>>54945438 >I seriously think if this band had quit or changed names, or w/e when the drummer left (after New Adventures in Hi-Fi) they would've been as mythologized as The Beatles They should be anyway. They are vital for modern rock music.
>>54944918 Favorite album from each decade? >80's Lifes Rich Pageant. Or Fables, can't decide sometimes >90's New Adventures in Hi-Fi >00's Reveal. obviously these weren't seen as the best, but after being a long time listener/addict of R.E.M. these albums became my favorite.
>>54945663 from a standpoint of how they charted, yeah (though Accelerate would be an exception). But I gotta say, it was cool to finally have Michael take over near the end, bringing out his more "artsy" side. While he was always the frontman, Peter Buck gave a lot of the direction until they started working on Up.
The musical styles were very much products of the time. The country inflection was done in the wake of Stevie Ray Vaughan and that kind of music never really had any lasting appeal. The inclusion of a mandolin always makes for a divisive rock record. Losing My Religion was a great song on its basic merits but their experimentation with unconventional instruments I think distanced a lot of listeners.
It was a better record than Green (outside the fact that its cheesy song was far worse than Green's cheesy song), but it's definitely a point in R.E.M's discography where they became too ensconced in trying out their new bells and whistles.
With that said "Belong" and "Half a World Away" were, I Believe, rousing successes of said experimentation.
Fables > Pageant = Murmur >> Reckoning > Automatic = Green > Document = Out of Time > Monster > New Adventures >>>>> Accelerate >> Collapse >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> shit >>>>>>> anything made between Bill's departure and Accelerate
>>54944918 It's a shame. "Radio Song" is a joke. "Shiny Happy People" doesn't help either. It sucks because it contains some of their best tracks ever, including "Losing My Religion," Texarkana," and "Half a World Away."
IMO, "Half a World Away" is probably their greatest ballad, and that's saying something for REM.
>>54945881 The country feel was because, while they never grew up in the south, southern music had a profound influence on mostly Mike and Bill. They were even in a Southern Boogie band in Macom, did a few big shows actually. They pulled out the mandolin because Peter was tired of the electric guitar, according to Michael, and I don't blame him. Peters guitar style is all right hand driven, and I promise you that can get boring after 8 years of solid touring and playing the exact same simple stuff over and over and over again. While Peter claims he only knew a few scales for Losing my religion, his practices with Bill (who knew how to play mandolin) started during the Green sessions. I'd say Green was the experiment, with Hairshirt and Wrong Child being the practice essentially, and half a world away being the final product. But I have a hard time comparing the albums, the genres are very different, the approach was different, and the lyrics are very different. Not only that, but they took off two years in between Green and Out Of Time, the longest gap at that point for them between albums. I'd say the albums we could compare to Out of Time are AFTP and mayyyybe Fables of The Reconstruction. Similar influences, honestly.
>>54944918 After listening to this album, Automatic and Monster I can't understand why anyone likes this U2 imitation band. Like I'm sure their earlier stuff must have been a bit better but this stuff is just middle of the road corny boring shit.
>>54945967 >Lifes Rich Pageant >Fables >murmur >reveal >NAiHF >Up >reckoning >document >accelerate >monster >Green >AFTP >Out of time >collapse >around the sun I've been listening to R.E.M. for far to long, this is now my personal list
>>54946210 >I have a hard time comparing the albums, the genres are very different You think so? It sort of sounded like you just got done explaining the logical connections between the two. I think the only big difference is that Green sounds Surf and Out of Time sounds more World Music.
>>54946279 If anything they are a Byrds imitation band.
>>54946437 I recognize the connection, but sonically, I wouldn't feel right comparing the two at deciding which is better or worse. I think you kinda of summed it up well, though Idk if i'd say Green is surf. And no way are the a Byrds imitation band. The Byrds had clear, fleshed out melodies and lyrics with much brighter (and technical) guitar, while Mikes bass playing is way to melodic for the Byrds. I'd say they were Byrds mixed with Orange Juice and Pylon, maybe. If I HAVE to include the Byrds.
>>54946471 I'm not saying anything is wrong about it, but it's not even remotely as strong as their strongest works. Fables is just a really strong, solid album, but there's nothing really amazing about it. It's just consistently . . . good. For a normal band, it might have been a masterpiece, but when you've got a band that produced some of the most important and influential music of the 80's and 90's, it doesn't really stand out.
