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  NMH Definitive Discography pt. 1:
Neutral Milk Hotel releases


Hype City Soundtrack
 1. Up And Over We Go - 2:34
 2. Wood Guitar - 2:36
 3. Tuesday Moon - 4:01
 4. April 1st - 1:42
 5. Tea-Time/Bomb Drop - 2:00
 6. Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone - 3:32
 7. Biscuit - 2:47
 8. Los Angelos Car Song - 0:57
 9. Piggy - 4:47
10. Engine - 3:37

Release Date: 1993
Label: Elephant 6 (self-released by Jeff for himself and his friends)
Format: cassette
Availability: out of print (estimated eBay value $130)
Comments: This tape is a the first real NMH release, not counting the early demos tapes, and consists mostly of real songs, with possible exceptions being "Tea Time" (a brief, 7 second song fragment), "Los Angelos Car Song" (a bunch of annoying silliness), and a few more between-song fragments. "Tuesday Moon" is the same version that later appeared on the Everything Is CD reissue, though here it includes an extended ending bit.

The tape was released on the Elephant 6 label, and was distributed by Parasol Mail Order for a short time in 1993. Someone going by the name Fortunate Hazel bought a copy back then, and before putting it on eBay, was kind enough to send me scans for this discography: cassette (notice it's labeled as Hype City Soundtracks), insert (large file! Insert is 8.5" x 11" unfolded), lyric sheet.
Apparently, there are at least 2 versions of this tape, or rather its presentation, with the art and song titles being different (but same music.. though on some copies, the last track cuts off too soon). The above track titles are from the tracklisting found on the copies from Parasol. However, most mp3s in circulation feature different names for a few songs, usually as follows:
 1. Synthetic Flying Machine - 2:34
 2. Wood Guitar - 2:36
 3. Tuesday Moon - 4:01
 4. Swallowed - 1:42
 5. Tea Time - 0:07
 6. Ruby Bulbs - 1:53
 7. Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone - 3:32
 8. Biscuit - 2:47
 9. Los Angeles - 0:57
10. Piggy - 4:47
11. Engine - 3:37
Note that "Tea Time" and "Ruby Bulbs" (a.k.a. "Rubby Bulbs") are separate tracks, not joined together. "Synthetic Flying Machine" is the same song as "Up And Over We Go." "Swallowed" is the same song as "April 1st" (which is not to be confused with the totally different song with the similar name on On Avery Island). "Ruby Bulbs" is the same song as "Bomb Drop." "Los Angeles" is the same song as "Los Angelos Car Song."


Everything Is
(Cher Doll release)
A. Everything Is - 3:41
B. Snow Song Pt. One - 3:50

Release Date: 1994
Label: Cher Doll
Format: vinyl 7" (cat# 002)
Availability: out of print (but reissued, see below) (estimated eBay value: $46)
Comments: Jeff wrote the following text for the single: "hello and thank you for listening to my record. it's my first go at this 'legitimate' release stuff and i'm very happy to finally be on vinyl after five years of recording. nancy says she's gonna get some folks to distribute this single, so i have no idea where you are or how it has now come into your possesion. feel free to write to me cause i'd be glad to hear from you, so send all correspondence care of Cher Doll. 'everything is' was recorded two years ago in Amy Poole's bedroom. it was the first day of spring in Georgia and Amy had just whipped up a sweet batch of cornbread. it was nice to eat free food since i'd been unemployed for so long. 'snow song pt 1' was recorded in my second story bedroom above a nice patch of snow. (hence the title, of course) if you'd like to hear my friends' music, you can write to them at elephant 6 p.o. box 9935 Denver CO 80209 take care and thanks again"
Apparently the vinyl has "flippin tacos" and "that's right brother picker" written in the run-out grooves.
Limited Edition Version: There is also a special version of this release that includes a special color xerox sleeve by Jeff Mangum, as well as a pennant and other cool inserts (Jeff's above text is taken from the inlay). Here are a few pictures kindly contributed to the site by henrikhhh: record and sleeve back, inlay front, inlay back, inserts. There were only 50 copies of this pressing. Presumably, each of the 50 records came with a different pennant. (#26 came with a Kansas City pennant, and #5 with a Memphis pennant.)
Oh, and here's something Jeff later said in an interview about the single: "The single was a Godsend because I was pretty much at the end of my rope with just about everything in my life at that point. I'd moved away from my home and all my friends for the first time and I was very much alone and sad. I ended up sending a tape to Nancy at Cher Doll Records and she saved me merely by saying she wanted to do a single. I just sent her a tape of what I had around at the time, some songs I'd recorded on a four-track, and she chose 'Everything Is' and 'Snow Song Pt. 1.'"
 

