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Neutral Milk Hotel Rounds Up Collected Works For New Boxed Set

Expansive collection features a host of rare, never-before-released tracks
Neutral Milk Hotel performing in 2015 (photo: Chris McKay / Getty Images).

Neutral Milk Hotel remains one of the more enigmatic bands in the annals of American indie rock, but the Feb. 24 release of a career-spanning boxed set may help shed some new light on their output. The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel will arrive Feb. 24 from Merge and includes the Jeff Mangum-led group’s two studio albums, two 10-inch vinyl EPs, a live album, and two seven-inch singles.

Much of this material appeared on a very limited-edition set self-released by Mangum in 2011 through Neutral Milk Hotel Records, which was never released digitally. Several rarities appear on the upcoming Merge version, including a previously unreleased live recording of “Little Birds.” Mangum wrote the song in 1998 and performed it later that day at a friend’s party; that long-bootlegged version is out today (Jan. 10) and will be backed on one of the 7-inch singles by a demo of the track.


For the Everything Is 10-inch, Mangum has tacked on additional material originally sourced from a 1994 cassette he made for late Olivia Tremor Control member Bill Doss. Early four-track versions from this time period of the On Avery Island songs “You’ve Passed” and “Where You’ll Find Me Now” appear for the first time on their own seven-inch, having been found on a cassette in a shoebox belonging to Neutral Milk Hotel producer Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo.

Elsewhere, the 10-inch Ferris Wheels on Fire EP compiles songs Mangum had written years before but didn’t record until re-teaming with Schneider in 2010, and the 1997 live album Live at Jittery Joe’s, first released in 2001 to offset rampant bootlegging, finds Mangum performing solo versions of material that would eventually appear on the following year’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

Neutral Milk Hotel dropped off the face of the earth following the touring cycle in support of that album, promptly turning Mangum and his bandmates into indie rock cult heroes. Mangum finally began performing again in 2008 and toured as a solo act during 2011-12, with Neutral Milk Hotel officially reuniting in 2013 and remaining active for a two-year period.

Here is the track list for The Collected Works of Neutral Milk Hotel:

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea LP
“King of the Carrot Flowers Pt. 1”
“King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3”
“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”
“Two-Headed Boy”
“Holland, 1945”
“Communist Daughter”
“Oh Comely”
“Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2”

On Avery Island LP
“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”
“April 8th”
“Pree-Sisters Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye”

Ferris Wheel on Fire 10-inch
“Oh Sister” (1995)
“Ferris Wheel on Fire” (1993)
“Home” (1992)
“April 8th” (1992)
“I Will Bury You in Time” (1994)
“Engine” (1993)
“A Baby for Pree/Glow Into You” (1995)
“My Dream Girl Don’t Exist” (Live) (1992)

Everything Is 10-inch
“Everything Is”
“Here We Are (For W. Cullen Hart)”
“Tuesday Moon”
“Ruby Bulb”
“Snow Song”
“Aunt Eggma Blow Torch”

Little Birds 7-inch
“Little Birds” (Live) (1998)
“Little Birds” (Studio Demo) (1998)

You’ve Passed / Where You’ll Find Me Now 7-inch
“You’ve Passed” (Alternate Version)
“Where You’ll Find Me Now” (Alternate Version)

Live at Jittery Joe’s
“A Baby for Pree”
“Two-Headed Boy”
“I Will Bury You in Time”
“Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone”
“Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2”
“I Love How You Love Me”
“King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 2”
“King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 3”
“Oh Comely”