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gperkins151

R.E.M.

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I saw them live in 95' fourth row, they were amazing one of the best concerts I've seen. I have every disc and I find myself always going back to the old stuff.

Edited by ZoSo1960

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To be honest I sort of lost track of REM during the 2000's but it's sad to read about this. I can't believe it's been that long for them as a band actually. Nice article.

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To be honest I sort of lost track of REM during the 2000's but it's sad to read about this. I can't believe it's been that long for them as a band actually. Nice article.

It's funny how everyone has their different dropping off points. For some it was Lifes Rich Pageant (too commercial), for others it was Document (too commercial), Green (they've sold out to Warner Brothers) or when Bill Berry left following the release of New Adventures In Hi-Fi. For whatever reason, I stayed along for the entire ride from Chronic Town (even though it was Murmur I heard first) through Collapse Into Now. Were there times I started to lose interest along the way? Of course, I'd be lying through my teeth if I said otherwise. I was well aware of their hard rock/punk rock side prior to the release of Monster but the studio treatment of Stipe's vocals on that record nearly rendered them unrecognizable. That didn't really turn me off but it definitely threw me off. Their first record after Bill Berry left, Up, also threw me for a huge loop. In fact, I disliked it so much, I nearly returned it to the record store. I'm glad I didn't because that album is the very definition of a "grower". It took me a year to fully absorb and appreciate it but it was well worth it. I now consider it the best of their post-Bill Berry work with Collapse Into Now (which more closely resembles the varied songcraft of New Adventures In Hi-Fi) running a close second. Reveal I was not much of a fan of and I'm still not but I have grown to appreciate it more over the years. I even liked the follow up to that, Around the Sun, which many consider to be R.E.M.'s absolute low point. Accelerate was a return to the more raucous sounds of Monster but I believe it was too little too late, despite the outstanding performances they turned in for the rehearsals (captured on the Live At Olympia set) in Dublin that yielded Accelerate. For the first time in years, those Dublin concerts found R.E.M. breaking in new material in front of a live audience again. It also found them revisiting very rarely played chestnuts such as "Kohoteuk". It also squashed the living shit out of R.E.M. Live which had been recorded during the Around the Sun tour in 2004. Funny thing is, the press kept referring to Accelerate as a "return to form". Well, maybe for someone that came onboard with either Monster or New Adventures In Hi-Fi but at their heart, R.E.M. were always more of a folk-rock band than a hard rock one so I didn't find Accelerate to be all that characteristic of R.E.M. even though it did include a few ballads that were their stock in trade once upon a time. I think their final album, Collapse Into Now was much more representative of R.E.M., especially the latter day version that had recorded Automatic For the People and New Adventures In Hi-Fi. Bill Berry said he wouldn't leave the band if it meant they were going to break up. For better or worse, I'm glad they stuck around for as long as they did. Some bands just don't know when to call it quits. As painful as it is to know there will never be another R.E.M. album or tour, they picked an appropriate time to hang it up.

Edited by Jahfin

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"New Adventures in Hi-Fi" was probabaly the last REM album I really loved. The one after that "Up" pretty much lost me. After that it was hit or miss and they just sort of got put in the back burner for me. I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

I do find it funny to read that "Life's Rich Pageant" was considered a sell out to some people. Heaven forbid having a mainstream studio drum sound. I guess people like what they like, or don't. Personally speaking, every one of those IRS label 1980's LP's they did were drop dead classics. I bought each as they were issued and played them all to death. REM was one of the few bands in the 1980's that played and recorded true rock and roll..........even though it was labelled as something else at the time.

Great band and like I said before I'm sad to see it end for them.

Edited by dazedcat

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Fables remains my favorite even though I must admit the Lifes Rich Pageant reissue this past summer made me look at that record in a different light. I never disliked it, it's just that the reissue (just like the ones for Murmur, Reckoning and Fables before it) took me right back to when I heard them for the very first time. I was hooked from the very first moment I heard "Laughing" on WQDR out of Raleigh (now a country station) back when "album rock" actually meant that. From there I went out and purchased Murmur and Chronic Town and bought each new record as it came out. Even though they were playing all around back in those days, I never saw them in concert until 1986.

