The Story of Merge Records

“There are also hazards associated with having a record label in your bedroom.

The tape gun nearly killed me a few times.”

Cook_OurNoise_pbk_jkt_rgb_web_HR (2)Merge Records defies everything you’ve heard about the music business. Started by two twenty-year-old musicians, Laura Ballance (quoted above) and Mac McCaughan, Merge is a lesson in how to make and market great music on a human scale. Human — and awesome. Superchunk, Butterglory, Neutral Milk Hotel, Lambchop, Spoon, the Magnetic Fields, the Arcade Fire — and so many more.

This week in our North Carolina corner of the world, the indie label that got big and stayed small is celebrating 25 years of producing some of the best music of our time. Merge 25 is a festival full of acclaimed bands who still feel like your own secret discovery. Merge 25 is a celebration of what happens when the good guys win.

We’re so proud to have published Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records by John Cook with Mac and Laura. And on this auspicious occasion, we’re so happy to make Our Noise available in e-book for the first time! It’s the story of Merge from the people who were there, from the beginning, with candid photos from back in the day, shots of the first silkscreened record covers, scrawled-out setlists and postcards from the road.

Chunk at CBGB’s, New Year’s Eve 1989


Superchunk poster 1992

Check out this fabulous Google Play video, “Merge Records: 25 Years in 24 Minutes,” too.

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2 comments on “The Story of Merge Records

  1. This is quite a refreshing concept for a book. We might just have to check it out!

  2. This is quite a refreshing concept for a book. We might just have to check it out!

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