I was attempting to organize my basement this past weekend and I stumbled on some old Magnetic Fields
7" sleeves that I had forgotten about. This discovery gave me the idea to share the story behind the sleeves.
In September 1991, the Magnetic Fields debut 7" 100,000 Fireflies b/w Old Orchard Beach
was released on Harriet Records
, out of Boston. The cover of the single was a painting by Linda Smith
that Stephin Merritt
had on display in his apartment. The original painting had been painted in color, but the record sleeves were initially printed one color (silver). In April 1992, Tim Alborn
from Harriet Records, wanted to do a special run of the single with a full color sleeve, but the cost was prohibitive. At the time, I had a job at Kinko's and I told Tim I could get him "a deal" on color copies if he wanted to go that route. With this deal presenting itself, somehow Tim talked Stephin into sending his original painting to a kid at a Kinko's in Washington state. When the painting arrived I printed 500 sleeves in full color, hand folded each of them, and then shipped both the painting and the sleeves back to Boston. Shortly thereafter the limited edition 100,000 Fireflies
7" w/ full-color sleeve was released. That's how the "alternate cover" (as it is sometimes referred to) came to be.
Today we have both 100,000 Fireflies
and the b-side Old Orchard Beach
from this debut single. For what it's worth, in 2004, Glide Magazine (?)
ranked the song 100,000 Fireflies
on its list of the 20 Top Modern Rock Songs Of The Past Decade (1994-2004)
right behind Oasis
. Happy Friday! Have a great long weekend.