Back to Lifes Rich Pageant, it definitely had a much fuller sound and pushed Berry's drums and Stipe's vocals to the forefront (that still didn't make it any easier to understand what in the fuck he was singing about). I think it also truly captured what R.E.M. sounded like live for the first time since Chronic Town. I can understand people jumping ship for various reasons over the years but for whatever reason, I hung on until the very end and I'm so very glad I did. Even though I liked Collapse Into Now, it's been a very long time since the announcement of a new R.E.M. record got me excited. The last one would probably be New Adventures In Hi-Fi. On the other hand, they always brought it live, something I believe that was always their true strength. That's perhaps what I will miss most. Sure, the anticipation of a new album is something I'm going to miss but the sheer excitement and the adrenaline rush of a live concert was were it was at for me. Especially some of those early concerts and even right up until the Green World tour where I felt like I was being transported. Those were as close to a "religious" experience that I've ever had. No other band has done that for me and I very seriously doubt they ever will.

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Pearl Jam cover "It Happened Today" from R.E.M.'s last studio album, Collapse Into Now on Wednesday night in Calgary, Canada. Vedder contributed backing vocals to the song which was written about the passing of Vic Chesnutt who committed suicide on Christmas day in 2009.

Edited by Jahfin

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Fables remains my favorite even though I must admit the Lifes Rich Pageant reissue this past summer made me look at that record in a different light. I never disliked it, it's just that the reissue (just like the ones for Murmur, Reckoning and Fables before it) took me right back to when I heard them for the very first time. I was hooked from the very first moment I heard "Laughing" on WQDR out of Raleigh (now a country station) back when "album rock" actually meant that. From there I went out and purchased Murmur and Chronic Town and bought each new record as it came out. Even though they were playing all around back in those days, I never saw them in concert until 1986.

Back to Lifes Rich Pageant, it definitely had a much fuller sound and pushed Berry's drums and Stipe's vocals to the forefront (that still didn't make it any easier to understand what in the fuck he was singing about). I think it also truly captured what R.E.M. sounded like live for the first time since Chronic Town. I can understand people jumping ship for various reasons over the years but for whatever reason, I hung on until the very end and I'm so very glad I did. Even though I liked Collapse Into Now, it's been a very long time since the announcement of a new R.E.M. record got me excited. The last one would probably be New Adventures In Hi-Fi. On the other hand, they always brought it live, something I believe that was always their true strength. That's perhaps what I will miss most. Sure, the anticipation of a new album is something I'm going to miss but the sheer excitement and the adrenaline rush of a live concert was were it was at for me. Especially some of those early concerts and even right up until the Green World tour where I felt like I was being transported. Those were as close to a "religious" experience that I've ever had. No other band has done that for me and I very seriously doubt they ever will.

:goodpost:

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Pearl Jam cover "It Happened Today" from R.E.M.'s last studio album, Collapse Into Now on Wednesday night in Calgary, Canada. Vedder contributed backing vocals to the song which was written about the passing of Vic Chesnutt who committed suicide on Christmas day in 2009.

Thanks so much for posting that!

Today I listened to Accelerate and Collapse today in memoriam, but I remain quite saddened by this news. Regardless of all the intellectual arguments being posed for their break up, emotionally it's going to be rough for me, for awhile at least. R.E.M. opened up a whole world of music to me. Before them, I listened to Pink Floyd 24/7. For a long time, they were my favorite band. (pearl jam is my favorite these days, which makes that video all the more touching for me) Saw them twice on the Green tour, once on the Monster tour and once for Accelerate. They were artsy, gutsy, intellectual, political, emotional, cool, danceable - they had it all. I will greatly miss their music.

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Thanks so much for posting that!

Today I listened to Accelerate and Collapse today in memoriam, but I remain quite saddened by this news. Regardless of all the intellectual arguments being posed for their break up, emotionally it's going to be rough for me, for awhile at least. R.E.M. opened up a whole world of music to me. Before them, I listened to Pink Floyd 24/7. For a long time, they were my favorite band. (pearl jam is my favorite these days, which makes that video all the more touching for me) Saw them twice on the Green tour, once on the Monster tour and once for Accelerate. They were artsy, gutsy, intellectual, political, emotional, cool, danceable - they had it all. I will greatly miss their music.