>>54946282 LRP was always my favorite IRS record growing up, and I've recently gained a new appreciation for it after hearing the Athens demos. Fall on Me is maybe the best song they ever recorded, and the original version paints a whole new picture. The Swan Swan H demo is also excellent -- I wish that was the version on the real album.
Back to the released version, after some time had passed I started to realize that even the "other" songs on the album were exceptional, especially Cuyahoga and Hyena, and Mills/Stipe harmonizing on I Believe is one of my favorite moments in a song ever.
I even think some of the songs on LRP are throwaways and I still rank it above the others. That's how good the good songs are to me.
>>54946603 oh man, I Believe is addicting. Fall on me kinda got old fast for me. It felt like they had a different aim for that song compared to the rest of the album. And it's because they did. Hyena, I Believe, What If We Give it Away, cuyahoga and Swan Swan H could fit right on Fables, the previous album, and some (what if we give it away and Hyena most notably) were intended for Fables. But Fall On Me is mostly a product of their producer, who was John Melloncamps. His idea was to bring Stipes vocals to the front, make the words pronounced, have a place on mainstream pop radio. And, if you compare it to the rest of the album, the vocals are much clearer than any other song. It's not bad, by any means. Just not my style of R.E.M.
>>54946826 I'd say go chronologically. I don't awlays say so, but R.E.M. really is a band that evolves. Grab Chronic Town and get to work man, you got a lot of interesting and fun times ahead. >>54946833 Most people I know don't know R.E.M. .....
>>54946573 I wouldn't say they are either, I was just sort of giving a better example than U2, which is an odd claim to make. I think, actually, the group with the closest sound to them is Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians, though he had only formed that group after R.E.M. had been going full steam, I think.
>>54946910 Ok, I feel you. Yeah, everyone compares U2 and R.E.M. but the only things they have in common is influence from Post-Punk and simple guitars. Peter is better than the edge though. There was a show in chicago where bono yelled into the mic, "and now for a blues solo for chicago" and the edge just stopped playing. Had no idea what 12 bar blues were
>>54946725 The Fall on Me demo is much closer to the intended concept, with the whole song performed with the melody they used for Mills' verse. It'd be interesting to see what Fables/Pageant would have looked like as a double album, even though I think they made a good choice not mixing certain songs with Fables' cryptic ambiance.
>>54946833 For better or worse, I think rock would have died if it wasn't for R.E.M. and a couple other groups. No one ever talks about this anymore, but I think they're one of the top 5 most important bands in the history of rock.
I know I'm wading into contentious waters here, but... Personal Top 20 REM Tracks 20. Imitation of Life (Reveal) 19. Orange Crush (Green) 18. Everybody Hurts (Automatic for the People) 17. Electrolite (New Adventures in Hi-Fi) 16. Texarkana (Out of Time) 15. Man on the Moon (Automatic for the People) 14. Oh My Heart (Collapse Into Now) 13. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight (Automatic for the People) 12. At My Most Beautiful (Up) 11. Nightswimming (Automatic for the People) 10. What's The Frequency, Kenneth? (Monster) 9. Gardening At Night (Chronic Town) 8. Losing My Religion (Out of Time) 7. These Days (Life's Rich Pageant) 6. It's the End of the World As We Know It (Document) 5. Pretty Pursuasion (Reckoning) 4. Try Not the Breathe (Automatic for the People) 3. Daysleeper (Up) 2. Half a World Away (Out of Time) 1. Fall on Me (Life's Rich Pageant)
I know End of the World, Man on the Moon, and Everybody Hurts are uber popular, but they're great songs. Orange Crush is just a sentimental song for me. And I don't care what anybody says, Sidewinder is a really fun song. When Stipe laughs at the lyrics in the studio version is amazing.
>>54947045 I've gpt the demo sessions, and yeah, vocally you can hear the intended idea. But I have to say, the demo collection of Pageant sounds like Fables B-Sides. The final working was just astounding
>>54947045 >For better or worse, I think rock would have died if it wasn't for R.E.M. and a couple other groups. No one ever talks about this anymore, but I think they're one of the top 5 most important bands in the history of rock. I wouldn't dispute that. I can't think of another band that had such a massive output over so many years. They were churning out hit after hit after hit and influencing tons of new acts for a good 15 or so years. If you listen to everything else that was going on in the 80's, they were really at the forefront of keeping rock music what it became in the 90's. They weren't the only bad out there doing great stuff, but I can't find another catalog that is more impressive for so many years.
