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Mercury Rev

From Academic Kids

Mercury Rev are an American rock music group, formed in the late 1980's in Buffalo, New York. Original personnel were David Baker (vocals), Jonathan Donahue (vocals, guitars), Sean Mackowiak, a.k.a. "Grasshopper" (guitars, clarinet), Suzanne Thorpe (flute), Dave Fridmann (bass) and Jimy Chambers (drums).

With their early records, Mercury Rev offered experimental, psychedelic rock, which gradually shifted to a melodic, ornate sound. Mercury Rev are often compared to The Flaming Lips, and in fact have close ties: Donahue was himself a Flaming Lip for two records before forming Mercury Rev. Furthermore, several Flaming Lips recordings have been produced by Mercury Rev's Dave Fridmann.

Despite considerable critical acclaim, their early releases never gave Mercury Rev more than cult popularity. They appeared on the smaller second stage at some 1993 Lollapalooza stops.

Baker left after their second record, citing musical and personal disputes; he later recorded an album as Shady.

Baker's departure heralded a change in direction for the band. The darker, more experimental and less accessible features of their music began to disappear. See You on the Other Side was their first post-Baker album, finding Mercury Rev in transition. With the release of the acclaimed Deserter's Songs (which featured appearances by Garth Hudson and Levon Helm of The Band), Mercury Rev found themselves unexpected pop stars. Donahue's earnest, high-pitched vocals and concentration on relatively concise, melodic songs gave the band's material an entirely new feel and much increased popularity. Deserter's Songs made the UK, spawned three UK top 40 singles and was music magazine NME's album of the year for 1998. All is Dream, issued in 2001 managed a UK top 20 single.

Mercury Rev's much-anticipated The Secret Migration was released in January 2005 to mostly positive reviews.

Contents

Discography

Chart positions listed are for the UK, they have not charted in the US.

Albums

  • Yerself is Steam (1991)
  • Boces (1993)
  • See You on the Other Side (1995)
  • Deserter's Songs (1998) #27
  • All is Dream (2001) #11
  • The Secret Migration (2005)

EPs / singles

  • Lego My Ego (1992, released as a compilation with Yerself is Steam)
  • Car Wash Hair (1992)
  • If You Want Me to Stay (1992)
  • The Hum is Coming From Her (1993)
  • Chasing a Bee (1993)
  • Bronx Cheer (1993)
  • Something for Joey (1993)
  • Everlasting Arm (1995)
  • Young Man's Stride (1995)
  • Goddess On a Hiway (1998) #26 (1999 reissue)
  • Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp (1998) #26
  • Opus 40 (1999) #31
  • Holes (1999) (Australia only)
  • Nite and Fog (2001)
  • The Dark is Rising (2002) #16
  • Little Rhymes (2002)
  • Secret For A Song (2004)
  • In A Funny Way (2005) #28
  • Across Yer Ocean (2005)

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