When I sat back and really thought about it the other day, I realized I was 20 years old when I heard R.E.M. for the first time. I'm 49 now. That is a very huge chunk of my life.

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While everything after Automatic For The People was a clear step down for me I wouldnt say that REM really "jumped the shark" in the way many big bands have, since then its been consiatntly good but not world beating material IMHO.

As far as personal favourites go I always return to Murmur, that record just has something magical and mysterious about it that they(nore anyone else) has quite been able to recapture.

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R.E.M. remembered in the current issue of Flagpole:

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R.E.M.HQ has also been posting links to a number of articles about R.E.M. since the announcement of their disbandment last week. Those can be read here.

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Trailer for Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage:

Edited by Jahfin

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I still don't know what to make of this compilation: on the one hand not all 40 songs are influential as the trailer says (there are three new songs, for instance, of which we haven't heard a thing, so their quality is ignored). On the other hand there are some really good songs missing here like It Happened Today and especially 'Drive'. They are omitting this song, for the second time, since it didn't appear in "In Time: The Best of R.E.M." either. I thought they'd correct the mistake by including the song in this compilation, instead they repeated the mistake. Personally that'd be reason enough to stay away from this compilation. unless Hallelujah and Month of Saturdays turn out to be amazing I don't think I'm putting my dollars into this, unless those three songs justify the purchase or if a special edition with DVD comes out.

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Since I already own all of these songs (save for the three new ones) it really doesn't matter to me what songs on are on the compilation as it's geared towards the casual fan anyway. No matter what songs they include, somebody is going to be unhappy with the selection. However, I do wonder what will become of the short films Stipe had commissioned for Collapse Into Now. All of them, except for three ("That Someone Is You", "Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I" and "Blue"), were debuted online as promised. There is also the live footage they shot at Hansa Studios in Berlin. Hopefully those clips, along with the Collapse Into Now short films will eventually see the light of day on DVD.

Edited by Jahfin

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I'm excited about the Hansa sessions being released, as well as the lyric videos. I'm not excited about the Collapse into Now films being released, honestly they're garbage to borrow a word from the compilation's title. I never had the enthusiasm to see a video like Every day is Yours to Win, from what I've read it's a collection of clips from YouTube, maybe a copy paste collage video. I think only the AutoCAD community praised the Discoverer video, while I also heard about a horse pissing in the It Happened Today video? The only video I saw from beginning to end was Smell like Honey, and that I think it's a proper music video, might not be a masterpiece but it mostly fits the description of a music video. On the contrary, I saw all of the Hansa studio sessions and at some point some guys were carrying a discussion (in my opinion a pointless discussion) whether those videos where actually "live" videos given that some sounds, expressions, do not seem to match the footage.

Personally I thought they would release something akin to the Parallel DVD, which appeared after Monster I believe, and contained a nice compilation of Warner videos with various other bonus short films. Instead this Part Lies is a simple hits compilation with a few extra tracks and conveniently released at a time when R.E.M. is fresh in the memory of people because of the disbandment.

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I'm excited about the Hansa sessions being released, as well as the lyric videos. I'm not excited about the Collapse into Now films being released, honestly they're garbage to borrow a word from the compilation's title. I never had the enthusiasm to see a video like Every day is Yours to Win, from what I've read it's a collection of clips from YouTube, maybe a copy paste collage video. I think only the AutoCAD community praised the Discoverer video, while I also heard about a horse pissing in the It Happened Today video? The only video I saw from beginning to end was Smell like Honey, and that I think it's a proper music video, might not be a masterpiece but it mostly fits the description of a music video. On the contrary, I saw all of the Hansa studio sessions and at some point some guys were carrying a discussion (in my opinion a pointless discussion) whether those videos where actually "live" videos given that some sounds, expressions, do not seem to match the footage.

Considering the less than warm reception most of the short films for Collapse Into Now received online (at least at the R.E.M. fansite Murmurs), I have to wonder if Stipe decided to abandon the project altogether by not debuting those final three films online as originally planned. While I'm interested in seeing those last three films, I'm much more interested in seeing the Hansa Studio footage (live or not) released on DVD.

