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Subject: I still love REM... rss

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Paul Newsham
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Just watched them tonight at the Rosebowl - Southampton, England.

It's the sixth time I've seen them live.

I'm more a fan of the IRS years, and the first three Warner albums.

Latterly their albums have been absolute pants.

So, the bad points...

I thought prior to tionight that the one song I didn't want them to play was Bad Day. Its an 'end-of-world' wanna-be, and has an excutiatingly bad lyric. They opened with Bad-day. It was rubbish...

But then, they went on to play, Fall on Me!, Begin the Begin, Orange Crush, The One I Love, even Auctioneer, Another Engine, and Pretty Persuasion. All amazing, and delivered impeccably (though I miss Bill, and I think they do too).

There were other songs, but they all pale compared to these I list.

A good night, I'm glad I went. I still remember the green world tour fondly. Stipes theatrical shapes, and trademark striptease being a part of a perfect show that somehow no-other band has ever lived up to.

Tonight didn't quite recreate that for me. But for moments it was magical.

Cheers Michael, Mike, Peter. Cheers Bill.

 
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John W
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I'm a big fan of deep sleep, too.
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Dave Lartigue
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I really think they could have broken up after Green and left a great legacy. And I can't believe that someone with as much of an awareness of political and social events as Michael Stipe could have spent the last ten years writing dopey love songs.
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Matthew M
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REM, and later Nirvana, made the bulk of the soundtrack of my teenage years. You've inspired me to move them up in my current playlist.

-MMM
 
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John So-And-So
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I'm not old enough for them to have been a college band for me, but they were my favorite band for most of my high school years, and I think Automatic For The People is one of the 10 best albums of all time.

They should have broken up when Berry left - if you ask me, nothing since then has been of the same quality. "Up" was ok, but the next two were absolute crap. I havent listened to their latest album yet, any reviews?
 
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Alex

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I saw them live during the Around the Sun tour, and I was wary that they would mostly play songs from that album and Reveal, which I think are their 2 weakest albums, but when they opened with Begin the Begin, I was thrilled. It was a great show overall, and unlike other bands I've seen, they really perform their material admirably. thumbsup

I think Accelerate is a rather good album. Better than their 2 last I thought. The songs are catchy and much-better suited for a rock show than those of Reveal and Around the Sun.

But then, REM is my favorite band, so I'm not very objective here.
 
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I really love New Adventures... but I agree: the years until Monster are the best.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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BaSL wrote:
I really love New Adventures... but I agree: the years until Monster are the best.


I know I'm virtually alone in this, but I would exclude Automatic for the People as well. There's some utter tripe on that one (and yes, I'm including "Man on the Moon") and it's all washed in syrupy strings and piano.

For me the cutoff is Green. You have a fantastic body of work until that point and an excellent ending point ("Keep him strong while I'm away from here"). You lose some good stuff on Out of Time, but on the other hand you don't have to endure "Shiny Happy People" or "Radio Song".

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Legomancer wrote:
I know I'm virtually alone in this, but I would exclude Automatic for the People as well.


I agree with this. REM used to be alternative, but when they made the cross into "moody, whiny adult contemporary," they really lost me. It seems like Automatic for the People saw them move into automatic, and everything since then has just been a sort of rehash of the same riffs.

Give me Lifes Rich Pageant and Document, and I'm happy.
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Steve Wagner
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I had 9 different REM CDs at one time, most of the classics with one before they got big. The classics for me include Automatic, Monster, Hi-Fi, Out of Time, and Reveal. Green is not too bad, with the great singles, and decent filler, Lifes Rich Pageant is not that great, and Document is kinda blah to me also, besides the singles. I also had Reckoning, which also was very blah to me.

Most people dissed Reveal, but I really liked it, and maybe it means so much to me because I bought it while visiting NYC and was listening to it heavy when 9/11 happened. But other than a couple filler songs, the album is really good.
 
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Dave Lartigue
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SVan wrote:
Lifes Rich Pageant is not that great


...aaaand we're done here.
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Erik D
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Newsh wrote:
Just watched them tonight at the Rosebowl - Southampton, England.


The Rose Bowl is in Pasadena, California you geographically ignorant wanker!
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Rate Your Music!

Year/Title/Rating/My Rating:

1983 Murmur 4.13 4.00
1984 Reckoning 3.94 4.50
1985 Fables of the Reconstruction 3.79 4.50
1986 Lifes Rich Pageant 4.00 4.50
1987 Document 3.88 4.50
1988 Green 3.72 4.00
1991 Out of Time 3.63 4.50
1992 Automatic for the People 4.09 5.00
1994 Monster 3.34 3.50
1996 New Adventures in Hi-Fi 3.76 5.00
1998 Up 3.36 3.50
2001 Reveal 3.22 4.00
2004 Around the Sun 2.76
2007 R.E.M. Live 3.80
2008 Accelerate 3.47


Rating is 0-5; 5 being Best.
 
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Avri
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As usual, Dennis Leary said it best:

"Hey, hey, hey, Michael. Pull that bus over to the side of the Pretentiousness Turnpike. I want the Shiny people over here, the Happy people over here. I represent Meat-eating, Gun-toting f-cking people, OK?"

