R.E.M. Thread

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Daysleeper
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Daysleeper » 27 Mar 2015, 21:26

Up there with Blur as my favourite band.

I don't think any of their albums this side of the millenium are anywhere near as good as their 80s and 90s output, I include the over-hyped Accelerate in that.

The run from Automatic to UP are probably my favourites, with Up taking the title of best, although I also love all of the 80s albums apart from Reckoning.

I probably agree with Mr Magpie that Collapse Into Now wasn't a fitting ending for the band, but as much as id didn't want them to split they weren't the band they once were. Stipe's lyrics in the last few albums had become banal beyond belief and too frequently cringy for such a talented lyricist and Buck refused to spend any real amount of time on songs anymore. It was probably the right time. Still miss them though.

mr_spenalzo
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by mr_spenalzo » 28 Mar 2015, 06:33

Daysleeper wrote:I also love all of the 80s albums apart from Reckoning.
I thought there was something wrong with me for not liking that record much - Harborcoat and Rockville aside, none of those songs do anything for me. I'd have been so disappointed had I bought that after Chronic Town and Murmur. Ok, I cannot resist, list:

01 - Automatic For The People
02 - Monster
03 - Fables Of The Reconstruction
04 - Murmur
05 - Green
06 - New Adventures In Hi-Fi
07 - Out Of Time
08 - Document
09 - Reveal
10 - Collapse Into Now
11 - Lifes Rich Pageant
12 - Up
13 - Reckoning
14 - Accelerate
15 - Around The Sun

And yes, I miss them tons. Never a new R.E.M. album is a downer.

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TripleJay97
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by TripleJay97 » 28 Mar 2015, 07:05

Murmur is a masterpiece.
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Forever Low Man
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Forever Low Man » 28 Mar 2015, 17:57

TripleJay97 wrote:Murmur is a masterpiece.
Their best album (closely followed by Reckoning).



































































Everything else is horse shit.
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He's So High
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by He's So High » 15 Apr 2015, 19:49

TripleJay97 wrote:Speaking of Morrissey, I saw a quote on a website the other day claiming that "The Smiths are essentially a British version of R.E.M. in terms of both influence and style".

Discuss.
This has been a bit neglected!

Obviously there are a number of similarities. Sonically they're both pretty alike. Jangly, guitar based obviously, at least for the beginning of R.E.M.'s career. Both have fairly oblique lyrics, although R.E.M. more so. Both had pretty enigmatic frontmen, and both shared a disdain for music videos!

A good point that I think Tony Fletcher, who's written biographies about both bands, made was that R.E.M. always had the more sustainable model. The royalties were agreed upon early on, everyone getting 25%, and there was quite a group atmosphere to the songwriting. Bill Berry wrote some of their most famous songs! The Smiths on the other hand obviously had their issues with royalties, and the rhythm section wasn't given that much respect. Then just look at how long they lasted.

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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Sean » 15 Apr 2015, 21:28

Wow - I cannot comprehend anyone not digging Reckoning.

REM were my first band really. By 1990 (aged 13) I'd got into The Smiths but that was because my Dad had their records. REM were the first band I found entirely by myself, when Losing My Religion came out as a single in 1991. I bought Out of Time (initially on cassette :lol:) purely on the strength of that. I loved it so much two days later I bought Murmur & Reckoning packaged together (on cassette) and about a week later I had their entire back catalogue.

I can't think of many acts who made as many great albums on the trot.

In 'baseball' a grand slam is when someone scores four runs at once, and I heard a podcast a few months ago where a couple of critics were discussing which bands had, as they put it, scored a musical grand slam, which is to say made four great albums in a row. (American critics, hence the baseball analogy.)

I've heard someone argue a theory along these lines before, that for a band to be considered one of the all time greats, they need to have recorded four great albums. Adding the extra specification that they need to be four in a row is just spice.

Plenty of bands have one great album in them, or two, maybe even three if they're extra special, but four is hard. You need consistency and longevity to do it, never mind the talent, and that rules out most.

Anyway I think REM did it - you can perm any four together really as their run of EIGHT from Murmur to Automatic for the People was fucking unbelievable.

Some of these albums aren't *perfect* but fuck me, a great record every fucking year between 83-88.

1983 - Murmur
1984 - Reckoning
1985 - Fables
1986 - Life's Rich Pageant
1987 - Document
1988 - Green
1991 - Out Of Time
1992 - Automatic For The People
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Lt Pinkerton
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Lt Pinkerton » 15 Apr 2015, 21:45

Quite ashamed to say this but I never could get into them. I'll try to give them another chance and tell you how it went. Where should I begin?

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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Sean » 15 Apr 2015, 21:50

I would say Murmur, their first album and a stone cold classic debut record.

Out of Time and Automatic for the People would otherwise be the obvious places to start.
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He's So High
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by He's So High » 15 Apr 2015, 21:53

Lt Pinkerton wrote:Quite ashamed to say this but I never could get into them. I'll try to give them another chance and tell you how it went. Where should I begin?
I think it depends what kind of R.E.M. you want. Murmur if you want 'indie' R.E.M., complete with jangly-ness and incomprehensible lyrics, Automatic for the People if you want 'biggest band in the world' R.E.M.

And I definitely agree Sean; just a staggering run of albums. I think New Adventures in Hi-Fi is pretty great as well, and Monster gets unfairly written off. They all seem to be such nice guys as well!

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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Sean » 15 Apr 2015, 21:58

He's So High wrote:
Lt Pinkerton wrote:Quite ashamed to say this but I never could get into them. I'll try to give them another chance and tell you how it went. Where should I begin?
I think it depends what kind of R.E.M. you want. Murmur if you want 'indie' R.E.M., complete with jangly-ness and incomprehensible lyrics, Automatic for the People if you want 'biggest band in the world' R.E.M.

And I definitely agree Sean; just a staggering run of albums. I think New Adventures in Hi-Fi is pretty great as well, and Monster gets unfairly written off. They all seem to be such nice guys as well!
I think New Adventures is great - albeit a notch down from earlier greatness - but the run IMO came to a juddering halt with Monster. I remember it being hyped pre-release as this outrageous punk rock record and it was such a let down. The PR was all wrong but regardless I think it's a piss poor album by their standards.
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He's So High
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by He's So High » 15 Apr 2015, 22:03

Interesting thoughts. I agree Monster was probably the worst album they'd released so far, but there's still some great stuff on there. Let Me In, What's the Frequency Kenneth, Tongue, Bang and Blame. In some ways I think it was an album they had to release. There was no way they could follow the commercial and critical success of AFTP with another folky-album. I think this freed them up a bit.

New Adventures is just a little too long. E-Bow the Letter is one of my favourite R.E.M. songs.

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TripleJay97
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by TripleJay97 » 15 Apr 2015, 22:05

Out of Time was what made me fall in love with them - I discovered Murmur later on.
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AdvertBreak
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by AdvertBreak » 15 Apr 2015, 22:10

R.E.M. are one of the ultimate bands to have in a childhood. My mum had Murmur, LRP, Document, Out of Time, AFTP, Monster and the 1991 best of on CD from before I was born so there's a fair level of sentimentalism for me to certain songs by them as I used to play all my parents CDs as I was growing up. Near Wild Heaven was stuck in my head on my first day of school.

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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by Lt Pinkerton » 15 Apr 2015, 22:12

Getting Murmur right now. I'll be back here in a couple of days :D

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He's So High
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Re: R.E.M. Thread

Post by He's So High » 15 Apr 2015, 22:12

Absolutely love Near Wild Heaven, although I think Out of Time is probably the weakest of the first eight. I mean Radio Song, and you know that song...

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