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the finestt of hourssssss
Life and how to live it
Maps & Legends
Green grow the rushes.
It's the only album from their IRS era I've not heard. I'll stick it on Spotify after lunch.
anyway, found Fables a bit boring but i wasn't exactly paying deserved attention. Will stick it on the boom box when I get home.
but a curiously flat, uninviting sound. Perhaps because they were miserable when they made it and on the verge of splitting up.
try to record an album in London during the winter
(Chronic Town) Murmur, Reckoning, Fables equal best
Easily fixed, though
Leave's alright I guess.
are miles better than both but at least R.E.M ran with the major label thing and understood how to play it.
But it was poorly sequenced.
I came up with a sequence that flows so perfectly it's like listening to a different album.
I can't remember the exact order (got it saved as a playlist at home), but the general idea is that, after an epic introduction, you frontload it with the fast and loud songs, before letting the more plaintive ones play it out:
All The Best
That Someone Is You
Mine Smell Like Honey
Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando And I
Walk It Back
Every Day Is Yours To Win
Oh My Heart
It Happened Today
Or something like that.
i've never been one to mess with track listings or even make playlists to be honest but i'll give it a go.
I'm just up to Walk It Back and realised there's not been a track I dislike yet. Not heard it since 2011.
But some albums are so poorly sequenced you wonder just what they were thinking.
The latest Blur album also needs a reshuffle, I think.
yeah agree, if you've got a suggestion for magic whip that would be cool
Further experimentation may be needed to get it just right, but this works well enough:
Ice Cream Man
Thought I Was A Spaceman
New World Towers
There Are Too Many of Us
My Terracotta Heart
The problem, I find, with the official sequencing is that it offers no sense of pacing. Lonesome Street is a good opener, but as it's followed by the dreamy New World Towers, any momentum it builds is dispelled instantly. Similarly, the dreaminess of NWT is shattered by Go Out, which segues jarringly into the jerky Ice Cream Man.
Go Out makes for a much better opener (as the band themselves surely realise, given that they've been using it to kick off their recent shows) - it's loud and ugly, and builds up such tension that, when the chugging riff of Lonesome Street kicks in, it's a relief.
Ong Ong and Ghost Ship continue the good vibes established by Lonesome Street, before I Broadcast provides the brilliant punky thrash that frequently appears at about this time in Blur albums.
The strange synth of I Broadcast means that the shift into the jerky Ice Cream Man isn't nearly so jarring, and as Thought I Was A Spaceman follows, here you have a nice trilogy of Blur Does Synthpop - one's aggressive, one's strange, one's sweeping.
Sequenced here, Thought I Was A Spaceman literally acts as a centrepiece to the album. It's followed by New World Towers, which through continuing the dreamy feel, is allowed to exist on its own terms. The subtle glory of the song shines through.
The shift from NWT into There Are Too Many of Us works so well you wonder why the band didn't sequence things this way themselves. Finally, My Terracotta Heart, Pyongyang, and Mirrorball make for a great closing trilogy of melancholy pop.
The only problem with this sequence is that Ong Ong ends with a few seconds of silence that serve to break the flow a bit, but we can just pretend they're not there.
Up until now, I've been on the fence with The Magic Whip. I've liked the songs, but because it's such a jarring listen, it feels like less than the sum of its parts. Placing the slower, sadder tracks together in a beautifully flowing sequence while letting the happier, more chugging songs lead the way has made songs that previously languished in the background come into their own. Through reshuffling things, I've realised that this album really is as good as everyone says it is.
Or maybe I'm just overthinking things.
it's a tie between Automatic, Document and Reckoning for me but at a push I'd choose Pepople.
They carried on being atmospheric, intelligent and catchy, but I just don't like that style/era
have no desire to ever listen to it again. it might be their 'defining' moment in a wider zeitgeist sense, but in terms of being their best album or the album most representative of their genius, just no, sorry pal. if anything your position is the indie bellend position, in a kind of reverse-indie-bellend sense.
> Automatic for the People > Fables > Green > Document >>The other ones
Beyond that, I'm not too sure. But the only one I don't consider essential is Around The Sun.
for all the jibes the post-Bill Berry stuff gets (or even post-IRS sometimes), I think the only totally duff album they did was Around the Sun. Even Reveal has its charms for me.
Lifes Rich Pageant
and (yes) Up
Around the Sun is easily the worst, but its not THAT bad (awful washed-out cover aside)
not listened to them in ages, good to hear them again
I went on a bit of a nostalgia trip after the last 'rank R.E.M. albums thread.
FWIW this is what I took from it:
1. Chronic, Murmur, Reckoning, Fables - wish Chronic would get a mention as it's a 'mini LP' really and is just wonderful. I honestly couldn't choose between these 4 records, they are all perfect 10/10 for me. These records just are R.E.M to me and I love them all equally.
