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Natalie Merchant

After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music, while her solo debut -- 1995's Tigerlily -- helped pave the way for a number of female performers in a pre-Lilith Fair market. She continued releasing albums well into the 2000s, often examining specific genres or subjects, although Tigerlily remained her biggest-selling record.

Born October 26, 1963, in Jamestown, New York, Merchant joined 10,000 Maniacs at the age of 17 and became the band's driving artistic force. After a pair of successful independent releases, they signed to Elektra in 1985 and briefly became one of the most popular acts in alternative rock, shooting into the Top 40 with 1987's In My Tribe and charting even higher with their follow-up effort, Blind Man's Zoo. Merchant's desire to launch a solo career increased and the band's reputation continued to grow. By the time the group sat down to record 1992's Our Time in Eden, she gave her bandmates two years' notice. Following the release of MTV Unplugged in 1994, she publicly announced she was leaving the group's ranks.

Merchant made her solo debut with 1995's Tigerlily, a self-produced album that debuted at number 13 and scored a Top Ten single with "Carnival." Two additional singles, "Wonder" and "Jealousy," also cracked the Top 40, prompting Tigerlily to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone. It was followed in 1998 by Ophelia, another platinum-selling effort that was supported by Merchant's inclusion in the second Lilith Fair tour. Live in Concert, recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theatre, appeared a year later. A prominent social activist, Merchant also drew notice by campaigning in the name of such hot-button issues as animal rights, domestic violence, and homelessness.

Merchant launched a folk tour in 2000, with members of progressive folk band the Horse Flies joining her on the road. She then returned to her solo career with Motherland. Two years later, Merchant left Elektra's roster and formed her own independent label, Myth America, in order to issue House Carpenter's Daughter, a collection of traditional and contemporary folk music inspired by the 2000 tour. A long period of silence followed, during which a pair of greatest-hits releases -- the 10,000 Maniacs collection Campfire Songs and Merchant's own Retrospective: 1995-2005 -- kept fans relatively sated. As the decade drew to a close, though, Merchant signed with Nonesuch Records and began making plans for a new album, which eventually arrived in the form of the ambitious, double-disc neo-children's album, 2010's Leave Your Sleep.

In 2013 she spearheaded the making of the protest concert film Dear Governor Cuomo with New Yorkers Against Fracking, which included actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, and filmmakers Jon Bowermaster and Alex Gibney. A year later, she directed and produced Shelter: A Concert Film to Benefit Victims of Domestic Violence and returned to straight-ahead pop music making with a self-titled album.

Over the next year, Merchant revisited the songs from Tigerlily (which sold over five million copies), rearranging and re-recording the material to reflect how it had evolved over two decades of performance. She also created a documentary about the original album's influence on friends, fans, and fellow musicians. In the fall of 2015, Nonesuch released the package as Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andrew Leahey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Natalie Merchant

1. Ladybird

2. Maggie Said

3. Texas

4. Go Down Moses

5. Seven Deadly Sins

6. Giving Up Everything

7. Black Sheep

8. It's A-Coming

9. Lulu (Introduction)

10. Lulu

11. The End

x

Track List: Leave Your Sleep

Disc 1

1. Nursery Rhyme Of Innocence And Experience

2. Equestrienne

3. Calico Pie

4. Bleezer's Ice-Cream

5. It Makes A Change

6. The King Of China's Daughter

7. The Dancing Bear

8. The Man In The Wilderness

9. Maggie And Milly And Molly And May

10. If No One Ever Marries Me

11. The Sleepy Giant

12. The Peppery Man

13. The Blind Men And The Elephant

Disc 2

1. Adventures Of Isabel

2. The Walloping Window Blind

3. Topsyturvey-World

4. The Janitor's Boy

5. Griselda

6. The Land Of Nod

7. Vain And Careless

8. Crying, My Little One

9. Sweet And A Lullaby

10. I Saw A Ship A-Sailing

11. Autumn Lullaby

12. Spring And Fall: To A Young Child

13. Indian Names

x

Track List: Retrospective 1995-2005 [Limited Edition, Disc 1 of 2]