I mean, hell. They released Murmur, Reckoning, Fables, Pageant, Document, Green, Time, and Automatic in the span of 9 years. That's unbelievable.
>>54947340 To be fair, about a year or so I made a playlist for a friend. I hadn't looked at it since then, but I pulled it up when this thread started, and I still felt okay with most of it. I moved a few around, but I'm still okay with almost every track being on there, especially the top 10 or so.
Fall on Me, Daysleeper, and Half a World Away are all absolutely perfect songs. Depending on my mood any of those songs could be my favorite.
1. Fall on Me (much for this reason >>54947438) 2. Find the River 3. Cuyahoga 4. Exhuming McCarthy 5. Pretty Persuasion 6. I Believe 7. Life and How to Live It 8. Letter Never Sent 9. Harborcoat 10. Pilgrimage 11. Man on the Moon 12. E-Bow the Letter 13. Hyena 14. Catapult 15. West of the Fields 16. The End of the World As We Know It/Bad Day 17. Let Me In 18. Oddfellows Local 151 19. King of Birds 20. Green Grow the Rushes
yeah I know I don't have a very good relationship with post-Berry
>>54947550 >yeah I know I don't have a very good relationship with post-Berry
I don't know if it was a product of lacking Berry or if it was just an age thing, but their post-Berry albums felt less cohesive to me. They still churned out great singles every once in a while, and almost all the later albums had a really solid track or two, but they just didn't have the cohesive feel of the earlier stuff, especially the IRS albums.
>>54947621 That Mills/Stipe harmony on the chorus though. It's classic R.E.M., and unlike some parts of Collapse, it doesn't feel like it comes from them consciously trying to do what worked for them in the past (Uberlin, Blue). It's just the band doing what they do best
>>54947653 I can't even separate the two songs in my mind anymore, because I like the two incarnations almost equally for different reasons.
>>54947679 I don't know what it is about it, because it seems like such a straightforward song, but somehow it feels like no other song in existence while also being quintessentially R.E.M. all around (oh, and its melody is beautiful -- I can't seem to ever pin it down).
>>54947732 Eh, you know, every member of the band is legitimately talented, but I have believed for a long time that Bill Berry was the truly gifted one. He was coordinating a lot of the instrumentation of the albums (or outright playing a lot of it besides the drums) and wrote a lot of the great songs almost by himself. It's just hard to tell because R.E.M. does that annoying thing where they credit the whole band for the lyrics AND the music.
>>54947784 I'll definitely agree with you on UBerlin. I think the part of Mine Smell Like Honey that I don't dig is that "mine smell like ho- ho- ho- honey" thing. I agree, though, on listening to it again those harmonies are tight.
>>54947845 Speaking of the members being crazy talented. I have a very vivid memory of being a little kid, growing up in Atlanta, and going to Braves games. One game, they announced that Mills was going to sing the national anthem. I was probably 5-7ish at the time I guess. I knew who REM was because of my dad, and I was disappointed that it wasn't the lead singer, because he's all I really knew of individual members. Then Mills came to the mic and fucking killed it. There was a really feeling in the whole stadium that people were blown away. He's not the type of musician you'd expect for something like that, but he fucking knocked it out of the park. (No pun intended.) For some reason, that memory still sticks with me to this day.
>>54947845 Mills and Berry were definitely the musical engines of the group from an instrumental standpoint. It's more evident with Mills just because of how present he is melodically, but they even if Berry's contributions didn't extend beyond drumming and backing vocals he'd still be more musically essential to the group than Buck, as much as it pains me to say it. Jangly guitars were way easier to find in the 80s college rock idiom than really tight drumming.
>>54947981 To me, Mills' crazy moving bass lines are what really stand out after repeated listenings. I never really appreciated how intricate his stuff was at first, but all the movement plus the harmonies are really an amazing combo.
>>54948017 Nigga wut? It makes perfect sense. In its day, it may have been well-received despite the experimentation because all the experimentation was in step with the musical flavors of the day. But those particular musical flavors didn't last and didn't stay fresh, so nowadays, 25 years later, the freshness has really subsided and now it just seems cheesy. Earlier REM albums, though, still sound tight and relevant even today.
