R.E.M. – “We All Go Back to Where We Belong” (2011)

January 20, 2012 at 9:49 am (Music, R.E.M., Reviews & Articles)

This final single by R.E.M. is a nice way to say goodbye to a brilliant thirty year career. Mostly written by bassist Mike Mills, it shows a clear, understated Burt Bacharach feel with pensive lyrics and placid strings.  

After their last two albums, Accelerate and Collapse Into Now, saw them returning to the peak of their musical powers, they decided to end on a strong note with this leftover from the Collapse sessions.    

It may not send them off with a bang, but it’s a classy way to bow out. This is one band that will definitely be missed.

Jay Mucci

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R.E.M. – “Orange Crush” (Video – 1988)

September 23, 2011 at 4:12 pm (Music, R.E.M.)

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R.E.M. – “Fables of the Reconstruction” (1985)

September 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm (Music, R.E.M., Reviews & Articles)

With R.E.M. now “retired” we look back to their early days, in honor of their greatness. This review of their third album comes from The Washington Post, June 13, 1985 by Joe Sassy…

There is an ominous, reverberating guitar figure opening the first side of the new R.E.M. album Fables of the Reconstruction (IRS-5592) that, like the creepy theme to Perry Mason, is a bone-chilling introduction to mystery. Even granting lead singer Michael Stipe his characteristic burry unintelligibility, the third album from this much-heralded Georgia quartet asserts its musical magic on terms darker and more elusive than ever.

Eschewing radio-tailored accessibility and immediacy, Fables of the Reconstruction unfolds a dense and colorful rock tapestry, every bit as involving as a riddle with no solution. Traveling to England to work with producer Joe Boyd represents a significant change in R.E.M.’s typical southern recording strategy. Boyd, known for his work with Celtic rocker Richard Thompson, has deepened the band’s sound, moving it from its cheerier folk-rock heritage toward the more foreboding temper of Celtic culture and mythology.

The few explicit production touches Boyd does provide — the violins ending “Feeling Gravity’s Pull,” the fat soul horns that fade out “Can’t Get There from Here” and the plucky banjo coursing through “Wendell Gee” Read the rest of this entry »

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R.E.M. Breaks Up After Three Decades

September 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm (Music, R.E.M., Reviews & Articles)

Sad and surprising news to report…

Legendary Rock Band Have “Called It a Day”

R.E.M. announced today that they have broken up after 31 years together. “As lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band,” the band said in a statement on their official website. “We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished.”

In just over three decades as a band, R.E.M. released 15 albums including landmark works such as Murmur, Reckoning, Document, Out of Time and Automatic For the People. The band’s final album, Collapse Into Now, was released in March of this year. The band have plans to release a career-spanning greatest hits collection later this year, which will include a handful of new songs finished after the band completed Collapse Into Now. Read the rest of this entry »

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R.E.M. – “Chronic Town” (1982)

June 26, 2011 at 6:29 am (Music, R.E.M., Reviews & Articles)

Taken from CMJ magazine, November 1982 and written by Marianne Meyer, a quick look at R.E.M.’s debut EP Chronic Town…

The question here is not whether the group has talent, but what it intends to do with its obvious skill. This Athens, Georgia-based quartet has a sharp, unfailing grasp on `60s garage rock-anyone with a fondness for the form can sink into the atmospheric, 12-string strums and Merseybeat harmonies with a relieved sigh of familiarity and give thanks that the style is alive and well. As with other young undiscovered (by the masses) but appreciated (by the critics) bands like the Fleshtones and the Bongos, R.E.M. holds tight to a tradition of mid-tempo, slightly psychedelic songs that would feel equally at home in another Nuggets or pop/rock collection, and the production stresses that simple, almost tinny sound that `60s rock vets grew up on. So what next? Read the rest of this entry »

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R.E.M. – “Collapse Into Now” (2011)

March 26, 2011 at 6:35 am (Music, R.E.M., Reviews & Articles)

A recent review of the brand new R.E.M. album by Rob Sheffield in the pages of Rolling Stone, March 3, 2011…

R.E.M. make a beautiful mess — and remind you why you loved them.