FWIW, I'm an REM fan, "Murmer" through "Monster". Never really *got* ". . . HiFi", and "Up" was just plain dull . . .
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Paul Newsham
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Interesting how people came to the REM party at different times and enjoyed different parts of their catalogue... I have work colleagues who joined at Monster. They love Monster. That's their experience and I wouldn't want to spoil it.

But here's my story...
I was hypnotised into being a fan by my brother playing Murmer over and over around the time of it being a college hit. I'd soaked it up but don't remember much more till Lifes Rich Pageant was released so many years later. Hearing 'Wolves, Lower' on the UK radio for a first play (Andy Kershaw) was a revelation, and I still remember taping it so my brother could hear it later. LRP is a fantastic album, I believe, begin the begin, fall on me, these days - all these stand up well today. Begin the begin was a particular highlight for me last night.

Then another break till Document and then Green (Warner, I know...).

I saw them live in '89 playing to a smallish crowd of maybe just a few thousand in Portsmouth Guildhall on the south coast of the UK (April 19th! I still have the ticket). As I implied above this was a rock epiphany for me. At that time REM were peaking. There live performance was edgy, yes - alternative, exciting, confusing, and blew my tiny mind.

Years later when Tourfilm came out I watched it repeatedly, to the point where my memories have surely become mixed so that I believe that performance is what I saw in Portsmouth that night.

I then read everything ever written about them, and rebought the back catalogue on CD. I was their biggest fan, kinda.

I was so into it that when Monster came out I wanted to love it - some of its pretty good actually - Crush with eyeliner, I like. They played Let me in last night - no references to Kurt, and it was acoustic rather than MM pummeling Kurts guitar. Pretty good too. But some of it (Monster) was just, well,...shit.

Then a slow decline happened - Up was okay, Reveal less so. And Around the Sun is just crap. I.M.O.

Accelerate does hijack that trend. It's okay again, but they are just trying to recreate rather than create.

I still love REM, I still love the old REM.
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Paul Newsham
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erak wrote:
Newsh wrote:
Just watched them tonight at the Rosebowl - Southampton, England.


The Rose Bowl is in Pasadena, California you geographically ignorant wanker!


Ah... well I had a few beers, I suppose I could have wandered across to California by mistake....

Nope... no.. the Rosebowl in Southampton, UK definitely exists...
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Newsh wrote:
Interesting how people came to the REM party at different times and enjoyed different parts of their catalogue... I have work colleagues who joined at Monster. They love Monster. That's their experience and I wouldn't want to spoil it.


I saw Pearl Jam last year. The guys in front of us did not know Ten. Did not know Vs. Did not know Vitalogy. Binaural, No Code, Yield, nothing! They were there for the last album - Pearl Jam. So weird.

[/OT]
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Steve Wagner
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Since I've been listening to a lot of Powderfinger lately (which is you don't know who they are, it's alright, they didn't get much pub in the US) I was thinking that they are like the Austrilian version of REM. (But in my opinion, much better.) Only their first album was like REM's Around the Sun.

For the record, other than Around the Sun, I don't think that REM has had a bad record. I might not listen to the early stuff all that much, but I can't say that it's bad. Just not my style.
 
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Alex

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Great! I was looking for an excuse to post my first poll! devil

Poll
How do you think each R.E.M. studio album compare against the others?
  Their Masterpiece Above Average Average Below Average Their Worst Album
Murmur
Reckoning
Fables of the Reconstruction
Lifes Rich Pageant
Document
Green
Out of Time
Automatic for the People
Monster
New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Up
Reveal
Around the Sun
Accelerate
      9 answers
Poll created by jellospike
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John So-And-So
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Awesome poll, I was hoping someone would post one. I had to cheat in the end, I just couldnt decide between Automatic and LRP.

Dave, you can kiss my grits. Yes, Automatic has some shit on it, but not NEARLY as much shit as Out of Time, and the gorgeous songs more than make up for it. Nightswimming and Find The River should make any person with a beating heart cry.
 
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Alex

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CapAp wrote:
Awesome poll, I was hoping someone would post one. I had to cheat in the end, I just couldnt decide between Automatic and LRP.


Thanks for the compliment. And there is nothing wrong with voting for 2 albums as their best if you like them equally. Hell, I voted for both Reveal and Around the Sun as their worst!!
 
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Dave Lartigue
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CapAp wrote:
Awesome poll, I was hoping someone would post one. I had to cheat in the end, I just couldnt decide between Automatic and LRP.

Dave, you can kiss my grits. Yes, Automatic has some shit on it, but not NEARLY as much shit as Out of Time, and the gorgeous songs more than make up for it. Nightswimming and Find The River should make any person with a beating heart cry.


I love "Nightswimming". Can't help but wonder if it was done more in the style of "Perfect Circle" instead of drenched in saccharine strings and piano to give it pseudo-gravitas. It's a great song that deserves a real dose of humanity to it other than wheeling out the strings.
 
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