>>54948036 It shows how the band is, in spite of the cliche, more than the sum of its parts. None of them were necessarily virtuosos or head-and-shoulders above each other in terms of their roles in the group, they just worked perfectly together
>>54948068 I don't have a lot of nice things to say about Monster, but Tongue is one of the better/more interesting songs on it.
How the West Was Won and some other New Adventures songs were in my honorable mentions in my top 20. Although that album lacks a lot of standout tracks, it is actually a cohesive, good listen. If they pared it down slightly and had refined some of the plainer songs, I might even rank it above an IRS album or two.
>>54948173 I have more affinity for the post-IRS years than most, it seems. New Adventures has the right combination of variety in the deep cuts and familiarity in some of the singles to make it one of my favorites. Leave is also a great atypical R.E.M. song.
>>54948211 While we're talking about Green, Hairshirt never gets the love it should
I don't know how many bros are in this thread, but y'all are all awesome in my book. I love seeing all this legitimate REM love on /mu/. Works over for the day, so I'm going to pull up an REM album for my ride home. I may give Fables another listen because several comments here made me want to reconsider it. I don't hate it, but I've always thought it was the weakest IRS album, so I'll give it another try.
>>54948035 yeah this is probably the best thread I've seen on /mu/ in ages. No memes, serious discussion, and great analyses. It's because most of the shit posters are death grips fans, and those types usually don't understand REM
>>54947621 Check out the video, it's Michael falling up flights of stairs. >>54947845 there is a good reason you cant separate the songs. Bad day was first, and It's the end of the world borrowed some of the older lyrics from Bad day, as well the style. Bad day was originaly trashed in the 80's just because they couldn't think of a good ending (though I think it was because they were still evolvoing, the orignal bad day has Stipes patented shitty harmonica solo)
>>54948174 During the piano solo, Michael told Mike to try and channel thelonious monk. Mike loves monk, but his piano skills, as good as they are, just cannot keep up with monk. But it explains the clunkyness of it. Another fun fact, though it is the first on the album, it was the last one written for that album. All of NAiHF was written during soundchecks of the Monster world tour in an attempt to capture lighting in a bottle. It also captures the movement the band had physically, in terms of traveling. I reference Departure, Low Desert and Be Mine as examples, Be Mine was actually originally recorded in the tour bus, and the studio version sounds very similar to the tour bus recording.
>>54948289 ANOTHER fun fact about NAiHF, while it flopped compared to Monster, R.E.M. and more specifically Michael say it is the album they had been trying to write since the early 90's, Out of time and AFTP being these beautiful slow pieces and Monster being a massive sonic experiment. But Michael says it was their first real "rock" album, even calling it his dark horse favorite album
>>54948651 A long time ago, I had that demo of Bad Day, and it was mastered really shitty or something, so those harmonica parts just sort of sounded like sound blasts. And I thought it was kind of cool. Then the re-releases came out and I realized how wrong I was...
>>54948563 We can attribute the "muted" sound, I'd actually say it was a dark lushness, to Joe Boyd, Nick Drakes former producer. And also the fast it was recorded in England. Coming from the warm south, R.E.M. faced it's most difficult time as a band during that album. They broke up several times, Bill and Peter started drinking a lot, Mike always drank a lot, and Michael had several breakdowns, being the sensitive reclusive person that he is. There was a of darkness surrounding that album, but Peter still says it is one of his favorites, even though the recording process was hell
>>54948818 I have a few different recordings of it and man... The writer of "It Crawled From The South", the very in depth biography of R.E.M. from 1980-1991, loved that song and even wrote a long paragraph on how he wished they finished it. He was probably pretty happy when it was rerecorded along with Permanent Vacation. He was also writing, near the end of the book, about a song he'd hope they keep called "Nightswim" that had a very simple but lovely piano part. Once again, the next year when AFTP came out he was probably ecstatic.
>>54948560 hell yea, only 32 minutes, each song was recorded in 3 takes, or trashed which is why we dont hear "Staring Down The Barrel Of The Middle Distance" or "On The Fly", heard on The Live At Olympia album, where they played old old songs and the brand new ones as a test. It was a giant experiment to see how Accelerate would go over. The show was kept secret, but every day was sold out almost instantly still.
