BCB 100 - REM

Threads and discussion dedicated to major acts.
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Dr. Baron
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Postby Dr. Baron » 25 Jul 2006, 00:32

Deebank wrote:I can't believe Document is getting all this praise either - a workmanlike effort with a couple of highlights in my book.


This is the correct view.

ALBUM: Murmur
SONG: I don't understand how you people can do these things. I'll get back.
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?
take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.
GoogaMooga wrote:It's a film I have waited 39 years to see. Now I have the chance, but I may just crap out.

Sneelock

Postby Sneelock » 25 Jul 2006, 00:33

album: Reckoning
song: Kohoutek

I know a nice couple and R.E.M. remain their favorite band. If not for them I probably wouldn't listen on my own. I saw them on the 'Fables of the Reconstruction' tour and disliked Stipe immensely. Still, I thought they were still making good records until 'Green'

sorry if it's your favorite but, to me, 'Green' just said "you can stop buying this bands records now"
so I pretty much did.

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Postby bobzilla77 » 25 Jul 2006, 00:39

My favorite is the one that was playing on the radio when I got back from lunch. I smoked a cig & listened to the whole thing before going back into the air conditioning, which on a day like this is quite a compliment.

Album: Lifes Rich Pageant
Song: pick one any one! IMO, this is their only album that's good from front to back. Even the radio hit, Fall On Me, is truly impressive.
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Postby Quaco » 25 Jul 2006, 01:03

REM, for me, are like deseases of birds or certified public accountancy: I know some people enjoy these things, even making them their life's work, but I just have no interest in even thinking about them. Not awful per se, but of utterly no interest to me.

Song: "Everybody Hurts" is pretty good. That ii-V chord progression never lets me down. And there was an instrumental (I think) on Automatic for the People that was great. Also, when freed from the (what I see as) formlessness of REM's approach to songwriting, I actually like Stipe's voice. His cameo on the Indigo Girls' "Kid Fears" is genuinely moving.
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Snowdog
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Postby Snowdog » 25 Jul 2006, 01:13

I have to say that I'm quite astonished at how much everyone seems to like REM compared to, say, U2 who seem to get quite roundly slated by quite a large number of posters.

It's a funny old world. :?
"Elements of the past & future, combining to make something not quite as good as either."

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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 25 Jul 2006, 01:14

Snowdog 2006 wrote:I have to say that I'm quite astonished at how much everyone seems to like REM compared to, say, U2 who seem to get quite roundly slated by quite a large number of posters.

It's a funny old world. :?


REM do mystery and enigma, you know.

It's all in the cardigans.

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Postby Dr. Baron » 25 Jul 2006, 01:18

Sir John Coan wrote:
Snowdog 2006 wrote:I have to say that I'm quite astonished at how much everyone seems to like REM compared to, say, U2 who seem to get quite roundly slated by quite a large number of posters.

It's a funny old world. :?


REM do mystery and enigma, you know.

It's all in the cardigans.


Get over it.
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?
take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.
GoogaMooga wrote:It's a film I have waited 39 years to see. Now I have the chance, but I may just crap out.

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Postby Tom Violence » 25 Jul 2006, 01:20

Whilst i'm a HUGE fan, I didn't enjoy their latest offering as much as I have previous ones. Though it had its moments such as 'Leaving New York'', 'Aftermath', 'Boy in the Well'...it wasn't as inspired as most of their work....I'd hate to see them become the new Rolling Stones (some would claim that happened after Automatic for the People).
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Postby Owen » 25 Jul 2006, 01:23

Pretty Boy Floyd wrote:Whilst i'm a HUGE fan, I didn't enjoy their latest offering as much as I have previous ones. Though it had its moments such as 'Leaving New York'', 'Aftermath', 'Boy in the Well'...it wasn't as inspired as most of their work....I'd hate to see them become the new Rolling Stones (some would claim that happened after Automatic for the People).


there's similarities though, i saw them last summer after liking a handful of tracks on the latest album and it was still an amazing gig despite the venue being huge (admittedly i was right at the front) i saw the stones a few years ago and it was very similar, good songs, great gig, nobody caring about the new stuff

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Postby Snowdog » 25 Jul 2006, 01:26

Baron 'O' Boogie wrote:
Sir John Coan wrote:
Snowdog 2006 wrote:I have to say that I'm quite astonished at how much everyone seems to like REM compared to, say, U2 who seem to get quite roundly slated by quite a large number of posters.

It's a funny old world. :?


REM do mystery and enigma, you know.

It's all in the cardigans.


Get over it.