 

Everything Is
(Fire release)
1. Everything Is - 3:41
2. Snow Song, Pt. 1 - 3:50
3. Aunt Eggma Blowtorch - 4:59

Release Date: 1995
Label: Fire
Format: CD (cat# Blaze79CD) and vinyl 7" (cat# Blaze79A)
Availability: out of print (but reissued, see below)
Comments: UK CD released by Fire Records. Quickly went out of print. Fire also put out a vinyl 7" of "Everything Is" b/w "Snow Song, Pt. 1".. basically a reissue of the above Cher Doll single, but with a new art. Pictures: front, back, side A, side B (Thanks to Chris Gilbert for the scans)
The CD release adds a song not on the previous pressings, the sound collage "Aunt Eggma Blowtorch" (previously found on the Beauty demo tape under the title "Hypnotic Sounds"). This track was recorded in Jeff's bedroom in Louisiana when he was 17 years old. Some of the sounds featured are his sister playing piano, his mother hearing sounds from space, the baby brother of Will Cullen Hart talking, a blender, and the music of Ornette Coleman.
 

 

Everything Is
(Orange Twin release)
1. Everything Is - 3:41
2. Snow Song, Pt. 1 - 3:50
3. Aunt Eggma Blowtorch - 4:59
4. Tuesday Moon - 2:20

Release Date: September 18, 2001
Label: Orange Twin
Format: CD (cat# OTR005)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Amazon)
Comments: Adds a song not on the previous pressing, "Tuesday Moon" (which is the same version from the Hype City demo, though it has been edited of the extended ending section).
 


On Avery Island
 1. Song Against Sex - 3:40
 2. You've Passed - 2:53
 3. Someone Is Waiting - 2:31
 4. A Baby for Pree - 1:21
 5. Marching Theme - 2:58
 6. Where You'll Find Me Now - 4:04
 7. Avery Island/April 1st - 1:48
 8. Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone - 3:13
 9. Three Peaches - 4:01
10. Naomi - 4:53
11. April 8th - 2:47
12. Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye - 13:49

Release Date: March 26, 1996
Label: Merge
Format: CD (cat# 53) and LP (cat# 103)
Availability: in print (Merge, Amazon) [vinyl also available from Merge]
Comments: The band's debut LP. Since shadowed by comparisons to Aeroplane, but an excellent album in its own right.
The final track on the vinyl versions is edited down to 3:28, skipping a large section of the middle and going straight to the drone fade-out.
Credits: Recorded at Elephant 6 and Dane and Marisa's house Feb-May 1995, except "Marching Theme" which occured in June of 1994. Produced by Robert Schnieder on 4-track. All songs written by Jeff Mangum, except "Avery Island" (Mangum/Schneider) and "Pree Sisters..." (Mangum/all players). All songs 1994, 1995 The Egg As A Whole Music. Cover design J. Mangum and Lisa Janssen.
Jeff Mangum - Guitar, Drums, Voices, Bells, Xylophone, Air Organ, Casio, Tapes
Robert Schneider - Air Organs, Home Organs, Fuzz Bass, Xylophone, Horn Arrangements
Lisa Janssen - Fuzz Bass on "You've Passed" and "Gardenhead"
Rick Benjamin - Trombone on "Avery Island", "Song Against Sex", and "Gardenhead"
Marisa Bissinger, Hilarie Sidney, Dane Terry, Lisa Janssen, Aaron Reedy, and Jeff Mangum - various Indonesian instruments on "Pree Sisters"
 

