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Old 09-25-2014, 09:50 PM   #261 (permalink)
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Murmur and Lifes Rich Pageant, yes. But I always thought Reckoning was by far their worst album for IRS.
I don't like Document because rabble rabble sellout rabble rabble, but I guess it's fine for what it is. I think Fables is definitely the worst. Great album still, has a couple of their best songs, but I think it's just not quite as good as the others. Reckoning is sort of different because it strike me as less cohesive than the other I mentioned - I can see it being less a great album and more ten great songs, but they are really good songs, especially the first side.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:01 AM   #262 (permalink)
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I don't like Document because rabble rabble sellout rabble rabble, but I guess it's fine for what it is. I think Fables is definitely the worst. Great album still, has a couple of their best songs, but I think it's just not quite as good as the others. Reckoning is sort of different because it strike me as less cohesive than the other I mentioned - I can see it being less a great album and more ten great songs, but they are really good songs, especially the first side.
I guess if selling out means making a really great album on an independent label that sounded nothing like anything that was popular at the time, then I'm a fan of selling out.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:04 AM   #263 (permalink)
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I guess if selling out means making a really great album on an independent label, then I'm a fan of selling out.
Wouldn't being on an independent label mean they didn't sell out? I assume that's the joke you were making.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:10 AM   #264 (permalink)
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Wouldn't being on an independent label mean they didn't sell out? I assume that's the joke you were making.
Yes, that is part of what I was saying.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:46 AM   #265 (permalink)
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REM were never signed to an independent label. IRS was owned by A&M and MCA at the time and
and had acts like Belinda Carlisle, The Fine Young Cannibals & The Go-Go's on it's roster at the same time as them.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:05 AM   #266 (permalink)
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Get out.

No, but seriously, Murmur, Reckoning, and Lifes Rich Pageant are all albums I would call classic. This may be the snobby elitist in me talking, but I definitely would not say the same thing about AFTP.
I have something of a problem here.
I'm no REM fan. Most of the albums listed here (though not all) are either from artistes I have not heard or heard of, or are from ones I have heard of but know little of their music --- might know the singles, one album, a track or two --- so in general I don't know their discography. So what I did was looked at what is GENERALLY ACCEPTED as their most famous/classic album. This could be due to the number of hit singles, the sales, the chart position or just its general reception by the music world and its place, if any, in music history. It should be, usually, the one album that comes to mind when you think of the band. U2, most people will go with "The Joshua Tree". Springsteen, "Born to run". Madonna, "Like a virgin". Motorhead, "Ace of spaces". And so on.

It doesn't necessarily mean it's their best or the one you would rate. Someone might prefer "Meddle" over "Dark side", but the latter is universally accepted as a classic Floyd album, the former less so. In compiling this list I was advised by people who know certain bands better than album X was more regarded as a classic when I had chosen album Y, and if necessary I had made the amendment on the list. But when I think of REM I think of AftP, as pretty much everyone who isn't a fan I would think does. Reading through its Wiki article backed this up: it was even seen as "one of the best albums of the 90s". Not sure if I'd agree with that, but as far as classic REM goes, I think that album is the one. Just like INXS: "Listen like thieves" may be a better album overall, but "Kick" gets the nod when it comes to classic albums.

It's not necessarily about which is the best, or my favourite, if I have one: it's the one that's seen as being the classic, the epitome of that band, the go-to album and the one non-fans are most likely to know, if not actually have heard.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:12 AM   #267 (permalink)
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Yes, that is part of what I was saying.
I wasn't being entirely serious. I like Document but I think it's sort of a mixed bag.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:07 PM   #268 (permalink)
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Title: Bridge over troubled water
Artiste: Simon and Garfunkel
Year: 1970
Chronological position: Fifth (and final) album
Previous experience of this artiste?: Hey, everyone knows the hits!
Why is this considered a classic? Apart from being the final album from the immensely popular duo, it also holds their most classic and well-known song as well as a bunch of others. It went to number 1 in most countries and is considered the pinnacle of their career --- talk about going out with a bang! It also earned two Grammy awards and sold over 25 million copies. That’s right: two-five!

