How Does It Feel (To Post About R.E.M.)?

I'm a huge fan. One of the highlights of my life was following them on tour in 2005 for a bit, and one of my career highlights was interviewing Michael Stipe around the same time (I also saw them at MSG around this time - 2003, I think - and it was incredible as well). I've always leaned towards the IRS years, and then up to New Adventures. But I do quite like Up, and a bit of Reveal too. Later stuff doesn't hold a candle to early stuff though. They strike me as the rare band that were allowed to develop over time, with pretty much every album up to Out of Time/Monster selling more than its predecessor as they got more and more fans. My favourite tracks vary over time but would include Cuyahoga, Gardening At Night, Superman, and Country Feedback. Got a big soft spot for Unplugged 1991 too.

I saw them at MSG around that time as well! Once on the greatest hits tour and once on the around the sun tour. All my live experiences were in the later years because I was too young before that but they were always great.

I think up is almost a great album and probably could have been with some different sequencing. I think reveal is a great album but it may be because it was the only thing I had on a cassette in my car one summer and I listen to it over and over again. I feel like it could get rediscovered down the line sort of like NAIHF.
 
collapse into now is the only album in their catalog that doesn't bring something new to the table. that said, it also contains material that as an album encapsulates their entire career- you hear sounds from their entire history over the course of that 40+ minutes, and given that they knew going in it was going to be their final record as a band i love that they put out a record that blends all of their sounds into one and basically sends the message that 'we were r.e.m. and this is what we did'. to me, it's their best record post-up and if you're going to listen to only one record they made as a trio i would suggest that one despite how much i personally love up.

and since i'm talking about collapse into now, there are few songs out there that when i listen bring me a sense or feeling of pure joy as much as it happened today, specifically the outro. if i need to cheer myself up a bit, it's guaranteed i can put that song on and by the end i'll feel like things are going to be ok.

 
Not sure where to put this so I will post here. I grabbed a 1985 press of Fables of the Reconstruction when I was grabbing a Lounge Lizard album, because free shipping. Anyway, I get the record in and it came with extras.

This is the “press” clip and ticket from a Dec show in 1985 and it looks like they kept the sticker from the show and stuck it on the sleeve.

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Same thing happened to me... I was (and am) a big fan of everything until New Adventures in HiFi, but kind of lost touch when the band became a trio.
I am obviously biased toward the earlier material, but I never felt any connection to the last few albums: Up, Reveal, Around The Sun, Accelerate, Collapse Into Now.

Maybe it's because they went from a 4-piece to a trio. Any fans of later stuff want to pick some songs to change my mind?

Although I have the same meh-ness towards the last few albums, I do like Up and Reveal. Reveal in particular has a lot of the Mike Mills beachboys-fanboy touches on it -- lots of harmonies and layered instrumentation. Up is more electronica and it always felt a bit forced and kind of desperate to me -- sorta like oh well, bill's out of the band, can't do the bombastic rock band thing, let's just do the same shit Madonna's doing and steal electronica from the other kids in '97.
 
I got into R.E.M. several years after their breakup, but I went pretty deep into their catalog then. I love those early records so much, but New Adventures In Hi-Fi is a later career classic, and I'm happy so many seem to agree on that. The ones beyond that are better than I thought they were, but they are nowhere near my favorites. Up is closer to being up there I think? It's really not a bad album, it just seems like it might be based on cover art and title. I never got into Accelerate or Around The Sun. Also I don't care for the sound of Monster even if there are good songs buried in there.

Side note: if you haven't seen the documentary REM By MTV, I highly recommend it. It encapsulates their entire career and really gives you a sense of how important they were at their time. At least it does for someone like me, who grew up in the 90s and always had a sense of who they were, but never knew the magnitude of their career.
 
Been meaning to do a deep dive on the R.E.M. catalogue for a while now, so taking advantage of being sick to dive in. I think everything pre-Lifes Rich Pageant was a first listen, and a couple of the last albums will be when I get there. Might take me awhile to clear the IRS years though, as I keep going back!
 