1. Wonder

2. Carnival

3. Jealousy

4. San Andreas Fault

5. Kind & Generous

6. Break Your Heart

7. Life Is Sweet

8. The Living

9. Build A Levee

10. Not In This Life

11. Motherland

12. Owensboro

13. Sally Ann

x

Track List: The House Carpenter's Daughter

1. Sally Ann

2. Which Side Are You On?

3. Crazy Man Michael

4. Diver Boy

5. Weeping Pilgrim

6. Soldier, Soldier

7. Bury Me Under The Weeping Williow

8. House Carpenter

9. Owensboro

10. Down On Penny's Farm

11. Poor Wayfaring Stranger

x

Track List: Motherland

1. This House Is On Fire

2. Motherland

3. Saint Judas

4. Put the Law on You

5. Build A Levee

6. Golden Boy

7. Henry Darger

8. The Worst Thing

9. Tell Yourself

10. Just Can't Last

11. Not In This Life

12. I'm Not Gonna Beg

x

Track List: Ophelia

1. Ophelia

2. Life Is Sweet

3. Kind & Generous

4. Frozen Charlotte

5. My Skin

6. Break Your Heart

7. King Of May

8. Thick As Thieves

9. Effigy

10. The Living

11. When They Ring The Golden Bells

x

Track List: Tigerlily

1. San Andreas Fault

2. Wonder

3. Beloved Wife

4. River

5. Carnival

6. I May Know The Word

7. The Letter

8. Cowboy Romance

9. Jealousy

10. Where I Go

11. Seven Years

x

Track List: Ladybird (Single)

1. Ladybird

Comments

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Where's the lyrics?
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does any one know the real story behind Wonder. I heard an interview with her on the radio once and I think she told a story of a being born with a crippling disease and it just went away to the amazement of all that saw it happen. would like to find an article on it somewhere but can't find it. does has anyone else heard this or know where to find it?
please let me know Paul.
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Ignore morons like Zorro-misogy n y lives :/. I've been listening and loving Natalie Merchant music for decades, great memories from seeing her in concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl! A true force.
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She magificent I love u Natalie mercent
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bluemagic58
Help me understand what happened. I was broken but still hazy. He's not with me anymore, Christmas 2015 last time I felt you. My heart hurts
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bluemagic58
If I am, it feels great. For even this moment in my life I'm blessed.
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bluemagic58
Seven really, I'm I just throwing punches in the air.
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Me again, love always your way
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You are perfect within what beauty you create. Nothing I would ever want different.
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She perfection in her pun way, simply celestial. I know where she belongs!
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Sweet
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Merchant; she peddles emotions that are bought sight unseen and only after they are opened do the effects hit home. Some sweet, some bitter, some sad and some grateful. I have been a customer for a long time.
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Love is abundant and non judgemental or possesive, just is. And beautiful
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2 Andrew tucci
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My favorite song, I say that about every one but I love some more than others, but I would not give up any. She seems to reveal each song to the core with little effort but loads of emotion. My guess is she does deliver a full delivery with each one
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Women in folk always touches my heart and soul, feel it? Womens struggle to be heard, independent women. Wow soooo goood
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taylorsharp7 5
Natalie,Sara h M,damn y'all,the 90s were the women's decade of music.
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God blessed Miss Merchant with a beautiful voice. Nice 2 hear her solo. Always dug her sound w/10K.M.
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10KM much better band without her IMO
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10K Maniacs was a perfect name, first song heard that name just was there for remembering, like Natalie's voice. Really like her latest couple of albums, not suprised
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Talk about a mistakenly named band--10,000 Maniacs? Hardly.
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wonderful use of a wonderful voice, so glad she cast her net so wide & far
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I love Natalie
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true artist
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wonderful - will always be appreciative of her songs
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I have two friends who have BPD and Natalie has BPD and wrote this song about BPD-intense.
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p2aguados
Perfect!
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p2aguados
Perfect!
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WOW
I FORGOT how Deep Natalie is!
Great voice!
Beautiful woman....
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Tremendous, I love her!
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Truly a great artist.
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My favorite artist
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Commanding lyrics, that's Natalie Merchant.
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mike3345mike
fine job Natalie !!!
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lanahamilton 2 2 2
Thank you for this inspiring song
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Dedicated to my amazing parents~ I wanna thank you~~~
LRF
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The best song of hers is ' River'.
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itsmemsti71
First heard her songs from 10,000 maniacs and have been in love with her voice and lyrics every since then she just amazing
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Love her voice... Sometimes can't understand the words she's singing
:/
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Such a unique voice, unlike no other.
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Love this girl 4ever !
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Isiisodc
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Would someone please give bobonnit a dictionary so that he can look up the definition of the word ''droll''? He seems to think it means depressing or maybe droning, when actually it means humorous or whimsical. For someone who seems to pride himself on his alleged intelligence , I would think he would be embarrassed by this frequent error.
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I appreciate her contribution s to our cultural, musical and intellectual society. I have gained, in my journey's, from the times when maniacs were regular over the waves. I most appreciate ~My Beloved Wife~ and, too, many other works from Nat. Thank you, ma'am!
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I have always found her style to be droll, monotone and depressing. Thumbs down, I'm not having any
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Her voice is so comforting. I listen to her music when I am in pain. God bless you Natalie.
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ann.ericson
I love all the positive and uplifting comments about Natalie (and 10,000 maniacs). So glad her beautiful music, lyrics and voice has inspired so many people :D
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Your music got me through a very ruff childhood. Thank you isn't enough, but it's what I have. Thank you thank you... Please play Dallas again soon.
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God, she's simply incredible.
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Jealousy: I used to own all of her albums. This one was my favorite. I love Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs.
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