For anyone wondering what Michael Stipe wants after all these years, Stipe has chosen R.E.M.’s 15th album as the place to run down his wish list. “I want Whitman proud!” he declares in the superb finale, “Blue.” “I want Patti Lee proud,” meaning old friend Patti Smith, who’s there in the studio making gorgeously guttural noises. “I want my brothers proud,” probably meaning Peter Buck and Mike Mills, who cut loose with a country-feedback guitar groove. “I want my sisters proud! I want me! I want it all! I want sensational, irresistible! This is my time, and I am thrilled to be alive!” And he sounds it.

Smith suggested the title Collapse Into Now, which could be an answer to her heartbreaking memoir from last year, Just Kids. Except instead of scruffy young bohemians hustling to make it, it’s a portrait of full-grown artists who reached the top long ago but decided to stick together and ride out the decades. You can hear a lot of shared history in the music, but you Read the rest of this entry »

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R.E.M. – “Supernatural Superserious” (2008)

February 12, 2009 at 11:13 am (David Fricke, R.E.M., Reviews & Articles)

David Fricke’s review of one of last year’s best singles (taken from my favorite album of 2008, Accelerate). Taken from Rolling Stone, March 6, 2008…

 

The pride of Athens, Georgia, is back in super-fuzz-guitar form  

 

This brisk bundle of pop-chorus sunshine and fuzzbox fisticuffs from R.E.M.’s forthcoming rock-centric album Accelerate, was originally called “Disguised” until R.E.M. pal and fan, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, working on his record next to where R.E.M. were mixing in London, had a better idea. “He was like, ’That’s a great song but a terrible title – you should change it to “Supernatural Superserious,’” R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe explains. That phrase from the final line is a perfect, contradictory fit for a song of identity crisis full of strutting guitars and the fighting joy of Stipe’s vocal and bassist Mike Mills’ background cries. “Everybody here/Comes from somewhere/That they would just as soon forget/And disguise,” Stipe sings against Peter Buck’s crusty strum, before the whole band bursts in with Document-era ardor. By the end, there are no masks, no fear, but “an open heart on a darkened stage/A celebration of your teenage station” – a classic blast of rock & roll transformation from a band at a new peak of its powers.

David Fricke

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Michael Stipe – “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (1987)

December 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm (Michael Stipe, Poetry & Literature, R.E.M.)

 

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane,
Lenny Bruce is not afraid
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn – world
Serves its own needs, dont misserve your own needs. Feed
It off an aux speak, grunt, no, strength, turn, ladder
Start to clatter with fear fight down height. Wire
In a fire, representing seven games, in a government
For hire and a combat site. Left of west and coming in
A hurry with the furies breathing down your neck. Team
By team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped
Look at that low playing! Fine, then. Uh oh,
Overflow, population, common food, but it’ll do. Save
Yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,
Listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and
The revered and the right, right. You vitriolic,
Patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty
Psyched

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Six o’clock – TV hour. Don’t get caught in foreign
Towers. Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself
Churn. Locking in, uniforming, and book burning, blood
Letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a motive. Step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no
Fear cavalier. Renegade steer clear! A tournament,
a Tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions,
Offer me alternatives and I decline

It’s the end of the world as we know it (it’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it (it’s time I had some time alone)
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (it’s time I had some
time alone)

I feel fine

The other night I dreamt of knives, continental
Drift divide. Mountains sit in a line, Leonard
Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester
Bangs. Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You
Symbiotic, patriotic, slam book neck, right? Right

It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (it’s time I had some
time alone).

 

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R.E.M. – “Until the Day Is Done” (Video – 2008)

November 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm (Music, R.E.M.)

R.E.M.’s new video, from their excellent Accelerate album.

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R.E.M. – “I Believe” (Live – 2008)

November 6, 2008 at 9:27 pm (Music, R.E.M.)

Recorded 2 nights ago on Election Day, in Santiago, Chile.

This is a link to their website…

http://remhq.com/news_story.php?id=932

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