Mercury Rev

Catskills, New York, US
Artist / Band / Musician
Experimental / Rock / Turntablism

for more info please visit:

The Official Mercury Rev Website


Before the War

New Mercury Rev photos (and photos of Lisse) by VK-RED
for more fotos of Mercury Rev visit:


You can purchase THE ESSENTIAL MERCURY REV: STILLNESS BREATHES (1991-2006) and our HELLO BLACKBIRD soundtrack (as well as our other CD's, some vinyl, and T-Shirts) directly from our official website store by clicking right here!



".demonstrates that the best of MERCURY REV is as good as pretty much anybody's" MOJO, November 2006

THE ESSENTIAL MERCURY REV: STILLNESS BREATHES (1991-2006) is a 2 disc retrospective from the band; Disc 1 features songs from the band's first 6 album releases, and disc 2 features BBC sessions, Demos, Peel Sessions, Rarities, and other assorted delightful sounds. HELLO BLACKBIRD (recorded during 2004) is a soundtrack inspired by and written for the motion picture BYE BYE BLACKBIRD


"an atmosphere pregnant with mystery and wonder, tempered by an underlying melancholy" - THE INDEPENDENT, November 3, 2006




MERCURY REV was formed in Buffalo, New York in the late 1980's. Consistently
driven by Jonathan Donahue (vocalist/acoustic guitar), Grasshopper (moth-light
guitars, clarinet, tettix wave accumulator), Jeff Mercel (drums/piano) with Dave Fridmann (bass explore,
telescope, knob twiddler), Mercury Rev have continued to surprise and enlighten
listeners for over a decade and a half with their maverick musical explorations.

In the beginning, MERCURY REV's first recordings emerged simply as a means for
creating soundtracks to experimental films that they and their friends were
creating. David Baker (sometimes vocals), Suzanne Thorpe (flutes), and Jimy
Chambers (percussion) joined this loosely connected ensemble, and eventually
recorded a demo during off-hours at the SUNY Fredonia studio. This demo somehow
made its way to the British offices of the Jungle/Mint label, who contacted
Donahue about signing the group. MERCURY REV reconvened to record their debut,
YERSELF IS STEAM. Highlighted by distorted art-pop epics like "Chasing a Bee",
"Coney Island Cyclone", and "Frittering", YERSELF IS STEAM was released to
widespread acclaim in 1991. Later that year, the CAR WASH HAIR E.P. further
convinced pundits of MERCURY REV's volatile genius. The group's second show
(playing to over 10,000 people) at the Reading Festival in the UK, showed the
dynamics of their live show, and during the next year and a half they found
themselves performing at such diverse venues as the Royal Albert Hall in London
and in an opening slot for Bob Dylan at Yale University.
The release of BOCES in 1993 was a continuation of their marriage of searing
noise with crystalline pop. Although this became their first record to hit the
UK Top 50, by the next year, musical differences led to the departure of David
Baker. Dave Fridmann, on the other hand, decided to focus on sound engineering
and production, and ceased touring with the band (continuing to work with them
in the studio). By the time the beautiful SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE appeared in
1995, the first chapter in MERCURY REV's maverick career had drawn to a close.
While critics marveled over the wonderfully eclectic pop-jazz experiments of
"Everlasting Arm", and "Racing the Tide", the band grappled with puzzling
personal predicaments. Switching record labels and nearly broke, Donahue and
Hopper relocated to the Catskill Mountains in New York State with newcomers
Adam Snyder (keyboards) and Jeff Mercel to begin writing new material. Chambers
and Thorpe, unable to deal with the band's continuous chaos, decided to move on.

The band began recording what was to become DESERTER'S SONGS during 1997 at Dave
Fridmann's Tarbox Recording Studio. DESERTER'S SONGS was released in 1998 to
world-wide acclaim. On this influential album, MERCURY REV reinvented itself
with sweeping orchestrations and poetically heartfelt lyrics. It would herald a
rebirth for the band, allowing for further experimentation and thrill-seeking.
MERCURY REV toured extensively for DESERTER'S SONGS, which was chosen as album
of the year by the NME, MOJO, and many other international music publications. The songs "Goddess on a Hiway", "Holes", and "Opus 40" have become classics which have taken on a mythical life all their own.
Recorded at the end of 2000/early 2001, their follow-up ALL IS DREAM found
MERCURY REV once again broadening their musical horizons with cinematic bombast.
Older and slightly wiser, the band stumbled into exhilarating new musical
galaxies on such songs as "The Dark Is Rising", "Little Rhymes", and "Tides of
the Moon." They toured the world for most of 2002, and began recording songs
with Dave Fridmann during the early months of 2003. During this "time off" they
were also involved with composing pieces for various film soundtracks (including HELLO BLACKBIRD, the soundtrack for the film BYE BYE BLACKBIRD).
THE SECRET MIGRATION came out at the beginning of 2005 and David Fricke
wrote:"Mercury Rev have finally made their great life-cycle album, their own
DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, except this one ends in promise and light."
MERCURY REV have finished recording a brilliant new album, SNOWFLAKE MIDNIGHT which will be released on September 29, 2008. Check for all the latest updates and info here!

-Jack Bishop THE HOLOGRAPHIC PRESS (senior editor)

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