Merge Records turns 20 this year and the celebration is well underway. Last week we told you about the five-day summer fest in North Carolina with Superchunk, Spoon, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Destroyer, and others. If that’s a party you can’t attend, there are some birthday souvenirs you can enjoy without leaving home. Namely 20 Years of Merge Records: THE COVERS!, one of two CDs from the subscription-based SCORE! box you can now buy separately. The tracklist is wow.

The entire comp is streaming at Merge.

01 Quasi – “Beautiful Things” (3Ds cover)
02 Les Savy Fav – “Precision Auto” (Superchunk cover)
03 The Shins – “Plenty Is Never Enough” (Tenement Halls cover)
04 St. Vincent & The National – “Sleep All Summer” (Crooked Fingers cover)
05 Broken Social Scene – “Complications” (The Clean cover)
06 Ryan Adams – “Like a Fool” (Superchunk cover)
07 Bright Eyes – “Papa Was a Rodeo” (The Magnetic Fields cover)
08 Lavender Diamond – “New Ways of Living” (Destroyer cover)
09 The Apples In Stereo – “King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3″ (Neutral Milk Hotel cover)
10 Laura Cantrell – “Cowboy on the Moon” (Lambchop cover)
11 Bill Callahan – “Santa Maria” (Versus cover)
12 Barbara Manning – “Through With People” (Portastatic cover)
13 The Mountain Goats – “Drug Life” (East River Pipe cover)
14 The New Pornographers – “Don’t Destroy This Night” (The Rock*A*Teens cover)
15 Tracey Thorn & Jens Lekman – “Yeah! Oh, Yeah!” (The Magnetic Fields cover)
16 The Hive Dwellers – “My Noise” (Superchunk cover)
17 Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – “The Numbered Head” (Robert Pollard cover)
18 Okkervil River – “All You Little Suckers” (East River Pipe cover)
19 Death Cab For Cutie – “Kicked In” (Superchunk cover)
20 Times New Viking – “Neighborhood #1″ (Arcade Fire cover)

The collection is now available in limited-edition CD, MP3 or FLAC format here. Proceeds benefit the label’s favorite charities.

Comments (16)
  1. You know, “Papa Was A Rodeo” and Oberst could of been damn good. But my god, that one is terrible. But this seems pretty solid. It’ll be a fun one listen.

  2. Joshua  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    I think it works pretty well and definitely reminds me more of his Digital Ash era type stuff than the newer material but overall its sounds pretty solid. Nowhere near the original though.

  3. Looks good. Good lineup. Jason Isbell does a good live version of “Holland 1945″ that I would have liked to see included.

  4. This compilation looks way better than “Covered, A Revolution in Sound: Warner Bros. Records” and I’m looking forward to this.

  5. Jon Bon Jovi  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    Seems like Ryan Adams inserts himself into everything.

  6. wldrpretnd  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    I got one of the merge score subscriptions so i got my copy in the mail last week. It’s really really fun. the national/st vincent cover of crooked fingers is worth the price of the whole thing.

  7. Was kinda hoping for “Strange Powers” when I saw The Shins on that list…and yes, that Bright Eyes cover will make Stephin Merritt hate the rest of the indie world even more.

  8. Yeah that national crooked fingers cover is awesome. I think Ryan Adams is on here because he’s from NC. This has reminded me how awesome Merge is and how lucky I have been to have them in my town.

  9. Akolade  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    What, no Polvo covers? Are today’s bands not man enough to take them on?

  10. Times New Viking are so great.

  11. Also it made me so happy to hear the tape hiss on the Mountain Goats cover.

  12. joe  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    lovin’ it, got mine through the score subscription, standout tracks ” Laura Cantrell – “Cowboy on the Moon” (Lambchop cover)” and “The Mountain Goats – “Drug Life” (East River Pipe cover)”

  13. What’s with the TNV love? I really hate them. And their cover of Arcade Fire on this disk is awful. Saw them live. Terrible. Guided by Voices used lo-fi as a weapon. TNV just sound lazy. Someone explain it to me. Love, Black Jesus

  14. La  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    I really like Bright Eyes cover… Conor trying to sound like Merrit would’ve been lame.

    oh and THE SHINS. Love it.

  15. big pickle  |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    i thought the bright eyes cover was pretty good……..

  16. Andrew   |   Posted on Apr 8th, 2009 0

    The Neutral Milk Hotel cover was painful to listen to. My favorites atm are the Shins cover and The Mountain Goats one is pretty cool too.

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