Worst Part's Almost Over wrote:
Nordling wrote:My favorite's RECKONING, with HI-FI a close second. AUTOMATIC's third.
For me, the albums go like this (1 being my fave, 13 my least fave):
1. New Adventures In Hi-Fi
4. Automatic For The People
6. Out Of Time
7. Life's Rich Pageant
12. Fables Of The Reconstruction
13. Around The Sun
1. Murmur. The Byrds crossed with The Psychedelic Furs= R.E.M.'s debut. A murky, muddy masterpiece. This was Buck's finest hour.
2. New Adventures in Hi-fi. A rocking confessional live album that happened to have been recorded in a studio.
3. Lifes Rich Pageant (remember the lack of apostrophe!!!). You can almost imagine some of this music being played around the campfire during the American Civil War.
4. Reckoning. If it weren't for the last couple of songs letting the side down (although they're hardly terrible), Reckoning would have bagged the number 2 spot. This was the apex of their underground college radio stage.
5. Green. One of my faves, mostly for the two-punch knock-out that is The Wrong Child and World Leader Pretend, two songs which I cite any time anyone writes REM off as just a bland FM radio staple. I've never heard an FM band write songs like this.
6. Automatic for the People. The last album Kurt Cobain ever listened to. And their most popular one to boot. Thing is, I just don't get the will to play it as often as the top five.
7. Document. A little fragmented; and again, it ends with a bit of a whimper with Oddfellows Local 151. Still, it's the album which contains It's the End of the World... (whose greatness is almost negated by their sucky cover of Wire's Strange.)
8. Fables of the Reconstruction. Apart from the godawful white funk travesty that is "Can't Get There From Here", this is actually quite an atmospheric album. Apparently it was recorded in London after a long stay away from home, and you can hear that malaise and feeling of distance in every song.
9. Up. Like Reveal, this is actually very tuneful, and it's great to hear Stipe juggling up his narratives a little here- like he did on those two songs I mentioned on Green. You get what you put in with this one, it's just I don't always have the energy to give it the attention it deserves.
10. Reveal. Like a photocopy of a photocopy, but if the band you're cribbing from is The Beach Boys, the result's at least going to be listenable. Still...it's almost like the melodies and Radioheady production are desperately trying to hide the fact that Stipe & Co were going through a dry patch.
11. Monster. It's been so long since I've listened to this one that I just don't feel qualified to speak about it. Apart from a couple of songs (What's the Frequency, Kenneth?), this is REM completely misinterpeting grunge altogether...the result is a leaden dog of an LP.
12. Out of Time. Yep, I'm really not a big fan of R.E.M.'s second biggest seller. Plastic alt-country just isn't my thing. I'd prefer to listen to some Gram Parsons.
13. Around the Sun. Â£10 beer coaster.