There's a splinter in your eye and it reads "REACT" (R.E.M. Appreciation Station)


Was gonna say, the cover art is kind of amazing too. Both that and Chronic Town are big successes.

I kind of prefer the early Hib-Tone stuff over the album material, though.

Man, I can’t find the early version of Don’t Go Back to Rockville. I like it much more than the country version.

Early R.E.M. was pretty thrash/punk, but most of that got boiled away before they started to record full albums. Chronic Town is the tail end of that era.

You can still see the energy in their first TV appearance, on Letterman.


I’ve read about that version of Don’t Go Back… but was it actually released!?


Who shaved their head first, Michael Stipe or Billy Corgan?

Oh, and just because no one has done it yet, here’s (what I recall as being) the best song from Up, aka not a particularly well-regarded REM album, aka the only REM album I’ve actually purchased with real American dollars, and also an album I listened to obsessively in… I think 8th grade? Because, well, you take what you can get I guess. For the sake of my dignity I’ll say this record is probably underrated.


there are tons of good tracks on every REM album. the most disliked one is around the sun, and sadly that hate is somewhat justified, but i still love the single from it:


that line is perfect fuck the haters


REM are by some quirk of the timeline one of the few bands I’ve seen live, at the Budokan no less

They were very competent


Well, I have it on something, somewhere. Probably a cassette.

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Yeah, that was a weird one. The last R.E.M. album I bought or listened to. It’s way too long, and like New Adventures I think the sequencing is all wrong. Chop it down and move stuff around, you’ll have a stronger album.

The whole tone, even the cover, are representative of a strange era at that time where all of these popular alternative bands reached a certain point in their career, and started to kind of go… I don’t know, adult contemporary? Pearl Jam had No Code. I’m not… entirely sure where I’m going with this, but it coincided with my undergraduate experience and it was a strange and disconcerting phenomenon for me.


man around the sun bores me to tears and that includes “leaving new york” :frowning:

Tbh the whole stretch from up thru accelerate does very little for me, except “daysleeper” (which is one of my absolute favorite REM songs). Rarely flat out unlistenable, just kinda dull.

i just wasn’t into the slow electronica thing and accelerate is a nice step away from that, but it’s so slight that other than “horse to water” or “im gonna DJ” (which is their worst fucking song by a country mile) it slicks right off my brain.


yeah. pretty much everyone i talked to about it (i used to live in athens for several years, lol) thinks around the sun is their nadir, and that LNY is one of their worst, if not the worst, singles. it has something to it, though. i could listen to that song over and over again.


It’s actually a song i want to like quite a bit! i think the production is just too antiseptic for me. i think even if you call it their worst single, it’s still a pretty good single – like, i dont think it’s a bad song it just doesn’t do it for me.

i do like:
-Stipe harmonizing with himself (esp. that repeated “it’s pulling me apart”)(wait thats not Mills is it? doesnt sound like him…)
-yeah “leaving was never my proud” is a good line, especially since it’s so awkward. (see also: “you’re drifting off to sleep with your teeth in your mouth” from “you are the everything”)
-i also dig “it’s easier to leave than to be left behind” as a simple lyric that’s devastating when you think about it
-in general writing a paean to a place you really cherish and feel sad about leaving is kinda sweet and the song transcends your average “hey, doncha just love the Big Apple!!” song
-video’s pretty good and suits that mood

Actually you know what, i think i talked myself into liking it during this post :o


I mentioned that R.E.M. was my first band. You probably know how I am with things, obsessing about a topic until I’ve covered all the bases before I move on. So I didn’t really listen to any other artists until after I’d pretty much memorized everything they’d ever done.

During that phase of my life (1994-ish), this as my favorite ever song.

Really, all of Fables. Smiles linked Feeling Gravity’s Pull… oh, and Life and How to Live It, now that I notice. OK then. But, well. Pretty much everything on this.

I understand that it’s supposed to be the sort of “black sheep” album. The band members don’t like it because it’s too dark, and it’s one of their less popular ones… except for a minority of people who think it’s all of the bee’s knees.

Here’s a weird one.

I feel like Lightnin’ Hopkins could have been on Fables. I always misremember that it was. I once wanted to write a song similar to this for a Halloween level in a DOS game I was designing.

Same with Oddfellows Local 151. The Fables thing, I mean. I keep thinking it’s on that album, then having to look for it.


Possibly-controversial view: far and away the best track on Green is the hidden one.

Lots of R.E.M. songs seem to be about leaving, and being away, and asking people not to leave.

Green was, I think, my first ever album. I strongly associate most of the music in here with that awkward pivot point of adolescence where I started to assemble an idea of who I was.

I don’t think I’ve ever recovered from that.

Brings back some really tangible sensations of places and situations that I’d prefer not to relive.

Which is probably a big part of why I’ve barely listened to R.E.M. in 20-some years.

And yet I still remember all of this stuff. Apparently.


Possibly non-controversial view:

The album tracks tend to be way better than the singles in almost every way.

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Curious, also, how R.E.M. cleanly breaks into three acts: the IRS era, the early WB era, and the post-Berry era. Each consists of five albums.

I want to say that they are decreasingly interesting to me, but I don’t know if that’s really true. I don’t know anything from the third act except for Up, and I don’t remember that too well. But I semi-strongly like three IRS-era albums (with one real stand-out), and semi-strongly like three WB-era albums (with one stand-out), am annoyed by one from each era (Life’s Rich Pageant, Out of Time), and am sort of… not indifferent, but conflicted with the last one. (Reckoning, Green)


One must also presume this is deliberate.


Once upon a time in the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia, there lived a reclusive old man named Brivs Mekis. He hardly ever left his house, and most of his neighbours simply referred to him as ‘that Russian guy’. When Mekis died, they discovered that the inside of his house was split down the middle - he effectively had two houses in one, each individually inhabitable, each equipped with all necessary facilities and mod cons.

The two half-houses were connected by a single internal door, but other than that, they were basically two completely separate properties. Mekis, it seems, had commissioned this odd feature himself; when he got bored of living in House A, he would just pop through the door to House B and live there for a while. Then, when the novelty of House B wore off and he started pining for House A again, he could go back there in the blink of an eye.

when you tire of one side the other serves you best

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