Been meaning to do a deep dive on the R.E.M. catalogue for a while now, so taking advantage of being sick to dive in. I think everything pre-Lifes Rich Pageant was a first listen, and a couple of the last albums will be when I get there. Might take me awhile to clear the IRS years though, as I keep going back!
FYI since I know you’re a fan, check out the murmur 33 1/3 book, one of the best in the series imo.
 
Things I've learned today:

  • I enjoy Around The Sun far more than I was expecting to, given all the negativity that surrounds it.
  • Accelerate is awesome.
They’re not bad. It’s just the competition around them is so hard. Like even reveal which is by any measure an amazing album is considered one of their lesser albums, because they just did monster and new adventures, and the back catalogue is like killer record after killer record
 
They’re not bad. It’s just the competition around them is so hard. Like even reveal which is by any measure an amazing album is considered one of their lesser albums, because they just did monster and new adventures, and the back catalogue is like killer record after killer record

I was expecting more of a steady downward trajectory for act three of the discography, so Accelerate felt like a nice little spike in the plot - on initial listen I like it even more than Reveal - but I'm working my way through additional listens of both.

Around the Sun I was expecting it to be bad based on what I'd read going into it. Certainly, it's far from the top end of their catalog, but it's not bad at all!
 
I was expecting more of a steady downward trajectory for act three of the discography, so Accelerate felt like a nice little spike in the plot - on initial listen I like it even more than Reveal - but I'm working my way through additional listens of both.

Around the Sun I was expecting it to be bad based on what I'd read going into it. Certainly, it's far from the top end of their catalog, but it's not bad at all!

that's the short of it, it's not bad, it's just when you start with murmur and your catalogue includes fables, document, reckoning, it's kind of mind blowing they get to automatic, monster and new adventures. shit, have you heard dead letter office? it's a b-sides collection! and then there's the fact that the latter albums like reveal, accelerate and around the sun is like them adjusting to being older, more grown up in a way.

also, the latter-days live album (live at olympia ? not sure now) is really, really good.
 
This is where the past two weeks or so have brought me so far:


New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Chronic Town
Monster
Lifes Rich Pageant
Murmur
Document
Out of Time
Automatic For the People
Fables of the Reconstruction
Reckoning
Accelerate
Reveal
Up
Green
Around The Sun
Collapse Into Now



That all said, there's none I heavily dislike, although Collapse Into Now was a very clear least favourite, while Accelerate through Around The Sun could probably move around a fair bit at any given time...
 
Things I've learned today:

  • I enjoy Around The Sun far more than I was expecting to, given all the negativity that surrounds it.
  • Accelerate is awesome.
Around the Sun is bad for them. A lot of bands couldn’t make that good of an album in their entire careers.

I was so pumped when Accelerate came out. It was so energetic punchy fun and to the point. I think I may have only listened to my original copy like once because it was 2 lp at 45. Might as well just stand at the turntable hahahaha


i like it much more than Collapse. I know me brah @I’m Just Ken disagrees.
 
This is where the past two weeks or so have brought me so far:


New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Chronic Town
Monster
Lifes Rich Pageant
Murmur
Document
Out of Time
Automatic For the People
Fables of the Reconstruction
Reckoning
Accelerate
Reveal
Up
Green
Around The Sun
Collapse Into Now



That all said, there's none I heavily dislike, although Collapse Into Now was a very clear least favourite, while Accelerate through Around The Sun could probably move around a fair bit at any given time...

What I love about REM is that no ranking of their albums is ever incorrect. Here’s mine:

1. Automatic For The People
2. Reckoning
3. Lifes Rich Pageant
4. Murmur
5. Chronic Town
6. New Adventures In Hi-Fi
7. Out Of Time
8. Green
9. Document
10. Fables Of The Reconstruction
11. Monster
12. Reveal
13. Up
14. Collapse Into Now
15. Accelerate
16. Around The Sun
 
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