Jeff: The album was recorded in Denver with Robert Schneider from The Apples In Stereo. Robert's a friend I met in second grade, we must have been about eight years old at the time. It was January in Denver, freezing cold and snowing all over. I moved into a friend's house and was living in a closet and it was cold, not only because of the weather but because it was a haunted house. The closet I was living in was haunted. The person that lived in the house kept having dreams of people having cocktail parties in my closet, there would always be these really beautiful women in really tacky fur coats drinking champagne and telling my friend that we should get the fuck out of their party because we were really pissing them off... So I lived in my closet and listened to a lot of John Coltrane and waited about a month to start recording. Robert and I would get stuck on something when we were recording and walk around and grab our heads and get really frustrated, go outside and have a cigarette and go to the store, and then we'd suddenly hit on something and we'd jump up and down and hug each other. The whole album just blurs in a beautiful way to me, like a dream, because I guess my whole life the past three years has been geared towards the end which is the album itself. It's sort of the culmination of the whole experience.


On Avery Island
(Fire release)
 1. Song Against Sex - 3:40
 2. You've Passed - 2:53
 3. Someone Is Waiting - 2:31
 4. A Baby for Pree - 1:21
 5. Marching Theme - 2:58
 6. Where You'll Find Me Now - 4:04
 7. Avery Island/April 1st - 1:48
 8. Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone - 3:13
 9. Three Peaches - 4:01
10. Naomi - 4:53
11. April 8th - 2:47
12. Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye - 13:49
13. Everything Is - 3:41
14. Snow Song Pt. 1 - 3:50

Release Date: September 9, 1996, reissued January 7, 2008
Label: Fire Records
Format: CD and LP (cat# FIRE 53)
Availability: out of print
Comments: This UK version features an alternate cover with art by Jill Carnes, plus two additional tracks, "Everything Is" and "Snow Song Pt. 1" taken from the Everything Is single, added without permission. It didn't stay in print very long, however, and copies of this version are quite hard to find these days. It was reissued in 2008, however, originally intended to be a deluxe edition with live/rare bonus tracks, but unfortunately that plan fell through and the only bonus tracks were the same original 2 bonus tracks from the Everything Is single. The reissue comes repackaged in double gatefold digipak sleeve and includes both the original US and UK Artwork.

On Avery Island
(unmastered)
Avery Island/April 1st
Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone
A Baby For Pree
Marching Theme
Song Against Sex
Where You'll Find Me Now
Three Peaches
Naomi
April 8th
Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye

Format: cassette
Comments: The unmastered version submitted to Merge (and floated about on cassette by Robert) was different than the final release. One fan recalls:
If you listen to this sequence (and are able to block out the sequence you are used to) you'll see that it's a superior record to the final release (the unmastered version is especially good). Anyway, Merge thought the record was short and wanted two more songs - Robert had just upgraded from his 4-track to his 8-track machine, and so they did "You've Passed" and "Someone Is Waiting" on that (which is why there is a fidelity difference between those two songs and the rest of the record) - the sequence was then shifted about in order to accommodate the additional tracks, and then ironically had to chop up "Pree-Sisters" to fit on vinyl - for those of us who had spent the better part of a year grooving to the cassette, the release was a substantial letdown. the unmastered tape has considerably more bass (the mastering carved out frequency throughout the spectrum, but especially from the lo end) and relies primarily upon the tape itself for compression




In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
 1. The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1 - 2:00
 2. King of Carrot Flowers, Pts. 2-3 - 3:06
 3. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - 3:22
 4. Two-Headed Boy - 4:26
 5. The Fool - 1:53
 6. Holland, 1945 - 3:12
 7. Communist Daughter - 1:57
 8. Oh Comely - 8:18
 9. Ghost - 4:08
10.                          - 2:16
11. Two-Headed Boy, Pt. 2 - 5:13

