R.E.M. Listening Club


Air Side>Metal Side


Yeah, Pop Song 89. I’m on the fence with this one. It’s not a bad song and I think the meta concept is quite clever - but not a song I ever really cared about that much.

Get Up just sounds a bit ordinary to me - all power chords and fairly bog standard lyrics. It feels like a song loads of bands could have written, which isn’t often something you can say of R.E.M.


But I love Mike Mills’ “complement” switcheroo on the backing vocals! It’s one of my favourite R.E.M. moments.


“Michael mentioned, only once, that these lyrics were a polite jab at Mike’s proclivity to sleep late when afforded the opportunity. Notice, however, that Mike’s vocal enters before Michael’s. He must have beat Mr. Stipe to the studio on that particular occasion!”
Bill Berry

I guess this explains why Stipe sings ‘complicate’ and Mills sings ‘complement’. Neat! :grinning:


I love G4een. Not much more to say.


I don’t have a favourite REM song, but if I did then World Leader Pretend would probably be it. I love the drum fills and I’m a drummer!


Admittedly I’m no drummer. I do love the cello and pedal steel on the song though.


I like the fact that the drums sound sort of exhausted and like they might fall apart in places because I think it fits the overall mood of the song. The playing might not be as strictly rhythmical in places but it is certainly expressive and the piano does all the heavy lifting on the rhythm anyway.


Must have heard this song hundreds of times and never noticed the skittery, amateurish drum fills. Will probably always notice then now. I really like them to be honest - I love this song.


I don’t think there’s a duff moment on Green to be honest. It’s a really well sequenced album of peppy pop-punk mixed with thoughful folky ambience, but I think it’s totally balanced. I think The Wrong Child is amazing, some of Stipe’s most visually brilliant lyrics and really great instrumentation.


Listening through to Green again it’s difficult for me to change my long held opinions on it, I know it well.

I think it’s one of their strongest. I find it hard to point out any filler/duff moments. I remember California is probably weakest for me, but I still think it’s great. The hidden track I know is slight but it is what it is, the band members all swapping roles I believe, it’s playful and a bit of fun and I love it for that.

Stand is easily their best cheesy song and I don’t tire of it.

Orange Crush probably in my top 5-10 REM tracks.

World Leader Pretend is so great. Stipe on great form. Musically somewhere pretty new for them. Yeah, those drum fills…

And I love the acoustic tracks. Again somewhere different for them but all beautiful.

For me it’s the sound of a band embracing their new label status and stretching their legs.


Love “Stand” so much, such a daft song but always puts a smile on my face. Distinctly remember once dreaming that REM played my local pub, and I heckled them until they agreed to play it (and “These Days”).


Wait, some people don’t like the drums on World Leader Pretend?!


I think Green is fucking amazing. I’m probably biased because it was my first “current” REM album. Like @furryboy, I’m struggling to identify weak tracks.


something really annoying if you’re listening to Green on Spotify…

If you search for REM Green, it doesn’t return the official album, just a playlist with the same name made by a user who decided to remove The Wrong Child. I only realised when I got to Turn you inside out

You need to search for R.E.M. Green (with full stops) to get the actual album…


huh, I guess the imagery in The Wrong Child is too heavy and visceral for some people


Ah, didn’t know this - will listen again with that in mind.

My initial post about the album reads back a little harsher than I intended today. Yesterday was a bit stressful and I listened in a grumpy frame of mind. Should perhaps have waited, but wanted to get the Green chat started.

Been listening to the live versions of these songs on the deluxe edition today - they were so tight by this point. Worth a listen.


what monster searches without the full stops though


i wonder if more of these records would have been released as EPs if the economics of the music business were different? someone above pointed out the sheer amount of albums they were releasing, one a year for a lot of the 80s. i think these days a band in their position would probably mix it up a bit more between formats. but back then it was more economically sensible to release album > tour.

could be just talking nonsense here though.


I just searched for REM then “show all albums.” Worked fine.