>>54949012 but, what i forgot to say, was that each song needed a certain energy, or else it would be axed. Peter came up with the three take approach for Accelerate, not wanting to accidently recreate Around The Sun, where they spent wayyyyyyy to long working in the studio, and Peter claims that is why Around the Sun was so lackluster. I still like it, but yea
>>54948809 Wasn't aware of that. It's probably been months since I even listened to an R.E.M. album, but I've still got an obsessive amount of knowledge for them on file from the past. It's weird but I love it
>>54949012 Wow did not know that. Is that a bootleg or a live album? >>54949060 I can hear the energy of the songs, which is what I love about REM, although I'm not crazy about their other side, the more laid back material. I also feel it's an all killer-no filler album (except the final track), another criticism I have of REM. >>54948974 Could never really get into their IRS stuff.
>>54948895 What I wish was more apparent on the final album was how in the demos songs like Feeling Gravitys Pull have this tribal, Lovecraftian feel to them, which is what I always felt the album should have evoked. But the end result just felt more like "spelunking" or "countryside" if I had to put a word to it.
>>54948972 I'll have to check that out. I wonder what he thought about the eventual context of All the Right Friends.
>>54949067 hey man, same here. Got every CD, b sides and live shows too, a good amount of bootlegs, almost all recordings on vinyl, and every casstte, including chronic town. And books out the wazoo. Last I checked, if i dont count repeat albums on different format, I had over 68 hours of R.E.M. music. And a bunch of interviews.
>>54949104 Live album http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_at_the_Olympia_%28R.E.M._album%29 And actually, the last track makes sense. Dj at the end of the world was originally written for Around The Sun. >>54949112 Once gain, we can thank Joe Boyd for that. Well, and the Reverend Howard Finster, a good friend of R.E.M. who told them almost all the stories that appear on Fables, such as old man kensey. Finster was a well known southern preacher and artist who collected tack pianos and pump organs and tried to capture that honky tonk mixed with appalachian sound. I loved how All The Right Friends turned out. Very fun song, very simple. which is how they wrote in their early 20's.
>>54949227 It Crawled from the south is amazing, very deep, very very good read especially if you like history. Reveal is a newer one that covers all albums until "reveal". I haven't read the newest one yet, but it's the same guy who wrote "a Light that never goes out", the Smiths book. "Hello" is a fun little coffee table read with some cool pictures of their later years.
Chronic Town - 9/10 Murmur - 9.5/10 Reckoning - 10/10 Fables - 9/10 Pageant - 9/10 Document - 9/10 Green - 8/10 Out of Time - 6.5/10 Automatic - 8.5/10 New Adventures - 7.5/10 Up - 6.5/10 Reveal - 5.5/10 Around the Sun - 2.5/10 Accelerate - 7.5/10 Collapse into Now - 6/10
>>54949292 why is reveal so low! The Lifting is the best opener track of all time! Check out "Fascinating", a b side that was supposed to be on Reveal, might change your mind. And saturn returns is so amazing... It was as if the poppier/rockier side of NAiHF mixed with the production of Up.
>>54949353 very muh so, a big part of history. It actually wasn;t until Out Of Time that the word "alternative" appeared on CD cases as sectioned off genre in record stores. Massive discog, a ton of different sounds, a ton of different appraoches. A lot to be learned
>>54949473 Reveal is a very summer album, exlcuding I'll take the rain according to michael, wait until it's warm and you can go on a hike and listen to it. It'll change your mind, trust me. And give it a few listens
>>54949548 Pearl jam is a flash in the pan who got lucky with the "grunge" scene. And they suck and cant write lyrics. This is a whole new level. Check out BBCs 7 ages of rock, the "left of the dial" section, and you'll see the importance, if you wannt some background before diving. R.E.M. is much much more influental and lasting
>>54949548 History might not make IRS era R.E.M. seem too special if you've heard other jangle pop and if you don't listen all that deeply. But, if you listen to Murmur, you'll hear more than just slurred vocals and jangly guitars. R.E.M. had one of the tightest rhythm sections in all of college/alt rock in the 80s; Mike Mills' bass lines are better than some of the guitar melodies, and Bill Berry brings assertive, driving percussion not common in the style.
>>54949104 >Could never really get into their IRS stuff. To me, the reasons their IRS records are good is very different from the reasons their post-IRS records are good. They're more to be taken as cohesive units that really capture a certain place and time. Lots of real depth, lots of really complex tracks. They're albums that are meant to be listened to as albums.
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