Release Date: February 10, 1998
Label: Merge
Format: CD and LP (cat# 136)
Availability: in print (Merge, Amazon) [vinyl also available from Merge] [import cd and vinyl available from Domino]
Import Releases: Released in the UK on May 18, 1998 by Blue Rose Records on CD and LP (cat# BRRC 10192) immediately before that label went bankrupt. Reissued in the UK by Domino Records on Septemeber 5, 2005, featuring a cardboard sleeve that goes around the cd case with gushing quotes from other artists. Domino put it out on both CD (cat# REWIGCD21) and LP (cat# REWIGLP21).
Comments: The band's breakthrough masterpiece. Seems to grow in popularity as time goes by. Magnet magazine even ranked it #1 in their "top albums of the past decade (1993-2003)" list.
Most of this album was recorded at Robert Schneider's "Pet Sounds studio" in Denver in 1997.
Credits: Produced by Robert Schneider. Recorded in the Elephant 6 Recording Company July - Sept. 1997. All songs written by Jeff Mangum, except "The Fool" (Scott Spillane) and "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. Two" (Barnes/Koster/Magnum/Mangum/Spillane). All songs 1996/1997 The Egg As A Whole Music. Horn Arrangements: Robert Schneider and Scott Spillane. Art direction: Chris Bilheimer and Jeff Mangum. "Flying Victrola" art by Brian Dewan. Guidance: Robert Schneider, Brian McPhearson, Margaret Mittleman, and all at Elephant Six.
"The Players"

Jeff Mangum - Guitar, Voice, Organ, Floortom, Bowed Fuzz Bass, Tapes, Shortwave Radio
Jeremy Barnes - Drums, Organ
Scott Spillane - Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone, Euphonium
Julian Koster - Wandering Genie, The Singing Saw, Bowed Banjo, Accordion, White Noise
"With"
Robert Schneider - Home Organ, Air Organ, Fuzz Bass, Harmony Vocal, One-Note Piano
Laura Carter - Zanzithophone
Rick Benjamin - Trombone
Marisa Bissinger - Saxophone, Flugelhorn
Michelle Anderson - Uilleann Pipes

Jeff: I felt that I had to really challenge myself and come up with music that maybe I feel a little uncomfortable with when I'm writing it. And then I need to take a step back and decide is it something that could convey beauty or not. This record wouldn't be this record without the band. I think that's something that isn't stressed enough usually, because they've had a very huge influence on me. I think the extent of the credit I get for this is a little much. Scott [Spillane], the man who played the horns, has got a certain style that's all his own which has sort of grown through us playing together for a number of years. And then Jeremy [Barnes] the drummer is just amazing. Julian [Koster] always has something magic up his sleeve, things that make it really exciting. Recording with Robert [Schneider, of The Apples in stereo, who produced Aeroplane], having him being able to produce and have such a real feel for music is really important.
 


Holland, 1945
A. Holland, 1945 - 3:14
B. Engine - 3:13

Release Date: October 13, 1998
Label: Blue Rose Records
Format: vinyl 7" (cat# BRRC 10237)
Availability: out of print (estimated eBay value $50-70)
Comments: 7" picture disc, with fold-out poster. Here're the pictures for side A and side B. All copies seem to have "no 72" stamped on the top left-hand corner of the poster, but this is apparently only part of the artwork, and does not indicate an individually numbered copy. However, hand-numbered stickers were affixed to the original plastic bag/sleeve it came in (picture of #480). These singles were a limited edition of 1000... or so I thought until someone owning copy #1053 emailed me. So now I'm rather clueless. If you know-- or have a higher numbered sticker-- please let me know. Plus, it gets even more blurry given the info shared by NMH fan lou2ser: "I believe it was released 2 times, orginally by Blue Rose (the numbered ones) and then again by Orange Twin (un-numbered). If I recall correctly, Orange Twin found a box full of this release a few years after Blue Rose sold out and they sold them through www.orangetwin.com. Both releases are from the same presssing, only some are numbered and some are not."
Anyways, "Holland, 1945" is the album version. The version of "Engine" on this release was recorded in a London Underground station underneath Piccadilly Circus. The same version can also be found on the Oh, Merge compilation CD.

There is also a rare UK promo CD featuring these same two tracks, sans artwork. It was put out by Blue Rose Records on October 19, 1998, presumably for radio play consideration (cat# BRRC 10237PROMO) picture
 


Jeff Mangum - Live at Jittery Joe's
 1. introduction - 0:26
 2. A Baby For Pree / Glow Into You - 3:50
 3. Two-Headed Boy - 5:40
 4. I Will Bury You In Time - 3:51
 5. Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone - 3:44
 6. Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2 - 5:37
 7. I Love How You Love Me (Phil Spector song) - 3:26
 8. Engine - 5:13
 9. Naomi - 5:19
10. King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 2 - 1:25
11. King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3 - 2:52
12. Oh Comely - 7:56

