A blog devoted to the works of Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, The 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, The Gothic Archies, et al. This blog will feature news related to his work, as well as occasional fanboy gushes from the author. Thank you for stopping by, and may all your dreams come true.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I've taken the liberty of compiling what I believe to be a comprehensive discography of all the works of Mr. Merritt. It should be noted that this was not made without haste and is, at this point, very sloppy. Organizationally speaking, this post will be the subject of much revision, hopefully in the next few days to come. Content-wise, I think it's mostly accurate, though there could be some glaring omissions I've yet to catch. Feel free to and please do point out any inaccuracies upon which you may happen.

A quick note: for the sake of everyone's sanity, I've excluded most compilation albums featuring previously-released tracks (the exception is Survive & Advance, Vol. 1, featuring "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel," which at the time of release, was still a rarity). This means that some charity comps and soundtrack albums are not featured below. If someone has issue with this, by all means, say word and I will add all of those titles as well. My goal here is simply to let it be known where to find all of Mr. Merritt's published works, and to my knowledge, that is what I've done.

I apologize for the gargantuan size of this post. As has been previously mentioned on this blog, my HTML/internet skills are horrid and I am thus left clueless as to how to make this post any smaller. ANY TIPS ON THIS WILL BE MUCH APPRECIATED FOREVER AND EVER AND WILL LIKELY RESULT IN SEXUAL FAVORS.

Eternal gratitude should be expressed to Mr. Alex Anderson who helped significantly in compiling the dates featured below.  I share credit for this work with him.

04/21/2017 - I added 50 Song Memoir,  plus assorted ephemera.

Distant Plastic Trees (Red Flame) February 1991
The Wayward Bus (PopUp! - includes all tracks on Distant Plastic Trees, excluding "Plant White Roses") January 1992
The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees (Merge – CD and cassette. Same as the PopUp! version, only with a 4:33 track of silence separating the two albums)  January 23, 1995
Charm of the Highway Strip (Merge – CD, cassette, vinyl) April 18, 1994: May 6, 2008 (vinyl)
Holiday (Feel Good All Over) September 27, 1994
Holiday (Merge – CD and vinyl. Same as the version on FGAO, only the first track is given the title "BBC Stereophonic Workshop") January 12, 1999: October 26, 2011 (vinyl)
Get Lost (Merge – CD, cassette, vinyl) October 24, 1995: November 4, 2008 (vinyl)
69 Love Songs (Merge – CD and vinyl Box set) September 7, 1999: April 20, 2010 (vinyl)
69 Love Songs Vol. 1 (Merge – CD) September 7, 1999
69 Love Songs Vol. 2 (Merge – CD) September 7, 1999
69 Love Songs Vol. 3 (Merge – CD) September 7, 1999
i (Nonesuch – CD) May 3, 2004
Distortion (Nonesuch – CD and vinyl) January 15, 2008: June 24, 2008 (vinyl)
Realism (Nonesuch – CD and vinyl, plus the iTunes release featuring the exclusive track "When Will You Love Me Again?") January 26, 2010: February 2, 2010 (vinyl)
Love At the Bottom of the Sea (Merge - CD and vinyl) March 6, 2012
50 Song Memoir (Nonesuch - CD, vinyl, and book-only digital download) March 10, 2017

House of Tomorrow (Feel Good All Over – CD. Same as 7” EP plus “Alien Being”) 1996
House of Tomorrow (Merge – CD. same as the 7" EP, plus "Alien Being") January 12, 1999
I Thought You Were My Boyfriend: Remixes (Nonesuch - three Rob Rivers remixes of the song from i, released on CD and LP) June 29, 2004
Please Stop Dancing (iTunes single featuring a Stephin-sung version of "The Nun's Litany") 2008
5 Selections From 50 Song Memoir (Nonesuch - handed out at the North Adams and NYC 50SM premier shows) November 17, 2016