Personally I thought they would release something akin to the Parallel DVD, which appeared after Monster I believe, and contained a nice compilation of Warner videos with various other bonus short films. Instead this Part Lies is a simple hits compilation with a few extra tracks and conveniently released at a time when R.E.M. is fresh in the memory of people because of the disbandment.

As I understand it, the decision to release the greatest hits compilation was in the works prior to the band deciding to call it quits. However, while assembling the tracks for inclusion it was Mills who said, "During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, 'what next'? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together." Also, as I'm sure you're aware, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage will fulfill their contractual obligations to Warner Brothers. At least that is my understanding. In other words, it was going to come out anyway, whether they disbanded or not. Lots of people will see it as a cash-in. There's also lots of fans out there clamoring for a "farewell" tour. I can only imagine the backlash if they were to launch one final tour on the heels of a greatest hits release. I think they did the right thing by bowing out without a lot of hoopla. No matter how they handled it, there's always going to be a certain faction of the fanbase out there bitching about it.

Edited by Jahfin

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Never bought the last two albums. I will someday....but there's no hurry now. "Around the Sun" was a major disappointment for me. They sounded so tired and cliche on that effort. Although I like their whole back catalog, "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" and "Up" are probably what I listen to the most when I get an REM urge. I think both are very under-rated efforts.

Saw them twice live and was disappointed both times. The live mix for the Monster tour was nasty. The "Up" tour was much better, but even then I felt this band was out of their league playing arenas and large sheds. Would have loved to see them at a small venue like a Fox or Fillmore type theatre setting.

"So Fast So Numb" is still one of my favorites. "King of Birds"...."Superman"....."Nightswimming".....all great stuff.

"Your eyes are burning holes through me....I'm gasoline.....I'm burnin' clean. " B)

Michael's also prove that not every guy should shave their head.....unless you're striving to look like a modern day Nasferatu ! :P

Jahfin.....appreciate your efforts this past decade keeping me up on REM news.....much appreciated you crusty fucker.

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I also like Up but it took me a long time to fully appreciate it. I also agree about the Monster tour. I love that record but on that tour they felt the need to play everything at 11, even the quieter tunes. That just didn't work, at least to me. I also love New Adventures In Hi-Fi and think it's deserving of the praise that is so often heaped on Automatic for the People. Also an outstanding record but not really my favorite of the albums they did with Bill Berry once signing with Warner Brothers. I actually like Around the Sun but can certainly understand why so many (including the band members themselves) have so harshly criticized it. Out of the post-Bill Berry records, Reveal is my least favorite. As for R.E.M. in concert, I never witnessed them put on a less than a stellar performance although there were a couple of times (the aforementioned Monster tour and one date on the tour for Around the Sun) were I didn't feel they were up to snuff. During that show on the Around the Sun tour they were playing a homecoming concert in Atlanta but were met with boos from some members of the audience that weren't exactly thrilled with R.E.M. endorsing John Kerry for President. Not sure what those folks expected, especially considering it was an R.E.M. concert.

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28 years ago today, R.E.M. made their national television debut on Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. The second song ("So. Central Rain" [i'm Sorry]) was too new to even be named at the time.

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I have the impression that R.E.M took the disbandment decision long ago, it wasn't an overnight decision. They just didn't want to communicate it, or couldn't communicate it for some legal reasons. The fact is they didn't tour this year, they were rarely seen together in 2011 except for maybe the photo sessions with Anton Corbijn, each of the members were involved in their own personal projects. Prior to that September 21st announcement they had been separated for quite a while --that's the impression I have, although I could be wrong.

It's a pity that most of the songs from Collapse into Now will never be played in concert. As far as I remember only Every Day is Yours to Win (and probably another song from Collapse into Now that I don't remember at the moment) were performed by Michael Stipe and a backing band early in 2011 during a Tibet concert. So most of the songs from Collapse into Now will go into that vault of songs R.E.M. never performed live, that group of songs include: Bittersweet Me and Sing for the Submarine.

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