen to all the way through, but individual tracks sound pretty great as this song demonstrates.
You Must Be Out Of Your Mind
The opening song from the folk oriented Realism, this track features some of Merritt’s best pithy lyrics and a beautiful melody.
Andrew In Drag
An excellent single from the new album, Love At The Bottom Of The Sea, and one that actually features an official video.
Compiled by Dorian Rogers