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Author: Subject: Anyone Else Here Like Early R.E.M.?

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 11:00 PM
I was DJ ing at my college radio station back in the early 80's when I first heard R.E.M's debut album Murmur. It just blew me away. It was one of those albums that defied charcterization. Just a beautiful mix of classic 60's garage band, electric folk rock and new wave alternative rock all in one package.

I'd be the first to admit that now days Michael Stipe has gotten a bit ponderous at times (Bono Jr.), and their last three albums have been a bit lackluster. And I have no desire to hear Losing My Religion ever again, even though I know I will if I leave my radio on for more than 1/2 an hour...

But I think their first 5 albums (Murmur, Reckoning, Fables Of The Reconstruction, Life's Rich Pagent, and Document were not only brilliant, but helped define what alternative music became and was in the 80's.

Just wondering if there are any other fans here?

[Edited on 2/16/2005 by les_paul_sunburst]

 

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A Peach Supreme



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  posted on 2/15/2005 at 11:43 PM
Excellent post, right on the money, I do have to say that you are
lucky to have a radio station that still plays alternative music near you,
we had wlir and wdre 92.7 for years and with out that now
for the last 2 years...it s***s I think REM on the mtv unpluged
was a classic and I watch that all the time...I think it was the only time they did something like that..and with all the hits as well.
p.s. and thank you for dj ing and getting rem's ( and others like them )
music out to us from the start...Peace

 

True Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 08:41 AM
I really liked the first three or four albums. Their approach was sort of minimalistic, no heavy extended solos or anything. The lyrics were vague and puzzling at times. I really liked "Seven Chinese Brothers", "Driver 8", "Cuyahoga" (sp?) and prety much everything up to "South Pacific Rain" (is that even the correct title?).

Like many rock bands, especially the "college" genre, REM really exhausted themselves and became predictable after their first four albums. In short, they became mainstream.

A current band that I like a lot is Wilco. They're pretty edgy at the moment, but I fear that their next few albums will find them in the same boat with REM and U-2. I really fear this since they just won two Grammys. Here come the masses!

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 09:13 AM
They were almost too popular when I was in school during the 80's. You could walk down the hall in my dorm and hear nothing but REM and U2. But after I graduated from school, I started listening to them more in some attempt to relive my college days. The more I listened to them the more I thought they were brilliant. While their last few albums have not thrilled me, the first couple were great. Big fan here.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 09:53 AM
I could agree more, one of my favs from the college days! I saw a rare REM CD listed at eBay, "Dead Letter Office" for only $.99! I believe that it is a rare EP before the first album came out and "B" sides.
 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 10:53 AM
I love the early stuff more than the present. My favorites are Dead Letter, Fables, Murmur and Document. Some great tuff.
 

Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 11:36 AM
les_paul hits it right on the money and could be describing my history with REM. I saw them a few times back then and they evern mixed their sets like the ABB and the Dead.

I do not follow them anymore but I frequently break out the old records and enjoy them.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 12:30 PM

For the longest time REM was my second favorite band! (behind you know who ) I also feel that the last few lp's aren't very good.(Pretty much since Bill Berry left)
South Central Rain is the name of the tune,Dead Letter Office is collected B-sides & the first EP (before Murmur) that was a regular release back in the day,I think to fulfill a contract or something.
I also DJ'd on my college station back in the day & REM was in "heavy" rotation,along w/ the ABB & folks would ask me how I could like such an "old" group like the ABB LOL

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 06:26 PM
quote:
les_paul hits it right on the money and could be describing my history with REM. I saw them a few times back then and they evern mixed their sets like the ABB and the Dead.

I do not follow them anymore but I frequently break out the old records and enjoy them.


I guess that's where I'm at. I still love the early stuff up through and including Green but after that, each release gets spottier even though each album through New Adventures in Hi Fi had worthy cuts here and there.

Up, Reveal, and the new one Around The Sun are pretty weak.

Nice to hear that some folks here still love the early stuff like I do.....

[Edited on 2/17/2005 by les_paul_sunburst]

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 06:31 PM
quote:

p.s. and thank you for dj ing and getting rem's ( and others like them )
music out to us from the start...Peace


Thanks for that....

Believe me,doing college radio was the most fun that I've ever had. I discovered so many cool bands and so much cool music through that station.

After they made me graduate, I worked in commercial radio for a couple years but it just wasn't the same. Didn't make much money either........

 

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"In my dream the pipes were playing

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Come down Gabriel and blow your horn

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 06:33 PM
quote:

I also DJ'd on my college station back in the day.....


Pleased to meet ya brother........



[Edited on 2/17/2005 by les_paul_sunburst]

 

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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 08:04 PM
quote:
I could agree more, one of my favs from the college days! I saw a rare REM CD listed at eBay, "Dead Letter Office" for only $.99! I believe that it is a rare EP before the first album came out and "B" sides.


