For albums before and since 69 Love Songs, The Magnetic Fields have operated as four-piece band comprising Stephin Merritt, Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol and John Woo. For 69 Love Songs Stephin Merritt recorded himself playing a huge variety of instruments helped by:
- Claudia Gonson — piano, drums, percussion;
- John Woo — banjo, lead guitar, mandolin;
- Sam Davol — cello, flute.
For 69 Love Songs only, The Magnetic Fields were supplemented by a number of guest singers and players:
- Daniel Handler — accordion, plus Casio and Binatone keyboards — Daniel Handler has two novels published under his own name, and several books 'on behalf of' [Lemony Snicket] (here is [an account of how he got involved in 69 Love Songs]);
- LD Beghtol — vocals on All My Little Words, My Sentimental Melody, Roses, The Way You Say Good-Night, For We Are The King of the Boudoir, Bitter Tears — LD Beghtol also writes and performs with [Flare] and [Moth Wranglers], and, with Stephin Merritt and Dudley Klute, is one of [The Three Terrors];
- Dudley Klute — vocals on The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side, How Fucking Romantic, Very Funny, Long-Forgotten Fairytale, It's a Crime, Blue You — Dudley Klute is also one of [The Three Terrors];
- Shirley Simms — vocals on Come Back From San Francisco, Boa Constrictor, No One Will Ever Love You, Kiss Me Like You Mean It, I'm Sorry I Love You, Strange Eyes — Shirley Simms has written and published comic books/graphic novels;
- Chris Ewen — backing tracks for It's a Crime and Promises of Eternity — Chris Ewen is also a member, with Stephin Merritt and Claudia Gonson, of [Future Bible Heroes].
[Full discography] for The Magnetic Fields from the official site.