Stephin Merritt is exactly the kind of guy I would expect to spell his name with a ‘p-h’ instead of the more lax, casual, and modern ‘v’. He’s always so damn meticulous, so damn particular, so damn classical and authoritative-sounding, so damn proper, so damn content-oriented, and so damn difficult. And speaking of all of those adjectives: on April 20, good old Merge will release the sprawling Magnetic Fields conceptual classic 69 Love Songs as a deluxe vinyl box set. Holy shit, a deluxe edition of a 69-song project? I’m guessing there ain’t any bonus tracks?
The limited-edition, meticulous, particular, classicist, authoritative, proper, content-oriented vinyl box will spread remastered versions of all those damned-catchy and highly stylized conceptual love songs over six vinyl disks, all wrapped up in a one giant-ass box that will include a 10-inch version of the original insert booklet (featuring liner notes written by Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler) as well as an MP3 download code. Pre-orders over at the Merge site will also get you a $10 discount and a printable and presumably “Book of Love”-themed Valentines Day e-card.
By the way, the story goes 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, to be performed with a rotating cast of singers and toured around the plush hotel bars and cabarets of New York City. Keep that in mind while I remind you that April 20 is Hitler’s birthday.