Dead Letter Office isn't rare. It's the CD of outtakes, not an EP. The CD versions does contain the original EP Chronic Town, which came out before Murmur, and is very very good. The rest of the tunes on Dead Letter Office are nothing special. But it isn't rare- you can find it in most stores, BMG, etc.

 

Peach Head



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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 08:27 PM
the older cd's are awesome, on through Automatic for the People. early to mid 90's (Out of Time and Monster) through the present has definitely produced more "forced" music and less of the older quality, though all still have some really good tunes. i do like the new one though. more ballads and less synth and distortion. reminds me more of Green than Reveal or Up (which are both average at best). give it a listen

 

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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 10:05 PM
I don't really know early vs. late REM, but I do like the band.

 

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  posted on 2/16/2005 at 10:29 PM
I like em', I don't think they get enough credit, some of their songs are really great!

 

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  posted on 2/17/2005 at 05:02 AM
There was a time, around the release of Document, that REM was probably the best rock band in America...and even after the productions of Out of Time, Advenutres in HIFi is a certifiably great album...ya know what sunk 'em?''drummer bill berry left, the chemistry of the original quarter was gone, and the remining three just drift now
 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2005 at 09:19 AM
For a $2 cover charge we used to drive from Atlanta to Athens to see them play on a regular basis at the B&L Whse. in Athens.
Those were the days.......

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2005 at 01:42 PM
quote:
There was a time, around the release of Document, that REM was probably the best rock band in America...and even after the productions of Out of Time, Advenutres in HIFi is a certifiably great album...ya know what sunk 'em?''drummer bill berry left, the chemistry of the original quarter was gone, and the remining three just drift now


Very true IMO. Bill Berry wasn't just the drummer. He wrote songs, played guitar, and by all accounts, was the one who had the best sense of song hooks and tight song structure. His input was vital to their sound.

Their new stuff suffers from his absence.



[Edited on 2/21/2005 by les_paul_sunburst]

 

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"In my dream the pipes were playing

In my dream I lost a friend

Come down Gabriel and blow your horn

Cause some day we will meet again"



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RIP Strider...(1999-2012)

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/17/2005 at 01:46 PM
quote:
For a $2 cover charge we used to drive from Atlanta to Athens to see them play on a regular basis at the B&L Whse. in Athens.
Those were the days.......


Oh man. Am I envious! I did not see them until 1985. Would have loved to have been there then. I love Athens by the way. I have visited there 4 different times since 1992.

I saw Kevn Kinney at The 40 Watt Club back in Sept 2003 and it was one of the best acoustic shows that I've ever attended.

 

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"In my dream the pipes were playing

In my dream I lost a friend

Come down Gabriel and blow your horn

Cause some day we will meet again"



Fallen Angel -Robbie Robertson (for HughDuty...and for TanDan)





RIP Strider...(1999-2012)

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 2/19/2005 at 09:01 AM
quote:
I don't really know early vs. late REM, but I do like the band.


Among serious fans, the early period is usually catorgorized as the first 5 records (plus 1 B sides album and 1 EP) when they were on IRS records. This was from 1981 to 1987.

After their 5th record Document, in 1988, they signed a major deal with Warner Brothers records. Their album Out Of Time spawned the mega hit Losing My Religion, which became an albatross around their necks. They became far more popular than they ever wanted to be.

Now days, they are still fairly popular in Europe. In fact, they are currently in the midst of a Europeon tour. But only a small group of serious fans continue to follow them in the USA.

Ironically, the band seems to prefer it that way. They have always followed their own muse musically, and have never really persued success. I think they prefer being able to do their own thing instead of having to bow to record label pressure. Their contract with Warner Brothers gave them full creative control over their music. Even though I don't really get into their newer stuff, I still respect them for their integrity.

[Edited on 2/21/2005 by les_paul_sunburst]

 

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"In my dream the pipes were playing

In my dream I lost a friend

Come down Gabriel and blow your horn

Cause some day we will meet again"



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RIP Strider...(1999-2012)

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/19/2005 at 09:08 AM
I dig them

 

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  posted on 2/19/2005 at 03:34 PM
I am Superman...

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/20/2005 at 08:10 PM
No, I AM!!

I have Document on vinyl, and in many band situations I have been in, I can do a fair rendition of "The One I Love."

The one thing that turned me off of REM was the way Rolling Stone embraced them as the best band in the world. Between REM and U2, Rolling Stone couldn't turn their heads without breaking their noses, they were so far up those two band's butts.

 

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  posted on 2/21/2005 at 12:37 AM
Love early R.E.M. and even some from the "second half" of their career. But mostly the early stuff...
 

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  posted on 2/21/2005 at 07:21 AM
Yup- liked 'em alot- I had the pleasure of seeing them live after "Document"- kinda the last hurrah for them as far as I'm concerened. I still play their old stuff from time to time.

 

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