NEWS Neutral Milk Hotel Announce Career-Spanning Vinyl Box Set, Share Previously Unreleased Song: Listen The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel features both of the group’s LPs, along with live recordings, alternate takes, unreleased material, and more By Madison Bloom
January 10, 2023 Neutral Milk Hotel Photo courtesy of Neutral Milk Hotel Neutral Milk Hotel have announced a career-spanning vinyl box set. The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel includes both of the group’s LPs—1996’s On Avery Island and 1998’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea—as well as live recordings, alternate takes, unreleased material, and more. The collection arrives February 24 via Merge.
Among the perviously unreleased tracks included in the box set is “Little Birds,” which has been released digitally today for the first time. Hear it below and scroll down for images of the box set.
“Little Birds,” according to a press release, is a song that Neutral Milk Hotel mastermind Jeff Mangum wrote in 1998 and played at a friend’s party later that day. He wrote the track after a confrontation with a street preacher in Athens, Georgia, who was spewing hatred aimed at LGBTQ+ people. A small group of people, including Mangum, gathered and shouted back at him, and the preacher eventually left the scene. Mangum didn’t play the song again for 10 years, but it was eventually recorded live at the Prospect Park Bandshell in Brooklyn during Neutral Milk Hotel’s 2014 reunion tour. The latter version is the one included in the Merge box set.
In 2011, Mangum collected nearly all of the band’s recorded output in a limited-edition box set, which he self-released via Neutral Milk Hotel Records—a small operation run by Mangum and his mother. The Merge edition marks the collection’s first digital release and includes an expanded 2xLP edition of On Avery Island, an exclusive 12" picture disc of Live at Jittery Joe’s (recorded in 1997), the “Holland, 1945” b/w “Engine” 7" on black vinyl with brand new artwork, and more.
The set also features a remastered version of the 1994 Everything Is 7", which has been pressed to 10" vinyl as an extended EP. Mangum has also added a few songs from that period: “Unborn,” “You’ve Passed,” and “Where You’ll Find Me Now.” The Ferris Wheel on Fire 10" EP includes the addition of “My Dream Girl Don’t Exist.”
Revisit “How Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Became a Polarizing Cult Classic” and check out Pitchfork’s list of “The 150 Best Albums of the 1990s.”
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The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel Neutral Milk Hotel: The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel $165 AT ROUGH TRADE The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel:
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea:
01 King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1 02 King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3 03 In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 04 Two-Headed Boy 05 Fool 06 Holland, 1945 07 Communist Daughter 08 Oh Comely 09 Ghost 10 (untitled) 11 Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2
On Avery Island:
01 Song Against Sex 02 You’ve Passed 03 Someone Is Waiting 04 A Baby for Pree 05 Marching Theme 06 Where You’ll Find Me Now 07 Avery Island/April 1st 08 Gardenhead/Leave Me Alone 09 Three Peaches 10 Naomi 11 April 8th 12 Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye
Ferris Wheel on Fire:
01 Oh Sister (1995) 02 Ferris Wheel On Fire (1993) 03 Home (1992) 04 April 8th (1992) 05 I Will Bury You in Time (1994) 06 Engine (1993) 07 A Baby for Pree/Glow Into You (1995) 08 My Dream Girl Don’t Exist (Live) (1992)
01 Everything Is 02 Here We Are (For W. Cullen Hart) 03 Unborn 04 Tuesday Moon 05 Ruby Bulb 06 Snow Song 07 Aunt Eggma Blow Torch
01 Little Birds (Live) (1998) 02 Little Birds (Studio Demo) (1998)
You’ve Passed / Where You’ll Find Me Now:
01 You’ve Passed (Alternate Version) 02 Where You’ll Find Me Now (Alternate Version)
Live at Jittery Joe’s:
01 Intro 02 A Baby for Pree 03 Two-Headed Boy 04 I Will Bury You in Time 05 Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone 06 Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2 07 I Love How You Love Me 08 Engine 09 Naomi 10 King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 2 11 King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3 12 Oh Comely