100,000 Fireflies b/w Old Orchard Beach (Harriet) Silver Cover, September 1991: Color Cover, Mid-Spring 1992
Long Vermont Roads b/w Alien Being and Beach-a-Boop-Boop (Harriet - "Alien Being" was later released on the CD version of House of Tomorrow) December 1992
House of Tomorrow (Feel Good All Over) 1992
All the Umbrellas in London b/w Rats in the Garbage of the Western World (Merge) December 1995
Why I Cry b/w The Man Amplifier (Motorway) 1995
I Don't Believe You b/w When I'm Not Looking, You're Not There (Merge) August 1998
Andrew in Drag b/w When Next In Love, I Fall (Merge) January 31, 2012

Dr. Death's Volume 4: Marvels of Insect Life (includes Susan Anway version of "Crowd of Drifters") (C'est La Mort)
5 Rows of Teeth (includes Stephin-sung version of "Plant White Roses") (Merge)
The Long Secret (includes the same version of "Plant White Roses" as Distant Plastic Trees) (Harriet)
Crash Course for the Ravers: A Tribute to David Bowie (includes a cover of Bowie's "Heroes") (Undercover)
Random: A Gary Numan Tribute (includes a cover of Numan's "I Die: You Die") (Beggars UK)
Mrg100 (includes a version of "Smoke and Mirrors" remixed by Mark Robinson with added vocals by Evelyn Hurley) (Merge)
Pop Romantique (includes a cover of Jeanne Moreau's "Le Tourbillion") (Emperor Norton)
Oh! Merge (includes a version of "Take Ecstasy with Me," as sung by Susan Anway) (Merge)
Knitting on the Roof (includes a cover of "If I Were A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof) (Knitting Factory Works)
Score! - 20 Years of Merge Records: The Remixes (includes a Mark Robinson remix of "Washington, D.C.") (Merge)

Wasps' Nests (London – CD, cassette) – March 21, 1995
Wasps' Nests 6 & 6/6 Box Set (London - the same album released on a series of 7" records, plus the song "Yet Another Girl," as sung by Stuart Moxham) March 21, 1995
Hyacinths & Thistles (Merge – CD) September 5, 2000

San Diego Zoo (London - CD Single of the song from Wasps' Nests) 1995

Heaven in a Black Leather Jacket b/w Rot in the Sun (Merge) March 1993

Reproductions: Songs of the Human League (includes a cover of The Human League's "Human," as sung by Lloyd Cole) (March)
Score! - 20 Years of Merge Records: The Remixes (includes a Xiu Xiu remix of "Volcana!")

The Tragic Treasury: Songs from A Series of Unfortunate Events (Nonesuch - CD) October 10, 2006

Looming in the Gloom (Hello - CD) March 1996
The New Despair (Merge - CD) October 14, 1997

The Long Secret (includes the same version of "The Abandoned Castle of My Soul" as The New Despair)
Survive & Advance, Vol 1 (includes the same version of "Smile! No One Cares How You Feel" as The Tragic Treasury, though slowed down slightly) (Merge)

All 13 of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events audiobooks, later compiled and released on The Tragic Treasury
Coraline audiobook (includes "You Are Not My Mother and I Want to Go Home")

Vacationland (PopUp! – Cassette. includes demo versions of several songs featured on later releases, plus the as-of-yet unreleased "Big John Cage," "The Stroke of Midnight," and "Summer's Come and Gone" - made, according to Mr. Chris Ewen, while the band was shopping for a label) – 1993
Memories of Love (Slow River - CD) April 1997
Eternal Youth (Instinct - CD) August 20, 2002
Partygoing (Merge - CD) June 4, 2013
Memories of Love, Eternal Youth, and Partygoing (Merge - Compilation box set containing the three FBH LPs plus other ephemera; CD and vinyl) June 4, 2013

Lonely Days (Slow River - CD) April 1997
I'm Lonely (And I Love It) (Merge - CD) July 18, 2000
The Lonely Robot (Instinct - CD) January 21, 2003
FBH (Instinct - 12") 2003 (remix collection, "I'm A Vampire" incorrectly labelled as "Vampires")