What does that mean?
"Elements of the past & future, combining to make something not quite as good as either."

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Postby king feeb » 25 Jul 2006, 01:32

My choices are boring. They've been the same since I saw REM playing in a club after Chronic Town. I knew Murmur would be great even before its release. So....

Song: "Sitting Still"

Album: Murmur
You'd pay big bucks to know what you really think.

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Postby Quaco » 25 Jul 2006, 01:33

king feeb wrote:My choices are boring. They've been the same since...

Yup, that's the problem with REM in a nutshell!
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Dr. Baron
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Postby Dr. Baron » 25 Jul 2006, 01:37

Snowdog 2006 wrote:
Baron 'O' Boogie wrote:
Sir John Coan wrote:
Snowdog 2006 wrote:I have to say that I'm quite astonished at how much everyone seems to like REM compared to, say, U2 who seem to get quite roundly slated by quite a large number of posters.

It's a funny old world. :?


REM do mystery and enigma, you know.

It's all in the cardigans.


Get over it.


What does that mean?


It means, why does this still upset y'all?
It's almost as baffling as people who resent the Flaming Lips for becoming popular and having people like their records.
R.E.M. and U2 are different. They were both big in the eighties and bigger in the nineties. Both bands have a conventional lineup, and both have polarizing frontmen. Big deal.
Move on.


And find a picture of a cardigan on a member of the band for me. Just one.
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?
take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.
GoogaMooga wrote:It's a film I have waited 39 years to see. Now I have the chance, but I may just crap out.

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Postby Snowdog » 25 Jul 2006, 01:53

Baron 'O' Boogie wrote:
Snowdog 2006 wrote:
Baron 'O' Boogie wrote:
Sir John Coan wrote:
Snowdog 2006 wrote:I have to say that I'm quite astonished at how much everyone seems to like REM compared to, say, U2 who seem to get quite roundly slated by quite a large number of posters.

It's a funny old world. :?


REM do mystery and enigma, you know.

It's all in the cardigans.


Get over it.


What does that mean?


It means, why does this still upset y'all?
It's almost as baffling as people who resent the Flaming Lips for becoming popular and having people like their records.
R.E.M. and U2 are different. They were both big in the eighties and bigger in the nineties. Both bands have a conventional lineup, and both have polarizing frontmen. Big deal.
Move on.


And find a picture of a cardigan on a member of the band for me. Just one.


Hmm.

It doesn't upset me & I'm pretty sure I'm not hung up on it. I just didn't realise REM were so well respected hereabouts. I've never particularly heard them being discussed before. I've never noticed any attention given to new albums etc. & I suppose, because they sound so rubbish to me, I imagined they did to everyone else too.

Panic over. As you were.
"Elements of the past & future, combining to make something not quite as good as either."

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Postby Dr. Baron » 25 Jul 2006, 02:02

Snowdog 2006 wrote:Hmm.

It doesn't upset me & I'm pretty sure I'm not hung up on it. I just didn't realise REM were so well respected hereabouts. I've never particularly heard them being discussed before. I've never noticed any attention given to new albums etc. & I suppose, because they sound so rubbish to me, I imagined they did to everyone else too.


Perhaps R.E.M. fatigue has set in as of late. Not many were inspired by their last record. I didn't even bother. Actually, they've only released that one and the marginally better Reveal since we've been talking, so not much opportunity for new release discussion. Still, there have been tons of discussions, tons of respect, and a few reliable dissenters. By now, I know where most people who enter the discussions stand. loveless, for example, is even less charitable than Quaco. I also knew that, for example, geoffcowgill's favorite R.E.M. record was Document.
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?
take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.
GoogaMooga wrote:It's a film I have waited 39 years to see. Now I have the chance, but I may just crap out.

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Postby Snowdog » 25 Jul 2006, 02:13

Baron 'O' Boogie wrote:
Snowdog 2006 wrote:Hmm.

It doesn't upset me & I'm pretty sure I'm not hung up on it. I just didn't realise REM were so well respected hereabouts. I've never particularly heard them being discussed before. I've never noticed any attention given to new albums etc. & I suppose, because they sound so rubbish to me, I imagined they did to everyone else too.


Perhaps R.E.M. fatigue has set in as of late. Not many were inspired by their last record. I didn't even bother. Actually, they've only released that one and the marginally better Reveal since we've been talking, so not much opportunity for new release discussion. Still, there have been tons of discussions, tons of respect, and a few reliable dissenters. By now, I know where most people who enter the discussions stand. loveless, for example, is even less charitable than Quaco. I also knew that, for example, geoffcowgill's favorite R.E.M. record was Document.


