Released 20 years ago this month, 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields remains a staggering achievement.
With multiple lead singers, a plethora of musicians, a bucketload of satisfying synth noises but only one songwriter, the band’s ridiculous ambition paid off and then some. Sonically and stylistically diverse, the album’s 69 tracks skip restlessly between moods and genres but the personality of band leader Stephen Merritt shines through on every song.
That said, not all love songs are created equal and amongst the jokier numbers and genre exercises are a few fairly disposable tunes. Most people would get by quite happily if they never heard Xylophone Track or Experimental Music Love again.
Of course part of the pleasure of giant rambling albums like The White Album or Use Your Illusions 1 And 2 is their rough edges. It great to have the off kilter tracks that would never have made the cut on a more focused and streamlined release.
But it’s also fun to be debate what songs would be kept on a more pared down version. So here, in a subjective list that will delight some and infuriate others, are the 10 greatest love songs on 69 Love Songs.
Chris Chopping is a writer, podcaster and stand up comedian. He’s 34 and still dreaming of a Diamond Dallas Page style later-life entry into the wrestling business. Eats too many carbs for that though. Follow him @MrChrisChopping on Twitter.