Lonely Days (Setanta) 1998

Red Hot + Bothered (includes a Stephin-sung version of "Hopeless) (Red Hot)
Welcome to the Dollhouse soundtrack (includes "O! What a Dream It Was") (Innerstate)
Mystique (includes a Charnock Richard remix of "Lonely Days") (Sealed Fate)
Reproductions: Songs of the Human League (includes a cover of The Human League's "Don't You Want Me?") (March)
12 Tales (also includes "O! What a Dream It Was") (Instinct)
Where's Neil When You Need Him? (includes "Mr. Punch") (Dancing Ferret)


A Buffalo Rome - Cooking for the Priests (Shirley Simms sings Stephin Merritt songs; self released when they were both very young) 1983?
The Zinnias - Compost / Sand Dollar (self-released cassettes, the latter being a remixed version of the former.  Scant information can be found here.) 1985-6?

Eban & Charley (Merge) January 2002
Pieces of April (Nonesuch) November 4, 2003
Orphan of Zhao (iTunes release of the soundtrack to the opera penned by Mr. Merritt) 2006
Peach Blossom Fan (iTunes release of the soundtrack to the opera penned by Mr. Merritt) 2006
My Life as a Fairy Tale (iTunes release of the soundtrack to the opera penned by Mr. Merritt) 2006
Showtunes (Nonesuch - a compilation of highlights from the three operas) March 16, 2006
Coraline (Sh-K-Boom) Febrary 18, 2010
Obscurities (Merge - a rarities compilation featuring several previously released B-sides and rarities as well as five previously unreleased songs) August 23, 2011

Songs From This American Life (independently released; digital only - collecting songs from episode 541 of NPR'S This American Life)

Man of a Million Faces (Nonesuch - released as a CD single sold with Distortion and an iTunes single)
I'm in a Lonely Way (iTunes single)
The Book of Love/You're Not One of Us (iTunes single of Peter Gabriel's cover of the former song, Stephin Merritt's cover of the latter, later released as a Record Store Day exclusive 7")

Reproductions: Songs of the Human League (includes a cover of The Human League's "Get Carter," released under the name Stephin Merritt Soundtrack Man) (March)
Plague Songs (includes "The Meaning of Lice") (4AD)
Stroke: Songs of Chris Knox (includes a cover of Knox's "Beauty," as recorded by Mr. Merritt in 1988) (Rhythmethod)
Esopus 14: Television (released with the 14th edition of the twice-yearly magazine Esopus; includes Stephin's song in honor of "Meerkat Manor")
The Bob's Burgers Music Album (includes a cover of "Electric Love" from the television show Bob's Burgers, recorded with Kenny Mellman) (Sub Pop)

Flare - Celebrate the Misery 7" (includes a Stephin Merritt remix of the title track) (independently released)
Flare - Cut (Stephin delivers a line at the very end of the song "Love Finds Andy Warhol") (Affairs of the Heart)
moth wranglers - Never Mind the Context (Mr. Merritt sings lead vocals on "Let Go, Let Me" and plays ukulele, autoharp, washboard, spring and sings backing vocals on various other songs) (Magnetic)
Low - Tonight the Monkeys Die (includes a Stephin Merritt remix of Low's song "Monkey") (Sub Pop)
Air Miami - World Cup Fever (includes a Stephin Merritt remix of the title track) (Teenbeat)
Remate - Gigante (Stephin contributes ukulele to the title track, a single from Remate's album Superluv) (Everlasting)
Remate - Superluv (Same as above) (Everlasting)
V/A - Carols for a Cure: Broadway's Greatest Gifts, vol. 8 (includes Kiki & Herb's "Like a Snowman," a song written exclusively for the duo by Mr. Merritt)
Franz Ferdinand - Covers (Stephin contributes a cover of the band's song "Dream Again;" Record-Store Day exclusive 12")
Jon DeRosa - Black Halo (features the song "When Daddy Took the Treehouse Down," co-written by Mr. DeRosa and Stephin Merritt)


  1. Could I beg you for a little mixtape? I know I'm old school. It pains me to see Mr. Merritt songs I don't even know.

  2. If you want to make me a list of what you don't have, I will do my best. Some of the vinyl/cassette stuff, I don't know how to upload (as has previously been a conundrum on this blog), and I don't yet own "Looming in the Gloom" (sadly), but anything else is fair game.

