- Each CD in this box set is also available separately on Merge (166, 167 & 168).
- The Magnetic Fields: Stephin Merritt (vocals, acoustic, electric, classical, & steel guitars, ukelele, mandolin, violin, penny whistle, recorder, melodica, acoustic & electric pianos, organ, keyboards, synthesizer, acoustic & electric percussion); Claudia Gonson (vocals, guitar, piano, drums, percussion, whistling); John Woo (guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass); Sam Davol (cello, flute); Daniel Handler (accordion, keyboards).
- Additional personnel: LD Beghtol (vocals, harmonium); Dudley Klute, Shirley Simms (vocals); Chris Ewen (various instruments, Theremin); Ida Pearle (violin).
- Engineers include: Charles Newman, Chris Ewen, Claudia Gonson.
- Includes a 76-page booklet.
- Originally envisioned as a 100-song stage revue but cut down to 69 songs (as Stephin Merritt explained, "That was the first love-related number I could think of") and released on three CDs under the name of the first of Merritt's many musical projects (also including the 6ths, Future Bible Heroes, and the Gothic Archies), 69 LOVE SONGS is a sprawling masterpiece of alternately romantic and rueful tunes. Where each previous Magnetic Fields albums had a specific musical identity, 69 LOVE SONGS leaps casually through genres that include show tunes, jazz, country, punk, techno, and '80s-style synth pop, somehow managing throughout to sound like no one but the Magnetic Fields. Though the three CDs were originally released as a box set enclosed in a special slipcase with an exclusive booklet, Merge Records also released the three 23-song discs separately as 69 LOVE SONGS, Volumes One, Two and Three.
Rolling Stone (10/14/99, p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...His grandiose, bare-assed lyrics can be catty, crude and sometimes full of sappy goo, but they usually contain a little universal truth....melodies that hark back to Eighties synth popper like Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark..."
Spin (10/99, p.154) - 10 out of 10 - "...a grand gesture and a brilliant joke; art about the most personal emotion stamped out in bulk; and a love offering in its own right....pop has not seen a lyricist of [Stephin] Merritt's kind and caliber since Cole Porter..."
Entertainment Weekly (11/19/99, p.150) - "...69 elegant observations by a pop master, employing myriad genres, instruments, and neuroses. All charm, but by set's end, you're ready for more." - Rating: A
Q (7/00, p.119) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...This is a boundlessly entertaining expose of what happens when you mix fine words with excellent melodies to make great songs."
Alternative Press (11/99, p.109) - 4 out of 5 - "...against all odds it shines form beginning to end....[Stephin] Merritt's most ambitious, eccentric and eclectic recording to date..."
CMJ (1/10/00, p.5) - Ranked #16 in CMJ's "Top 30 Editorial Picks [for 1999] - "...a reminder that a finely rendered pop song, no matter how cynical, can approach the status of art."
Melody Maker (6/20/00, p.62) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...You'll find yourself immersed inthe richest of musical tapestries, spotlighting every single aspect of love, from infatuation to splitting up....This is approaching genius."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.59) - Ranked #59 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Stephen Merritt's magnum opus."
Mojo (Publisher) (8/00, p.96) - "...An album that could easily occupy your whole life with its witty, intellignet, infuriating, smug and brilliant ways, a dazzling mass of contradictions that you can't help but love..."
NME (Magazine) (12/30/00, p.79) - Ranked #46 in NME's "Top 50 Albums Of The Year".
NME (Magazine) (6/10/00, p.39) - 8 out of 10 - "...If he isn;t the greatest songwriter of his generation, he's certainly the greatest sponge."
Paste (magazine) (p.90) - "[W]hile the dramatics are fun, the set's lasting power comes from how Merritt so consistently relates these brutal love stories with such an incredible economy of language."