Thursday, 29 September 2011

LIST 68 - 23/09/11 (a farewell to R.E.M.)

So that's that, then - Buck, Mills and Stipe (and up to a point Berry) are finally calling it a day after an impressive (if you like longevity) 31 years and 15 albums together, and that seemed as good a reason as any to challenge myself to compile a List which wasn't simply just Shiny Happy People and the other best-known hits. Indeed, fewer than half the tracks ultimately chosen even went top 40 in the UK.

Although I'd stop short of the assertion from Stewart Lee (looking forward to seeing you at the Lexington this Sunday, sir) that; "there's [not] anyone whose career trajectory has been so disappointing, starting so brilliantly and end[ing] up just so dreadful", it was nevertheless harder to find stuff either of merit or genuine curiosity value from the second half of the act's career than the first. No matter, at least in "Staring Down..." there is an inclusion that is both relatively recent and by the looks of it never to be released in any studio-recorded form.

I'm not entirely content with the final List, as there was no clip of "Chance" (one of the b-sides to "Everybody Hurts", and among my very favourite REM tracks ever) among the usual repositories of choice. The band's unfortunate habit for comedy cover versions is catered for courtesy of their interpretation of "Tom's Diner", though, likewise their penchant for side projects of various shapes and degrees of seriousness.

J x

R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It... (1987)

R.E.M. – Cuyahoga (1986)

R.E.M. – At My Most Beautiful (1999)

13111 [Bill Berry] – My Bible is the Latest TV Guide (1989)

R.E.M. – Near Wild Heaven (1991)

R.E.M. – Bad Day (2003)

R.E.M. – Stand (1988)


R.E.M. – So. Central Rain (1985)

R.E.M. – Überlin (2011)

R.E.M. – Tom’s Diner (Live) (1991)

R.E.M. – Sweetness Follows (1992)

THE FULL TIME MEN [ft. Peter Buck] – I Got Wheels (1984)

R.E.M. – Crush with Eyeliner (1994)

R.E.M. – Exhuming McCarthy (demo) (1988)

R.E.M. – Daysleeper (1998)

HINDU LOVE GODS [Berry, Buck, Mills & Warren Zevon] – Raspberry Beret (1990)

R.E.M. – Radio Free Europe (1981)

R.E.M. - Staring Down the Barrel of the Middle Distance (live premiere at Dublin Olympia) (2007)

R.E.M. – Nightswimming (1993)


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