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Old 05-16-2007, 09:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 12 Great But Lesser Known R.E.M. Songs

Wolves, Lower
Album: Chronic Town (EP)
Year: 1981
Why It Rocks: This is classic R.E.M. – a song that sets the tone for the band’s unique, contrasting sound – the jangling guitar, the haunting distant vocals (with bizarre nonsensical lyrics) and the heavy drum and base line. “Wolves, Lower” has a pop urgency with the sensibilities of a lyric poem.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “Wilder lower wolves. Here's a house to put wolves out the door.”

Perfect Circle

Album: Murmur
Year: 1983
Why It Rocks: “Perfect Circle” feels like a love song – it has the gentle intensity of romance pervading it, but, of course, it’s not (R.E.M. generally shunned love songs). But it is as close as it gets for R.E.M. and the guitar work by Buck is magical and moody.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “Pull your dress on and stay real close/ Who might leave you where I left off?”

7 Chinese Bros.
Album: Reckoning
Year: 1984
Why It Rocks: One of the most underrated R.E.M. songs. This is a fable, a fairy tale of a song. The upbeat tempo seems to defy the intense, dark lyrics. “7 Chinese Bros.” really showcases Stipes singing and his ability to use his voice as an instrument.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “Seven Chinese brothers swallowing the ocean/ Seven thousand years to sleep away the pain”

Pretty Persuasion
Album: Reckoning
Year: 1984
Why It Rocks: Another R.E.M. song that sounds like it could be a love song – but it’s about our consumer driven society. “Pretty Persuasion” is another classic R.E.M. song – with all the classic elements clanking together into a smooth pop number.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “He's got a pretty persuasion/ She's got pretty persuasion/ God damn, pure confusion”

Driver 8
Album: Fables of the Reconstruction
Year: 1985
Why It Rocks: It’s a song about trains – and it’s a hard driving, blues-infused rocking number. One of R.E.M.’s best – hands down. “Driver 8” is infectious and hard to listen to only once.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “And the train conductor says/ "Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break”

Album: Lifes Rich Pageant
Year: 1986
Why It Rocks: “Cuyahoga” has a country twang to it, but with an infusion of the R.E.M. sound that makes it lift off. It’s another tune where Stipes voice seems to be one of the instruments.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “This is where we walked, this is where we swam/
Take a picture here, take a souvenir”

Disturbance at the Heron House
Album: Document
Year: 1987
Why It Rocks: This song could have been the theme song for the movie “12 Monkeys.” It’s got an end of the world, we’re all doomed and going to die message – but the music has bop to it. In other words – dance while you die!
Cool Lyric Snippet: "The followers of chaos out of control/ They're numbering the monkeys /The monkeys and the monkeys"

World Leader Pretend

Album: Green
Year: 1988
Why It Rocks: A fantasy about being the leader of the world. The lyrics are nuts, but more straight forward than most of Stipes cryptic efforts, but the pretentiousness isn’t enough to knock this one down. The hard pumping feel to the music makes it work.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “This is my mistake. Let me make it good/ I raised the wall, and I will be the one to knock it down”


Album: Out of Time
Year: 1991
Why It Rocks: After a three year hiatus from making music, R.E.M. returned with one of their best and most popular albums in “Out of Time.” Stipes’ reflective and personal lyrics are accompanied by the upbeat R.E.M. jangle to create another underrated classic.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “20,000 miles to an oasis/ 20,000 years will I burn/ 20,000 chances I wasted/ Waiting for the moment to turn”

Me In Honey

Album: Out of Time
Year: 1991
Why It Rocks: The title is dirty, but the song isn’t. In fact, it may be one of the few R.E.M. love songs. Maybe. Not quite sure. But let’s just say it is.
Cool Lyric Snippet: “I sat there looking ugly /Looking ugly and mean”

Album: Automatic for the People
Year: 1992
Why It Rocks: An angry protest song, which was unusual for R.E.M. No one would ever accuse the band of being happy and shiny (ahem), but angry? Nah. Yet, the song works and may be one of the hardest rocking R.E.M. songs.
Cool Lyric Snippet: "These bastards stole their power from the victims of the Us v. Them years/ Wrecking all things virtuous and true.”

I Don’t Sleep, I Dream
Album: Monster
Year: 1994
Why It Rocks: A haunting ballad about dreams and sleep that feels like a mystical journey. Another song where Stipes voice shines.
Cool Lyric Snippet: "You looking to dig my dreams/ Be prepared for anything"
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Old 05-16-2007, 09:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Pilgrimige is probably my favourite from Murmur.
"In this Catholic Club they never had the ****ing TV on and I was going, 'That Big Brother, it won't catch on. British people won't watch that ****.' And then they went, at nine o' clock, 'Shh!' and turned the telly on! It was, like, people asleep in bed. To me, I can't understand that. The encouraging thing is, 'You were right all along, Smith: people are stupid." - Mark E Smith
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by coffeeshop View Post
Pilgrimige is probably my favourite from Murmur.

Great tune. Most of the album is good.
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Old 05-16-2007, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They played 7 Chinese Brothers when I saw them a couple of years ago.

I was very very happy.

Urb's RYM Stuff

Most people sell their soul to the devil, but the devil sells his soul to Nick Cave.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Agree with the comment on Out of Time - possibly one of my top 3 REM albums, but overshadowed by Automatic for the People so much
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