Release Date: August 28, 2001
Label: Orange Twin
Format: CD (cat# OT004) and LP (cat#  SODY030)
Availability: in print (Orange Twin, Amazon). Vinyl also in print, released October 2005 by Isota Records.
Comments: Solo acoustic performance in 'The Starlit Crypt' at a coffeehouse in Athens, GA on March 7, 1997. In addition to audio playable on a normal CD player, this is an enhanced CD that includes QuickTime video of the entire show that you can watch on your computer, shot by R.E.M. cameraman and independent film maker Lance Bangs. It's just Jeff in almost complete darkness, with a few colored lights hanging behind him and a small child cavorting in the background. Though an official release, the sound quality has "bootleg" all over it. Even small gaps between tracks. Still, a nice disc for any obsessed NMH fan. Highlights include an otherwise unreleased song called "I Will Bury You In Time", the Phil Spector song (actually written by Barry Mann and Larry Kolber, but Spector produced the Paris Sisters version which popularized the song in 1961), and an early version of "Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2" that includes a great extended ending not on the album version.
For more info on this release, visit http://www.orangetwin.com/jittery.html
 


Neutral Milk Hotel (vinyl box set)vinyl box set cover

On Avery Island
12" Deluxe Gatefold
Neutral Milk Hotel's debut album, released by Merge Records in 1996.
        Song Against Sex
        You've Passed
        Someone Is Waiting
        A Baby for Pree
        Marching Theme
        Where You'll Find Me Now
        Avery Island/April 1st
        Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone
        Three Peaches
        Naomi
        April 8th
        Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey's Eye

In The Aeroplane Over The Sea

12" Deluxe Gatefold
Neutral Milk Hotel's second album, released by Merge Records in 1998.
        The King of Carrot Flowers Pt 1
        The King of Carrot Flowers Pts 2 & 3
        In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
        Two-Headed Boy
        The Fool
        Holland, 1945
        Communist Daughter
        Oh Comely
        Ghost
        Untitled
        Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2

Everything Is
10" EP
Remastered 10" featuring the four songs from the original release plus three bonus tracks and new artwork.
        Everything Is
        Here We Are (for W. Cullen Hart)
        Unborn
        Tuesday Moon
        Ruby Bulbs
        Snow Song, Pt. 1
        Aunt Eggma Blowtorch

Ferris Wheel On Fire
Bonus 10" EP
Previously unreleased 10" featuring eight acoustic recordings (seven studio tracks heard here for the first time)
        Oh Sister
        Ferris Wheel on Fire
        Home
        April 8th
        I Will Bury You In Time
        Engine
        A Baby For Pree/Glow Into You
        My Dream Girl Don't Exist (Live)

Holland, 1945
7" Picture Disk
Originally released in 1998 and out of print ever since, featuring a remastered version of Holland 1945 with full color poster.
        Holland, 1945
        Engine

You've Passed / Where You'll Fine Me Now
Two early unreleased 4-track recordings, in some ways superior to the "Avery Island" versions.
        You've Passed
        Where You'll Find Me Now

Little Birds
7" record
Two versions of "Little Birds", one a previously unreleased studio recording and one remastered version performed live in Athens, GA on December 5, 1998.
        Little Birds (studio)
        Little Birds (live)

two posters
24" x 24"
One featuring the flying gramophone image from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea insert by artist Brian Dewan.
The other poster features the "woman leaking with light" front cover image of the box set, printed with silver ink on black paper.

Release Date: December 12, 2011
Label: Neutral Milk Hotel Records
Format: vinyl (cat# NMH001)
Availability: in print (http://walkingwallofwords.com/).
Comments: Announced in August 2011, this marked the first release of "new" Neutral Milk Hotel material since 1998. The self-released vinyl-only box set includes fifteen previously unreleased tracks. These newly-released songs should eventually also be available as pay-what-you-wish downloads. The set includes two gatefold 12" records (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and On Avery Island), two 10" records (Everything Is EP with bonus tracks and Ferris Wheel on Fire EP featuring eight previously unreleased acoustic recordings), two 7" records (Little Birds and You've Passed/Where You'll Find Me Now), one 7" picture disc with fold-out poster (Holland 1945/Engine), and two 24"x24" posters.


 

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