My thoughts
One minute (or thereabouts in) ---- Good, great, bad, meh, still waiting or other? Great
One track in --- Great
Halfway through --- Great (Notes: none of these really apply fairly, as I know all the tracks up to the halfway point)
Finished --- Good verging to Great (few bad tracks)

Comments: In some ways this isn’t quite a classic album I’ve never heard, as I know about fifty percent of the tracklisting from various greatest hits compilations, or just from hearing them on the radio. But there are ones I don’t know, so leaving aside those I do --- over half of the album --- let’s check out “So long, Frank Lloyd Wright”. Well, right after I listen to the title track. Come on: you can’t pass THAT one over!

Okay, so it’s a nice whimsical little acoustic piece, kind of reminds me of “Bookends”, nice sort of soft bongos rhythm to it and maybe violin. Like this. Now I remember I heard “Baby driver” on the radio and thought it was awful. And it wasn’t that long ago either, I’m talking a month or two maybe, so I don’t expect my opinion of it will have changed. No, it hasn’t. A more uptempo track but not to my mind worthy of the dynamic duo. Too much Beach Boys nonsense and the alto sax is just annoying. “The only living boy in New York” is much better, kind of a “59th Street Bridge song” vibe about it, like the vocal harmonies. Hints of a very, very early example of Shoegaze?

That just leaves one track really, as I’ve always hated “Bye bye love” --- and the Everlys --- being a live version just annoys me more, and of course I know the closer. But “Why don’t you write me” doesn’t do it for me, with its slightly pop feel and its jungle/reggae rhythm, which usually doesn’t go down well with me. “Song for the asking”, while a beautiful song, is perhaps an odd way to end the album, seeing as this was their last one and there would be no more songs for the asking, or even begging. This was it. Great closer though even if it is a little incongruous.

Favourite track(s): Bridge over troubled water, El Condor pasa, Song for the asking, Keep the customer satisfied, The boxer, The last living boy in New York
Least favourite track(s): Baby driver, Bye bye love, Why don’t you write me

Final impression --- Hard to say, as I already knew much of the album so it wasn’t quite the revelation it could have been. But I definitely enjoyed it and it’s good to say I’ve heard it now. I couldn’t say I was blown away --- there were some definite low moments --- but as a swan song they could have done a lot worse. And of course, there’s the title track...

Do I feel, at the end, A) I wish I had listened to this sooner
B) I'm sorry I bothered
C) I might end up liking this
D) Have to wait and see
E) Bit underwhelmed; was ok but a classic?
F) Definitely enjoyed it, but again would I consider it a classic?
G) Enjoyed this album just purely on its own merits
H) Glad I listened to it
(Yes, another category: I’m finding that in many instances the ones I already had don’t always say what I want them to say, or fit the situation)

This is, then, obviously a H. I do think it's a classic but I couldn't say I wish I had listened to it sooner, though I am glad I listened to it.
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:04 AM   #269 (permalink)
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Bridge Over Troubled Water is one of my absolute favorites of S&G. The album as a whole flows so well and they were just meant to sing music together. The two of them's vocals go together like wine and....well more wine.
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Old 09-27-2014, 08:08 AM   #270 (permalink)
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The story behind the lyrics of "The Only Living Boy in New York" is quite interesting. Before S&G released "The Sound of Silence", they were known as Tom and Jerry. During the period when they were working on songs for BOTW, Garfunkel flew down to Mexico to shoot a film, ("Tom, get on your plane….") leaving Simon alone as "The Only Living Boy in New York". Bob Dylan also dropped in while they were recording.
Have you heard the live version of "The Boxer" from The Concert in Central Park? They add another verse.
And there was just one more "Song for the Asking" - "My Little Town"!
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