I suppose that if I saw an REM thread I'd just ignore it or filter it out so that might explain it.

Mrs Snowdog has a copy of "Automatic..." in the cupboard but its primary function seems to be to stop the CDs either side of it from leaning over.

I shall make a point of listening to it with open ears at some point. Just in case old whiny-bollocks strikes a new chord with me.
"Elements of the past & future, combining to make something not quite as good as either."

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Postby The Write Profile » 25 Jul 2006, 02:23

I've posted this on a previous REM thread, it still sums up my views of them

On balance, I'd go for the early IRS particularly Murmur and Reckoning (I'm not that much of a fan of Fables, it seems that they're straddling between the enigma and opening up) which have a mood and pull to them that the Warners records, on the whole don't.

But really, there isn't that much different in approach between, say, Murmur and Automatic... . They're both records about communication and a sense of universality, the difference, of course is in age and approach. Murmur is about holding yourself in and the music is directed at the band alone, whereas Automatic is about trying to connect with the outside world and the music therefore assumes a proxy universality.

In Murmur for me it's all about the little inferences, the backwards guitar that arrives at the end of Stipe's final verse on "Perfect Circle", the jangled harmony on "Talk About the Passion" ( "not...everyone...can carry the weight of the world"), the darting guitar passage on Catapault, and the line "could it be that one small voice...doesn't count in the room" on the otherwise dirgesome "Shaking Through." I suppose it's all about half statements, but there's a fullness to the claustrophobia which is quite powerful in the right (adolescent) mindset.


With Automatic For the People, it's the big sweep of the "moments", the repetition/simple manipulation of a phrase in Drive ("maybe you did, maybe you don't, maybe you rocked around the clock), the obvious, clearcut "message songs" (not just "Everybody Hurts" but "Try Not to Breathe" and "Ignoreland"), and the way the record seems to bring itself to a defiant "stop" with "Find the River."

Similar to Murmur, the arrangements are very crucial to the record's appeal to listeners, except I do think that John Paul Jones's work on the record gave it that extra pull- everything about it is pretty huge, in its sedate fassion.

As for Document, Green and Out of Time, all of the records have their "moments," (the "hits" or songs) but I do think pacing, Automatic aside, remained a big problem for a lot of their Warners' records.

Seeing nobody really cares about my thoughts on this, my top REM would look something like this:

1. Murmur
2. Automatic
3. Reckoning
4. Life's Rich Pageant
5. Probably a tie between Out of Time and Document.


Top 11 songs (as of today)

(Don't Go Back) to Rockville, Find the River, Talk About the Passion, Fall On Me, World Leader Pretend, Radio Free Europe, It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), Perfect Circle, King of Birds, Catapault, Drive...

On A side note, I'd say that REM are one of the more talked about bands on these boards. At the start of the year there were about 3 or 4 threads on them running cocurrently, though everyone (including myself) pretty much agreed that it all turns to custard post-Berry.
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Postby Dr. Baron » 25 Jul 2006, 02:34

The Right Scarfie Profile wrote:everyone (including myself) pretty much agreed that it all turns to custard post-Berry.


On the whole, yes. But there are some excellent moments.
Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?
take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.
GoogaMooga wrote:It's a film I have waited 39 years to see. Now I have the chance, but I may just crap out.

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Postby The Write Profile » 25 Jul 2006, 04:52

Baron 'O' Boogie wrote:
The Right Scarfie Profile wrote:everyone (including myself) pretty much agreed that it all turns to custard post-Berry.


On the whole, yes. But there are some excellent moments.


Oh of course. And live, they are still superlative (I saw their show in Christchurch last year, it was superb). But I think Berry's talents as an arranger and someone who 'focussed' the fragmentary nature of their songwriting (as well as, conversely, accentuating the slightly off-kilter moments) has become very apparent in the light of REM's subsequent material.

For instance, he absolutely makes "(Don't Go Back) To Rockville" as a song- that moment whereby the music suddenly halts, only for Berry to kickstart it again with his fill, is very important in establishing its mood. It adds to the hesistant, jumpy nature of the song's music (and lyric)- especially considering Stipe's next line is "I know it might sound strange, but I believe you'll be coming back before too long." Just the whole feeling of miscommunication and adolescent self-confidence that escaping will be easy.
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Postby mentalist (slight return) » 25 Jul 2006, 04:57

REM, it's been a long time, but the answer is easy

Album: Fables Of The Reconstruction
Song: Life & How To Live It

although props go to The Flowers Of Guatemala