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The Magnetic Fields
69 Love Songs
3CDs, Merge Records, Sept. 1999

The story has it that Stephin Merritt came up with the idea for "69 Love Songs" while sitting in an elegant midtown Manhattan gay piano bar. He originally planned for it to be a live musical revue, performed with a rotating cast of singers in the plush hotel bars and cabarets of New York City. In fact, at first the concept had been "100 Love Songs", but Merritt soon realized that even at 2 minutes per song, the revue would last over 3 hours without an intermission. The number "69" seemed to be the next appropriate number down from a hundred, especially due to its visual appeal as a graphic design.

69 Love Songs

When Merge Records reminded Merritt that he was long overdue for a new Magnetic Fields album— he had spent the previous 3 years making records for his other bands The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, and the Gothic Archies-- he decided to make "69 Love Songs" as his next album. His hope is that eventually the songs will be performed as the musical review they were always intended to be.

Such a 'concept' album is not a new idea for the Magnetic Fields. All the previous Magnetic Fields albums have followed certain themes, such as escape, country roads, Phil Spector, vampires— so the idea of creating a new theme for this album was only natural. Besides, what a way to make up for lost time!

LD Beghtol: vocals on 'All My Little Words', 'My Sentimental Melody", 'Roses', 'The Way You Say Goodnight', 'For We Are The King of the Boudoir', 'Bitter Tears'

Chris Ewen: backing tracks for "It's a Crime" and "Promises of Eternity"

Dudley Klute: vocals on 'The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side', 'How Fucking Romantic', 'Very Funny', 'Long-Forgotten Fairytale', 'It's a Crime', 'Blue You'

Shirley Simms: vocals on 'Come Back From San Francisco', 'Boa Constrictor', 'No One Will Ever Love You', 'Kiss Me Like You Mean It', 'I'm Sorry I Love You', 'Strange Eyes'

Claudia Gonson: vocals on 'Reno Dakota', 'Sweet-Lovin Man', 'If You Don't Cry', 'Washington D.C.', 'Acoustic Guitar', 'Yeah! Oh Yeah!', and 'Zebra'

Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snickett) is a novelist and accordion player. He performed accordion and occasional keyboards on "69 Love Songs".

See also:
69 Love Songs Song List»
in the Photo Gallery: 69 Love Songs Performance 2002»

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