2. Pageant - 1/3rd great first era R.E.M. that would equal what came before if an E.P., 1/3rd a precursor to Document 'college rock' era R.E.M, 1/3rd filler that shouldn't be more than B-sides or outtakes to include on Dead Letter Office.
3. Document - I get why lots of people love this but I guess its just never really been for me.
4. Green - I was obsessed with this when it came out but really it shouldn't have aged well should it - the politics, the sloganeering, the move towards stadium rock? Weirdly I think it holds up really well - in its own way as strong as the first 3 LPs.
5. Out of Time is way better than Automatic....yeah I know Shiny Happy People (even that is fine in context, maybe...) and the rest of the album is wonderful - all about the strings. Automatic just seems a bit lumpen in comparison (though personally I'd still rank above Document).
They lost me after that.
lookin' forward to that
But seriously, not a single mention of Monster so far? Can't believe how underrated that album is.
Some of the production and crunchy tones are a bit dated in places, but the tunes are great. First two songs probably killed by overfamiliarity, but from I Don't Sleep, I Dream in it's cracking.
Murmer and New Adventures duking it out for top spot though.
But when ranked in tiers...
Tier 1 (essential, even if you're not a huge fan): Murmur, Document, Automatic for the People.
Tier 2 (very good): Chronic Town EP, Reckoning, Lifes Rich Pageant
Tier 3 (good): Fables of the Reconstruction, New Adventures in Hi-Fi
Tier 4 (contains very good tracks, but also some stinkers): Green, Out of Time
Tier 5 (underrated and decent, but 'for fans only'): Monster, Accelerate
Tier 6 (a bit dodgy): Up, Reveal
Tier 7 (inessential): Around the Sun
That's probably the general consensus. Except I like Monster a lot more and Document a bit less.
not sure I can be arsed
But I'd personally swap Up and Accelerate.
although I lose attention after Daysleeper, which is a good song. I also had no idea Walk Unafraid was good.
And it sounds more 'signature' than Accelerate tbf, although I stand by my case it's a good late-career R.E.M. album.
Definitely better than Reveal. Yeah Up should be in Tier 5.
has a few gems - Walk Unafraid, Daysleeper, Sad Professor and Hope.
Hope is one of the best and most REM-y things they did in the 2nd half of their career.
now I think its the best thing. Great song
Automatic > Reckoning > Document > Green > Life's Rich Peen > Murmur > Collapse Into Now > New Adventures > Out of Time > Monster > Accelerate > Not heard the others much/at all.
But after years of thought I put New Adventures and Murmur as a tie for 1st place. I can't choose between them. Guys, New Adventures really is that good! It has songs in from all eras of REM and a consistent high quality, good sequencing, some new ground broken, everything. E-bow is up there with their very best singles.
Up needs more appreciation but suffers from terrible sequencing. Here is a band who at this point should long have stop being so creative, taking genuine risks in new directions. Nothing they have done sounds like Up. It's a shame they couldn't keep it up.
Chronic Town is awesome agreed. It captures a fully formed REM, young, buzzing, energetic.
is probably the best string of tracks on any R.E.M. album. Be Mine is one of their best songs.
It's odd, the album probably does get stronger towards the end it's true
One of the best choruses they ever wrote, in any case.
New Adventures = Murmur > Chronic Town > Automatic > Green > Reckoning > Lifes Rich Pageant > Up > Out of Time > Fables > Monster > Document > Accelerate > Collapse > Reveal >>>>>> Around the Sun
Chronic town, murmur, document, out of time, reckoning, fables, pageant, automatic, green, accelerate, up, reveal, around the sun
Got an old compilation tape, eponymous, that's in my top five too.
Glad you mentioned eponymous - must have listened to that so much when I first discovered them and worth owning just for the photo of Michael Stipe on the back of the sleeve. Also had an amazing video compilation called Succumbs, wish I still had it.
that R.E.M. were a great band and Mogwai calling them the most overrated band ever when they called it a day is a contender for most wrong thing ever said by anyone.
but that i can kind of understand why someone would say that. there's sort of two versions of REM that exist in people's imaginations, and some people aren't properly au fait with the earlier version, apart from that they were 'mumbly' or 'enigmatic'.
Any such comments by a band that's somehow manages to play it even safer than Oasis can be safely stricken from the records.
When were Mogwai last interesting? 2003? I think it was 2003, at the very latest.
one silly statement does not cancel out another, m8
R.E.M. get my vote.
I bought this one from Asda in 1992 a few weeks before my GCSEs. It was the soundtrack to my GCSEs and most of my A'Levels too. A brilliant compilation. But as far as a straightforward album goes I'll sit on the fence and say either Green or Out Of Time.
for me 4 of their albums are equally wonderful 10/10's, and each of them is very different in character.
I also think Fables and New Adventures (the latter of which I can still picture and smell listening to and falling in love with) are a smidgen from being in the same category.