  3. alexguy7894@gmail.comJanuary 5, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Here are the vinyl-only Merritt exclusives.


    To be honest, the only one I ripped was Yet Another Girl, which I also posted on YouTube, the rest I found floating around the internet. Though I do own the Long Vermont Roads single and the 6ths single.

    I also own an MP3 copy of the EP "Looming in the Gloom." (It's 160kbps, but it's better than nothing.) If you want it you can email me.

  4. Thanks so much for the link, Alex! And, I can't think of a vinyl-only SM song that isn't worthwhile. Personal faves are "Beach a-Boop-Boop" and "When I'm Not Looking, You're Not There."

    I own the MP3s of LitG as well, but thanks very much for the offer. I've looked EVERYWHERE for a tangible copy, but it seems to be absolutely impossible. I know the quantities were limited to begin with, but I found that Flare 7" and they only made about 200 of those. I would be willing to pay an absolutely unruly amount of money for the damn thing, too, which proves my quest's fruitlessness even further.

  5. alexguy7894@gmail.comJanuary 5, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    I'd also love to have a copy of Looming in the Gloom, but finding that would be harder than finding Distant Plastic Trees. Though I am happy to say that I actually did manage to find a copy of Distant Plastic Trees from Amazon for as cheap as $18 back in October.

    Though I'd say your best bet at getting Looming in the Gloom is to save Stephin Merritt's life, I'm sure then he would be happy to give you a spare copy. But the more logical thing to do that could actually happen is to check eBay everyday until you find it.

  6. I have an eBay saved search for LitG, but I have never received an e-mail for it. Ever. Very disenheartening, to say the least.

    I own the PopUp! Wayward Bus, but not the Red Flame DPT. Very jealous of you right now, sir. How did you specifically find that copy? A quick Amazon search shows only MP3s, the Merge reissue, and some Robert Christgau book.

  7. alexguy7894@gmail.comJanuary 5, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    It was under The Wayward Bus/Distant Plastic Trees page under "Collectables." Someplace from California had it. I thought it was very odd that it was on Amazon and not Gemm or Musicstack or some other website.

    There's no way on Earth I would ever sell it, but if you want I would be happy to send you an uncompressed digital copy of the album, or just an uncompressed digital copy of Plant White Roses if you would prefer that. If you're interested just let me know if you prefer WAV, AIFF, or FLAC.

  8. I would absolutely love you forever if you could do that for me, sir! My e-mail address is in the about me in that top right corner. As for which file type... I like the ones that work best with iTunes? I dunno...

    Is it clear now that I am NOT exagerating when I describe my lack of technological knowhow?

  9. alexguy7894@gmail.comJanuary 5, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    AIFF works best with iTunes, I guess. WAV and AIFF are virtually the same, but you can attach album artwork to AIFF. Plus AIFF was made for iMacs, I think. I use it for most of my music on my PC.
    Hopefully I can find a good place to upload it.

  10. The hairs stood on the back of my neck when I read the "Vacationland" entry! Too bad it's so limited. Hope you catch up with technology some day! In the meantime, I'm thrilled to hear Future Bible Heroes is cooking something up. 2010 looks like it's going to be a busy year for Mr. Merritt & Co. Woo!

  11. PS Thanks for this blog. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with everything that SM does. You seem on top of things.

  12. I want very badly to share "Vacationland" with the world, sir, but all options that enable doing so are either too expensive or too risky (meaning I'd like to keep the cassette intact). Perhaps one day. I, too, am excited about new FBH material, and am hopeful that Stephin may sing again.

    And, thanks for the kind words, sir. I do try my best and am glad others are enjoying.

  13. I don't think this post is gargantuan :)

  14. Hey Michael, I was listening to iTunes samples and I think the "Smile..." from the "Survive and Advance" compilation is different than the Tragic Treasury version. How much different, I'm not sure. It's ten seconds longer, and it may just be the same track played slightly slower, which is why Stephin sounds strange on that version. Why that was done, I can't figure out. Maybe this is interesting only to me.

