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Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs: A Field Guide (33 1/3) Paperback – November 3, 2006

3.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"LD Beghtol's 69 Love Songs provides a lovingly written account of the wonderful Magnetic Fields and their magnum opus. Beghol utilises an obsession to succint detail over 158 pages, which fits perfectly with the ethic of the group's two-and-a-half-minute pop masterpieces."
Andrew Free, Record Collector, May 2007
(Andrew Free)

"Regardless of yourappreciation for the music, LD Beghtol's book is a fun, passionate, andwonderfully peculiar dissection of the excellent album it lovingly explores."-Michael Keefe, Pop Matters, March 27,2007 (Pop Matters)

"LD Beghtol's 69 Love Songs provides a lovingly written account of the wonderful Magnetic Fields and their magnum opus. Beghol utilises an obsession to succint detail over 158 pages, which fits perfectly with the ethic of the group's two-and-a-half-minute pop masterpieces."
Andrew Free, Record Collector, May 2007
(Sanford Lakoff)

“Regardless of yourappreciation for the music, LD Beghtol’s book is a fun, passionate, andwonderfully peculiar dissection of the excellent album it lovingly explores.”-Michael Keefe, Pop Matters, March 27,2007 (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

LD Beghtol has written extensively about pop music, books, and the visual arts in Time Out New York, The Advocate, and the Village Voice. He has released half a dozen albums under several guises, and was a performer on 69 Love Songs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 157 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic (December 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826419259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826419255
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.4 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Janet Perry VINE VOICE on April 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
I have been crazy about songwriters who are clever with lyrics since childhood. Give me an unexpected rhyme or an obscure metaphor and I'm lost. So is it any wonder that I went crazy for Merritt the first time I heard a Magnetic Fields album?

69 Love Songs is not my favorite MF album, but I do love it. I love the scope of it, I love all the varied faces of love here, I love the way Merritt channels so many great songwriters and styles and I love his inventiveness.

While the author has a lovely voice, he appears to know squat about poetry or poetical analysis. He also appears to believe everything Merritt says as the absolute truth.

My problem is that his analysis of many of the songs is just plain weird. While it might not agree with my thoughts on the songs, I decided I would test the interpretations that seemed weird with others. So I gave two people who weren't familiar with MF the lyrics and the interpretations from the books. They didn't agree either.

It's as if the author reads into these songs what he'd like them to be about. Merritt often writes about vampires, so "I Don't Believe in the Sun" must be about vampires, even though the song won't support it. And so on, it's maddening and ruined the book for me.

However Merritt draws on so many ideas and metaphors that there is value in knowing who people are. But then again often this is pretty shallow in the book. I found myself often wishing to know more. The definitions are better when things are more obscure.

I wish I could recommend this book, the album deserves so much more. But, in the end I can't. Read the lyrics in the albums, look up the things you don't know on Wikipedia, and find the meaning yourself. You'll do better than the author.
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Format: Paperback
Far from insightful, this installment of 33 1/3 is an embarrassingly sparse concoction of definitions and song by song "analysis," little of which gives the reader any new insight into 69 Love Songs.
The first and lengthiest half of this edition is a lexicon. This would be fine if it were original. The content, however, is not unlike that which can be found on various websites devoted to the band and without having to deal with Beghtol's pseudo-intellectual blathering. Remember Mr. Beghtol, merely posing and spouting off like an intellectual does not an intellectual make.
The second half of the book is a song by song reflection from those involved and not so involved with 69 Love Songs. There are some insightful comments found here, however, it lacks any depth as to the process involved in the creation of the album. I would have been much more interested in reading about Stephen Merritt's thought and recording process rather than how the album got someone through a really rough patch in their life. Am I the only one who doesn't care how an album affects others?
The last section, considerably shorter than the other two, is an interview with Mr. Merritt. Unlike Daniel Handler's expansive interview for the box set, don't look for any insight here. Silly questions with silly answers. "Spit or swallow?" Brilliant and hilarious. Well, maybe ten years ago.
Unlike most of the 33 1/3 series Beghtol's 69 Love Songs installment could have been condensed down into a short pamphlet. That is if you were to take out all the pointless filler and vainglory.
For the benefit of all involved, I pray that this will be L.D. Beghtol's final attempt to squeeze whatever juice the 69 Love Songs franchise may still possess. His boorish sensibility and pretentious meanderings are stale.
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Format: Paperback
If you're a fan of the Magnetic Fields (and you probably are, since you're reading this), then you should waste no time in picking this book up. Every page sings with the same brilliance as the box set of the same name, making it a worthy addition to Continuum's excellent 33 1/3 series.
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