BCB 130 - REM

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Jeemo
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Jeemo » 27 Sep 2014, 04:59

Automatic for the People the trendies Brothers in Arms.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby toomanyhatz » 27 Sep 2014, 05:02

I have a different relationship with them then most people here seem to. I have constantly been surrounded by people who loved them - one of my first really serious girlfriends was a huge fan, as is my wife. I saw them in '82 or so when they were just starting their rise and was really underwhelmed - just didn't get it. I thought Buck was McGuinn light, and Stipe, while he was gifted with a fairly idiosyncratic voice, had almost zero charisma. I thought all the strength was in the rhythm section - I still think Mills is an inventive bassist - and I really didn't see them becoming as huge as they became.

To this day (as Coan kind of says, though I'd pick different songs at both ends) they're a 'moments' band to me. Sometimes they just nail something on smarts and instinct (only very rarely on energy or intensity), occasionally they're just so 'alternative by numbers' they sound more like the numerous copycats than anything inventive or uniquely 'theirs.'

I suppose I should give the recent albums a listen, but I just gave up on them at some point - even the stuff I like the most I'm so very rarely interested in hearing.

Best song - "Finest Worksong." For whatever reason, this one's just always worked. Catchy, well-played and sung, and yet modest - one of the few times they managed to keep me interested, and it was (maybe because) when it sounded like they weren't really trying.

Best album - Document. Whatever it is 'they do,' they do it right on that one. Except for "The One I Love." That song can fuck off.

Most underrated album - Don't know if it's underrated by fans, but Automatic for the People is the one from "after I gave up on them" that I actually like. And here's where I disagree with Coan big time - I find "Everybody Hurts" touching - one of their most sincere and lovely songs. In part 'cause Stipe seems to know enough to not oversell it.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Copehead » 27 Sep 2014, 09:28

A fine band with something worth listening to on every single one of their albums even if I do believe they tailed off markedly after Bill Berry ( real name not punk nom de guerre ) left.

I came to them a little late listening to Reckoning with a motherly biker hippy chick mature student whilst listening to records and smoking dope in her digs

By that stage I think I had already missed their first UK tour because I can remember the american exchange students in my student house raving about it. I would never do anything as uncool as going to see an American Rock band in those days obviously.

But that run of albums up to AFTP can stand toe to toe with any other band on Earth and hold its own as far as I am concerned., the quality of the song writing hit level is high, probably due to multiple song writers being in the band, and the vocal harmonies lift the songs further which makes Mike Mills a key member.

My favourite album - Lifes Rich Pageant

Song - Me In Honey
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 27 Sep 2014, 09:31

Why 'Me In Honey'? Why? Why would you call a song that? Why?
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Copehead » 27 Sep 2014, 09:34

hey white boy you chasin our FRUIT CLOWN wrote:Why 'Me In Honey'? Why? Why would you call a song that? Why?


Because he uses honey as a metaphor for love/sex in the song?

I love the repetitive guitar riff, it just goes round and round like a VU song.

I also love the Kate Pierson vocals on it

I don't think the lyrics are up to much and I don't really care.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby 'skope » 27 Sep 2014, 09:35

i DO like this one:



apologies to all i offended yesterday on this thread.

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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Belle Lettre » 27 Sep 2014, 10:00

I adore Stipe's voice.

Life's Rich Pageant is the album for me, but my favourite song may just be Pretty Persuasion.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 27 Sep 2014, 10:11

I think the REM reappraisal movement is in full swing.

Rightly so.

Are the two unplugged sets worth having?
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 27 Sep 2014, 10:13

Just as I was writing my post yesterday, an email arrived announcing this:

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http://view.e.wbr.com/?j=fe8a1578766c0d ... 010969&r=0
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby GoogaMooga » 27 Sep 2014, 10:17

Jeemo wrote:Automatic for the People the trendies Brothers in Arms.


i'll believe that without even having heard it!
1966 and all that

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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Guy E » 27 Sep 2014, 12:06

I love REM. Having seen them early-on, around the time of their first sessions when they recorded the Hibtone single, I have to say that their success was pretty much a given in the eyes and ears of everyone on the scene. Peter may not have been a very accomplished guitarist in the beginning, but he had the riffs and they were a tight and thrilling live act. Stipe was far more energetic on stage in the early years, doing a kind of pow-wow whirling dervish dance... that ended after he fell off a stage and broke a leg.

But they were tighter and had better songs than just about any other band on the underground scene, American or British. They made new fans with every performance. Stipe could really sing... that Richie Havens growl was a true vocal gift compared to the vast majority of men who stepped up to the microphone.

The first three, Automatic, and I'll give a vote for Monster too... a fun album. Hell, I like 'em all - I enjoyed spinning New Adventures in Hi-Fi recently, a wonderfully varied album.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Samoan » 29 Sep 2014, 20:27

look at them gays wrote:'Losing My Religion' and 'Everybody Hurts' are on constant rotation in hell. Those songs are as bad as Chris De Burgh. They really are cut from the same kind of cloth. If you don't believe me, give them a listen.

