The Magnetic Fields’ new album 50 Song Memoir is an almost absurdly ambitious endeavor. Band mastermind Stephin Merritt is 50 years old, and the new album includes one song for every year that the man has been alive. The album spans five discs, and it covers just about every phase in Merritt’s life. He’s also given himself a series of parameters: No more than seven instruments per song, no instrument can be used more than seven times on the album, that sort of thing. We’ve posted a bunch of songs already, but we’ve only scratched the surface. The album comes out on Friday, and NPR is going to stream each of its five discs, one per day, until its release. Below, listen to the first disc, which takes us from 1966 to 1975. (Best song title: “Come Back As A Cockroach.) We’ll add the other discs as they appear. UPDATE: You can now stream the second disc, as well.
50 Song Memoir is out 3/10 on Nonesuch.