Merge Records was started in the summer of 1989 by Laura Ballance & Mac McCaughan, the same summer they formed the band Superchunk in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The first couple of Merge releases were cassettes (remember those?) by Wwax and Bricks, followed by the first Superchunk (then known only as “Chunk”) 7-inch single.
The 7-inch was the format of choice during the first three years of the label, with cash borrowed from friends to finance projects (including singles from Erectus Monotone, Angels of Epistemology, and more Superchunk). Various bedrooms served as Merge HQ until 1992, when the first Merge full-length release, Tossing Seeds by Superchunk, was released on CD, LP, and cassette. Starting that year, Merge moved from one charming-yet-run-down office to another until 2001, when we finally made the move from Chapel Hill down the road to a fine old building all our own in historic downtown Durham, NC.
In 2014, Merge Records celebrated its 25th birthday, and while our roster has changed, rotated, permutated, and expanded over the last quarter century, the quality we look for in records, as fans, is still there in the music we release on the label.