:)

I was really late to REM, in fact I don't know where my musical head was at in 1991 but one afternoon I was driving to work for a late shift and music, the like of which I'd never heard before came on the radio and I practically slammed on the brakes in astonishment and delight. I pulled over into the nearest driveway without a yellow line and wacked the volume right up.
Maybe it was the mandolin, and the strings, but I was enthralled by it.
Anyway, that was 'Losing My Religion' and my introduction to REM.
That was a very good day.
I've long forsworn the song, naturally. My kid sister, seven years younger than me rushed me a mix tape and some recommendations. She knew all about them and loved them.

And this is my BCB 130 partial POST OF SHAME :oops:
- - - - - - - ------------- - - - - - - -------------------------------------------

Favourite Album - Lifes Rich Pageant.

Favourite Single - Nightswimming.
Last edited by Samoan on 30 Sep 2014, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Quaco » 30 Sep 2014, 01:22

I like Stipe's voice. I know because when he sings on that Indigo Girls song, which is actually good, it gives me chills. But I hate how the band writes songs and his lyrics are, more often than not, artistically offensive to me. But they have a couple songs that I kind of like.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby lord_of_light88 » 30 Sep 2014, 01:45

Hands tired, heart aches, half a world away

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kath
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby kath » 30 Sep 2014, 03:16

look at them gays wrote:Just as I was writing my post yesterday, an email arrived announcing this:

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http://view.e.wbr.com/?j=fe8a1578766c0d ... 010969&r=0



i've only just spotted this. oooof. thanks for the info. i'm sure i can scrounge up enough by november. (by scrounge up, i mean bribe shamelessly, of course.)

i will come back to other things (new adventures in hi fi, deejay thom's picks, finest worksongs, stipery and shame, my ass) at some later point that is not right now. i appreciate the responses, though. i expected much more flak feedback, to be honest. mwhaha.

it's a good thing when people grab onto what they love from a band you love. i know i love it when i'm the grabber on the other side of the equation. REM's got a lot there for the trying. close to three decades worth, anyway. if anyone not a fan so much as gives em more of a shot, i'm happy.

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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby Your Friendly Neighbourhood Postman » 30 Sep 2014, 08:57

You did a wonderful job, Kath -

in a sense you woke me up on REM. I had lost interest somehow, and unjustly so. Your OP made me think again: the main question was: hey, Frank, what's good about them - instead of pondering their lesser works.

Turned out that there is/was very much good about them. Saw them live (excellent, in Utrecht, Vredenburg venue, 1987). Own most of their recorded work. There's a reason for that.

REM were great, and I want to thank you for reminding me of that, Kath.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby sloopjohnc » 30 Sep 2014, 15:14

Radio Free Europe got radio and street buzz like nothing else around where I lived. I like their IRS stuff a lot - where they are inspired and stumbling around at the same time. After about the third album, I lost interest I have to say.

Despite that, a really good American group that paved a path of certain musicians of that era. It kinda gave them permission to do that Byrds kinda stuff again. I'd throw in Mitch Easter and Don Dixon as extended family members who shared REM's off-kilter guitar pop sensibility.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby lord_of_light88 » 01 Oct 2014, 09:21

Ever since the album came out, this has been the song for the morning of every October 1st:

Once you had a dream of oceans and sunken cities
Memories of things you've never known
And you have never known


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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby bobzilla77 » 01 Oct 2014, 18:40

I was really into those first four albums. I'd bought Reckoning after reading about them constantly for a year and finally decided, I should at least know about this. It became one of my big albums that summer.

Lifes Rich Pageant is still my favorite, and I distinctly remember the thrill of listening to it the first time. It was cool to have one of my favorite bands put out a new album that was in fact BETTER than their other albums.... as a teenager that was into stuff like Stones, Bowie and Talking Heads, by the mid-1980s, I was learning to be disappointed by new albums.

After that I kind of left them to the rest of the world, but would still hear a new thing from them once in a while and think, that was really good. I thought Losing My Religion was poignant and lovely the first 14 or 15 times I heard it. I even liked Shiny Hapy People. But they were no longer my thing. I never saw them live, which I regretted when I watched their totally enjoyable Hall of Fame performance.

I never liked Automatic For The People though... that seems to be where me and the consensus part ways.
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Re: BCB 130 - REM

Postby nathan » 01 Oct 2014, 19:19

Copehead wrote:
hey white boy you chasin our FRUIT CLOWN wrote:Why 'Me In Honey'? Why? Why would you call a song that? Why?


Because he uses honey as a metaphor for love/sex in the song?

Man, fuck THIS! I think this in a nutshell is why I can't stomach R.E.M. and Stipe in particular. It's just so fucking stupid sometimes. When they are at their worst, they are downright embarrassing.

Sure, they had some fun singles. But shit, what a bummer of a band. The modern Dave Clark 5.