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R.E.M. 1980-2011??


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Guest McGuffin

Apart from a few tunes up to about the Monster period, this band was done for me with the release of "Out of Time," which I think is brutal. I stopped caring around 15 years ago. All of my cassettes of the albums through Out of Time are all long gone. I'd still have it all if it had been the digital age at that time.

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Apart from a few tunes up to about the Monster period, this band was done for me with the release of "Out of Time," which I think is brutal. 

Ouch. That's a kick in the nuggets. Out Of Time would rank in my R.E.M. top 3. I think I love early R.E.M. as much as most R.E.M. fans, but almost equally like their albums Green-Hi Fi. They're more poppy and less mysterious, but doesn't lessen their greatness.
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Guest McGuffin

Ouch. That's a kick in the nuggets. Out Of Time would rank in my R.E.M. top 3. I think I love early R.E.M. as much as most R.E.M. fans, but almost equally like their albums Green-Hi Fi. They're more poppy and less mysterious, but doesn't lessen their greatness.

 

OOT just wasn't nearly as good as anything they'd previously done in my opinion. I hate Losing My Religion.

 

It also didn't help that Stipe got increasingly political between OOT and Automatic. That sealed it for me. I absolutely hate musicians trying to shove that garbage down my throat. And the music just wasn't as good anymore anyway. C'est la vie.

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As a complete aside I just got the Soft Boys "Underwater Moonlight". Absolutely brilliant. As a 25 year-long REM fan album I'm amazed didn't get this years ago.

An old boyfriend gave me Underwater Moonlight as a Christmas gift in 1985. I'd never heard of them. When I tore the gift-wrapping off and looked at him dumbfounded ("who are the Soft Boys"?), he told me every R.E.M. fan needed to hear that album. I am eternally grateful to him for introducing me to Robyn Hitchcock, whom I've been a fan of ever since. And so began my journey of exploring musicians liked by musicians I like. That journey continues to this day, and has opened me up to so much wonderful music that I can't even begin to recount it all. (Not just from R.E.M.)

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Looks like they're mostly sticking to the singles for their Greatest Hits, compilation, which makes sense. But I'm still a bit surprised that "Bang and Blame" and "Daysleeper" didn't make the cut but non-singles "Alligator..." and "Sitting Still" made it. And do FOUR songs from Collapse Into Now belong on that thing, but only one song each from Monster and Up?

I thought that is only 3 from CIN, right? I wondered that, too, but it's what they did last, so it's probably a little more precious than it should be to them. I thought it was weird that Bad Day is on there - wasn't that one of the "new" tracks/recordings for the last compilation? I would think at least Daysleeper would be in it's place. I'm with you on Bang, too. I wonder how much time is left on each CD?

 

I saw some of the videos pre-Monster, especially Religion, and Everybody Hurts. I didn't think it sucked, but I wasn't interested until seeing the Kenneth video. Then I thought Blame was cool, too. 94 was when I really got into rock/grunge music, so Monster is my REM starting point.

 

Not saying that era is better overall. Like I said earlier, I haven't heard most of the pre-Automatic albums. It's not that I don't want to even. It's just finding a way to choose which of the multiple versions and then fitting it in between new music, old music, reissues (which there seem to be a ton of this year) and the right price.

 

I have thought about getting the library to track them down if they can on inter-library loan.

Probably not this fall, there is just too much going on...unless someone just wants to give me their collection. I'll take it. =)

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Heck - Just get the original releases. I bet you can find them used in various places for not much money.

 

 

Chronic Town (1982)

Murmur (1983)

Reckoning (1984)

Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)

Document (1987)

Green (1988)

Out of Time (1991)

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In post REM news, this is a snippet from the Decemberists' newsletter today:

 

John, Chris, Jenny, and Nate will be joining forces with Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey to form the King Charles Trio, the backing band for John Wesley Harding's upcoming November tour. The group also worked together on Harding's upcoming record, The Sound of His Own Voice, out October 11. Check below for the tour dates:

 

November 5, Red Devil Lounge, San Francisco, CA

November 6, McCabes, Santa Monica, CA

November 11, Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR

November 12, The Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA

November 15, World Café Live, Philadelphia, PA

November 16, Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA

November 18, Cabinet of Wonders, City Winery, New York, NY (with Ted Leo, Howe Gelb, Eugune Mirman, and many more)

November 19, The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY

November 20, Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ

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03---Cassette-Set---Tape-Front.jpg

R.E.M. Cassette Set

April 15/16/23, 1981 (recording/mixing)

April/May 1981 (assemblage/packaging)

01 Sitting Still (fast "Polka" version, snippet)

02 Sitting Still

03 Radio Free Europe

04 White Tornado

05 White Tornado (take 2, aborted)

06 Radio Free Europe (Radio Dub)

 

http://www.mediafire.com/?14zk3yvi31mj3g5

http://thepowerofindependenttrucking.blogspot.com/

 

