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Merge Records Turns 25: A Timeline of the Beloved Label’s History

Merge Records turns 25 this year, and the North Carolina label is celebrating its milestone birthday in grand fashion: there’s the ongoing, bimonthly subscription-based singles series Or Thousands of Prizes; the monthly reissue campaign honoring classic albums from the Merge back catalog; and the four-day Merge 25 music festival, which is happening right now in the business’ home state, and features live performances by Superchunk, Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Teenage Fanclub, Destroyer, Bob Mould, Mikal Cronin, Wye Oak, and many other artists affiliated with the Merge Records family. For our part, we’ve put together a timeline of key moments from Merge’s first quarter-century. This isn’t a list of the best albums released under the label’s banner, but rather, a collection of signposts that mark Merge’s progress and growth from a tiny DIY venture into an indie-rock institution.