  15. David it's interesting to me as well, but I think you're right in your assumption that it's just played slower. Every source available tells me they're the same track, plus the only thing setting them apart to my ears is the S&A one sounding a tad slower. If I find anything out that states something different than this, I will let it be known.

  16. What about the Zinnias' albums, "Sand Dollar" and "Compost"? Or are you not counting self-released cassettes?

  17. I've known of The Zinnias' releases and A Buffalo Rome's for a while, but I've lacked solidified information on them for as long. All of the information I do have of the two is mostly hearsay, too, compiled from the hundreds of articles I've read through the years.

    If you could e-mail me some info on these releases, I would be ecstatic, sir or madam. Any information at all on them would be fantastic.

  18. I can do one better than that:


    I obtained this from a torrent site a couple years ago. (It has since disappeared.) The only info I have is what I remember reading there, which really isn't much better than hearsay, but nonetheless:

    "Sand Dollar" was The Zinnias' proper album, released as a cassette in 1986. The band was Stephin, Claudia, and John Gage, who is I believe the singer on the recording. They were all in high school, and the band broke up when Claudia went to college at Columbia. "Compost" is a different mix of "Sand Dollar", with the same track list, released after the band had broken up.

    That's about all I know. I suppose it goes without saying, but if anyone has the Buffalo Rome tape, I would love to hear it!


    It's currently downloading with eight painstaking minutes to go. I'm kinda freaking out right now, jesus fucking christ!! fhsd fijsaj9ern

    But, yes, thank you very much. John Gage also co-wrote the songs (as well as "Living in an Abandoned Firehouse With You") and is now in a band called BILL, by the way, and is on muxtape (http://john.muxtape.com/). Other than the album info, what you just typed is about the extent of my knowledge of The Zinnias.

    The A Buffalo Rome cassette does exist, but I am doubtful I'll ever get my hands on it.


  20. Okay, I just started playing, and seriously, thank you so much. This is the very greatest thing anyone could have possibly done. If only I could find these cassettes somewhere, some day....

  21. You are most welcome. I am happy to share the wealth, especially since I have no more right to possess the digital copy than anyone else. I'm happy to have made your day. And maybe I'll inspire you to sort out a way to digitize that Vacationland cassette!

    Seriously, though, as a Merritt fan of many years, thanks for this blog. It's great to have someone so actively attending to the goings on of Stephin et al. Keep up the good work!

  22. does anyone have the album for the music for coraline? i've been trying to find it from mediafire/megaupload and haven't found anything. pleaseeee

  23. It will be great to watch Fiddler On The Roof, i have bought tickets from
    http://ticketfront.com/event/Fiddler_On_The_Roof-tickets looking forward to it.

  24. Where can one find recordings of the Buffalo Rome album? Have you any?

  25. Unfortunately, Mr. Brody, they have not been released to the public. If you spent several years scouring cassette racks at every record store in Boston, you might happen upon one, but even that is unlikely.

    It is my belief that one Buffalo Rome track is to be released on the forthcoming Obscurities record.

  26. Thank you, that is unfortunate. But I do look forward to hearing them on Obscurities.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. By the way, as far as digitalizing Vacationland goes, the method described at http://lifehacker.com/222394/alpha-geek-how-to-digitize-cassette-tapes seems pretty unrisky, fairly foolproof, and quite cheap - just a $5 cord and a free program. By no means am I pressuring you to do it, but I really would love to hear it, and I would be willing to pay you for a digitalized copy.

  29. ^ What he said. :)

    The only disappointing thing about the new album is that it's not titled "Obscurities, Vol I". I do hope there's much more to come.

  30. Cooking For The Priests was released on "K Records" - http://www.sacksco.com/pr/stephin_merritt.html .

    I think that's krecs.com . Not sure, it's not listed on their discography, but it would have been very small quantity. Just sent them an inquiry. Will get back to you.

  31. I'm going to start making periodic updates here, I'm finding out little bits at a time. One of the songs on Cooking For The Priests was Babies Falling, written by a lifelong friend of The Magnetic Fields' whose identity I'm now trying to figure out.