Unfortunately it took the breakup of the band to start seeing some of these ultra-rare deals come to light. Thanks to a gracious reader of the blog, it's my honor to present to the R.E.M. community a basically-unheard artifact: the Cassette Set from Spring 1981. In April 1981 the band began their relationship with Mitch Easter by visiting his Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to record a few songs for a demo. They had done a few demo sessions previously, but were not satisfied with the results (mainly at Joe Perry's Bombay Studio) and eventually hooked up with Easter. On April 15, 1981 Easter and the band recorded (at least) three tracks: "Sitting Still", "Radio Free Europe" and "White Tornado". On the next day they mixed the tracks, and eventually had a demo cassette run (approx. 400 copies, according to Peter Buck) to send to journalists, clubs and labels ahead of their initial visit to New York City. On May 24, 1981 the band returned to the Drive-In Studio and laid down some overdubs onto "Radio Free Europe" and then Hib-Tone label owner Johnny Hibbert mixed both "Radio Free Europe" and "Sitting Still" on the 25th. Easter felt the Hibbert mixes were seriously lacking, so he, on his own time, mixed his own versions for consideration. The band, Easter and Hibbert then had a mixing bakeoff of both "Radio Free Europe" and "Sitting Still", and as famously (well, relatively speaking) known, despite everyone but Hibbert liking the Easter mixes better Hibbert pulled rank and used his mixes on the band's debut 7" on Hib-Tone. Something went awry in the process, the record was mastered terribly, and Buck famously smashed his copy and put it on his wall (following the "Radio Free Europe" lyric). (I place the call out now: I've never heard an original Hib-Tone "Radio Free Europe", so I can't speak for the mastering/pressing quality or Hibbert's mixes, so if anyone cares to feed me with a transfer of their Hib-Tone 7", I'm all ears. I will gladly tart it up for the blog and post it too.) Easter's proposed mix for the 7" is the only one the band has seen fit to issue since then, on 1988's Eponymous compilation, and then on 2006's compilation of the I.R.S. years And I Feel Fine...The Best Of The I.R.S. Years 1982-1987. Stepping back a bit: before issuing the 7", the band chose the original, pre-overdubbed, recordings of "Sitting Still" / "Radio Free Europe", with "White Tornado" added in, to make up their demo cassette. Jokingly, "Sitting Still" was prefaced by a few seconds of a *fast* run through of the song done in Polka-style, and "White Tornado" was followed by an aborted "White Tornado" take where Buck lays down a huge stinker of a mistake, the song grinds to a halt, and Buck is heard apologizing before Easter's voice appears. On the final 100 copies the band added a hilarious "Radio Dub" mix of "Radio Free Europe", done by Easter on April 23, 1981 on a lark with instruments/voices/effects dropping in and out of the mix, dub-style. I don't think the "Sitting Still" or "White Tornado" snippets have ever been collected on bootleg, and if they have, I've never heard them. "Radio Dub" is a bit more known, but still fantastically rare. And of course this Cassette Set is the only place to get the very original Easter mixes of "Sitting Still" and "Radio Free Europe", both of which are far better than any subsequent issue of these tracks. Blog friend Chris H. is the owner of an original Cassette Set, given by Michael Stipe on June 20, 1981 to a member of the band Bunny Drums when that band supported R.E.M. at Emerald City, in Cherry Hills, New Jersey. Chris obtained it in 2001 and then subsequently transferred it to CD-R, and then offered it to the blog for the public. The Cassette Set was self-assembled by the band, using photocopied cardstock for the J-card inlays, and handwritten cassette labels by Stipe. Some copies featured color photograph inserts all cut up, but Chris' copy is missing these. Chris gave me his raw transfer of the tape, I worked my magic on it, and here we are. There are few times when I'm so confident as to say you'll not find something better out there quality-wise, but this is one of them. I expected something that I would need to do a lot of cleanup work on, but barring a bit of EQ, this set came to me in absolutely stunning, beautiful condition. I think the results speak for themselves and I am honored to have the chance to give this to the community, as it's a very unique, special part of the band's history.
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I never thought I would feel so little for the demise of a band I once loved so much.

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Some cool stuff has popped up on youtube since news of their demise. Namely:

 

the Stephen Hague demo of "Catapult" with a bunch of synths (that seemingly the band hated) and an alternative version of "Sitting Still" from the "Murmur" sessions which has some additional guitar overdubs and backing harmonies.

 

Surprised these didn't come out with the re-issue of "Murmur". Wonder if the masters are missing.

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Some cool stuff has popped up on youtube since news of their demise. Namely:

 

the Stephen Hague demo of "Catapult" with a bunch of synths (that seemingly the band hated) and an alternative version of "Sitting Still" from the "Murmur" sessions which has some additional guitar overdubs and backing harmonies.

 

Surprised these didn't come out with the re-issue of "Murmur". Wonder if the masters are missing.

That blog (http://thepowerofindependenttrucking.blogspot.com/) that PopTodd linked to has a bunch of that stuff for download, including a 22 song set of Mumur outtakes and different mixes.

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That greatest hits package really leaves me kinda cold, as it leaves off a few of my favorites.

7 Chinese Brothers

and

Texarkana

in particular.

 

But yeah, just the singles. I get it.

 

EDIT:

Also, (still) on a personal relation to that collection -- I find it interesting that the 2 discs split at EXACTLY the point where I lost interest in following the band. Those are pretty much exactly the 2 eras into which I see the band's career being split.

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That greatest hits package really leaves me kinda cold, as it leaves off a few of my favorites.

7 Chinese Brothers

and

Texarkana

in particular.

 

But yeah, just the singles. I get it.

 

EDIT:

Also, (still) on a personal relation to that collection -- I find it interesting that the 2 discs split at EXACTLY the point where I lost interest in following the band. Those are pretty much exactly the 2 eras into which I see the band's career being split.

 

you don't like AFTP or NAIHF?

-justin

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you don't like AFTP or NAIHF?

-justin

It's not that I don't like those albums, I just kinda moved on from the band at that point, and on to other bands who captured my attention more fully. Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel and the rest of the Elephant 6, Magnetic Fields -- those were the bands that defined the 90's for me, whereas R.E.M. just kinda got left behind after I left college in the early 90's. Things just kinda shifted. And it's odd that they split up the 2 discs exactly as I define the band in my mind. Not even IRS vs. major label, as the line could be drawn.

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