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Old 01-23-2010, 12:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Great reviews so far. Looking forward to your review for Document as that is probably my favourite R.E.M album but it never hurts to listen back to their earlier stuff and Reckoning is damn good. Can't wait to read what you think about Monster too (I think it's a great album).
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:46 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Thanks for the high praise Jack! I grew up with all these records constantly on rotation and it's remarkable how easy it is to review albums that have been such a large part of my life. Document should be up in a week or two depending on how much work I have this week so stay tuned!
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:06 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I was browsing through vinyl at a Goodwill and found great condition copies of Reckoning and Lifes Rich Pageant. That was an amazing day.

I am interested in seeing how you review the Warner albums. I think there is a ton of underrated stuff beyond Automatic, which is usually where the debate starts.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:10 PM   #24 (permalink)
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This is probably going to get editors' choice eventually.

But I'm not sure how much I can trust your reviews if you just give every studio album a 10/10
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:17 PM   #25 (permalink)
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i've seen this journal pop up every once in a while but kinda neglected to give it a look. i just read all your reviews...good stuff. having never actually listened to REM's earliest work, i read your review and then checked out the album. your descriptions are spot on.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:36 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJJ567 View Post
I am interested in seeing how you review the Warner albums. I think there is a ton of underrated stuff beyond Automatic, which is usually where the debate starts.
Agreed wholeheartedly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by storymilo View Post
This is probably going to get editors' choice eventually.

But I'm not sure how much I can trust your reviews if you just give every studio album a 10/10
Well... not every album.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duga View Post
i've seen this journal pop up every once in a while but kinda neglected to give it a look. i just read all your reviews...good stuff. having never actually listened to REM's earliest work, i read your review and then checked out the album. your descriptions are spot on.
That is so refreshing and satisfying to hear Duga! After all, I am writing this as a way of getting people into the band, so when I hear that I'm succeeding you can imagine how great that feels. Not sure if you're talking about Chronic Town, Murmur, or Reckoning, but all three records are really great. Whichever one you picked up I'm really glad you did!


Thanks for the high praise everyone. It means a lot, really.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:08 PM   #27 (permalink)
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^

i checked out all the albums you have reviewed so far. what can i say...i was bored today and my brother had all of them. just never took the time to listen...which i can now say was a mistake.

i'm actually going to try to hold off listening to the others and listen to them as you review them. makes it interesting.

looking forward to the next one!
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great review of the live disc from the deluxe edition of Murmur. I love the early live shows, and especially since this one was recorded in Toronto. Larry's Hideaway and the building it was in are long gone though, sadly, but in it's day it was a great place for U of T students to visit.

Does anybody know if there was a recording done of a show they played at Barrymore's in Ottawa, Ontario around the same time as the Toronto show, in 1983? Just wondering.
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:34 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning Down View Post
Thanks for the great review of the live disc from the deluxe edition of Murmur. I love the early live shows, and especially since this one was recorded in Toronto. Larry's Hideaway and the building it was in are long gone though, sadly, but in it's day it was a great place for U of T students to visit.

Does anybody know if there was a recording done of a show they played at Barrymore's in Ottawa, Ontario around the same time as the Toronto show, in 1983? Just wondering.
http://www.svs.com/zim/boots/myboots.txt


This guy a show there from 85, but obtaining it will be a mess.


By the way, the Reckoning Deluxe Edition live show review will be up within the next few days if not tomorrow. Thanks again for reading!

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Old 01-24-2010, 09:51 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Reckoning [Deluxe Edition]
Reissued 2009
I.R.S. Records


As Reckoning was released the year following the release of Murmur, the 25th anniversary of its release took place in 2009, the year after Murmur's. In a similar way to Murmur, Reckoning was reissued completely remastered with a bonus disc containing a recording of previously unreleased live show, this time from Chicago's Aragon Ballroom on July 7, 1984. The track listing is as follows

1. Femme Fatale
2. Radio Free Europe
3. Gardening at Night
4. 9-9
5. Windout
6. Letter Never Sent
7. Sitting Still
8. Driver 8
9. So. Central Rain
10. 7 Chinese Bros.
11. Harborcoat
12. Hyena
13. Pretty Persuasion
14. Little America
15. Second Guessing
16. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville

This set is noticeably different than the show packaged with Murmur. I don't mean that there are minor changes in arrangement or lyrics, or even that the atmosphere feels different or anything. Rather, the Reckoning show brings something to light that the uninitiated may find very surprising. This live set is total, high energy, balls to the wall PUNK.

Henry Rollins said once that in the early 80s Black Flag would tour with R.E.M., with the former playing a venue one night and the latter playing it the next. Occasionally people would get the shows mixed up, and would go in expecting to see R.E.M. and being scared out of their minds, or go in expecting to see Black Flag and... needless to say not necessarily appreciating the sombre tones and introspective lyrics of Michael Stipe. This set makes me wonder if that story is true at all.

Not that it doesn't surprise me either, of course. After the show opens with an incredible intimate cover of the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale", a down tempo Nico-sung classic from their debut record, I certainly didn't expect the band to launch into the most raucous and raw sounding version of "Radio Free Europe" I have heard to date, not to mention following it with seven or eight equally raw and stripped down versions of what would soon be known as early R.E.M. classics. The version of Windout here is the most hectic and unexpectedly brash performance I have heard the band put to record to date, in the studio or otherwise. Sure, it's not that great a song (the studio version was recorded in the Reckoning sessions for the "Bachelor Party" soundtrack) but the sheer energy makes up for it. Adding to this badassery is the addition of two new songs which would later appear on Fables of the Reconstruction and Lifes Rich Pageant, respectively. I've always believed that the riff to "Driver 8" is one of the best ever, and the second it comes in my hairs stand on end. Later on, the listener is surprised by the addition of "Hyena", the arrangement of which is perfectly suited for the live show. It's stripped down, but through Mike Mills' invaluable harmonies it retains its beauty that would be found on the studio recording two years later. Some other songs are changed entirely to make up for the faster tempo adapted for this show as well. So. Central Rain's riff descends into murky chords within thirty seconds simply because Peter can't keep up with the speed. On So. Central Rain this doesn't affect the performance in a negative manner, but some songs suffer for the same reason, notably 9-9 and Sitting Still. Nevertheless, seeing the band in this light is definitely a unique experience, and not one to forget.

Of course, ever the artists, the band still needed to retain a sense of fragility and tranquility. The band comes back for an encore of "Second Guessing" and "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville", the former of which, despite being led by a blistering back beat from Bill Berry, is transformed into a beautiful vocal duet between Michael Stipe and Mike Mills, who trade verses throughout. The affect is transfixing, and I only wish that it had been utilized on the album version. "Rockville" is changed to, trading in the piano flourishes for an arpeggiated guitar sound in tune with the original recording but fitting into the setting of the show.

Overall, the great thing about this show is that it shows how in a year the band has matured not to the point where their performances become almost robotically good (R.E.M. Live, I'm looking at you), but to a point where they are comfortable trying different things. I admire that, but as with any experimentation there are bound to be inconsistencies. This show has its faults, but is well worth it in the end.

Key Tracks (Click to Download): "Windout", "Hyena", "Second Guessing"

(Rating is for the live set alone)

8/10

Wow, I had a lot to say about that one. Sorry, couldn't find any youtube videos of anything from this show. I might take the time to upload one later.

Last edited by Rickenbacker; 01-25-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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