R.E.M Thread


thanks, now sticking this on at work, should be good. I’m not a big Reveal fan either so let’s see…


Might watch this later. Seeing this on MTV was what made me an R.E.M. fan and led me into becoming a huge music fan and musician also.


Sounds great. Also attempted listening to this but the order is all wrong on spotify. Keep getting punched in the face by the Amian Beretta club remix of Losing my Religion. Will find another way!


Didn’t mean for the poll to be anonymous despite the contentious area


IRS rightly overtaking WB.


Realest talk.

They’re the greatest American band of all-time, right?


IRS is the obvious, as WB charts the inevitable decline. Out of Time and Automatic are not my favourite albums, but there’s so much quality on both. Favourite 5 albums would be:

  1. Life’s Rich
  2. New Adventures
  3. Murmer
  4. Automatic


I revisited Reveal recently too, but still struggled with it. I know Around The Sun is the record everyone rounds on as their worst, but I’d put it ahead of Reveal. ATS has the lowest lows of any R.E.M record, but it also has a few enjoyable songs - I don’t really like anything about Reveal.

They came back in style with Accelerate though.


which are your favourites from ATS?


opening track on Reveal is pretty ace, think there was another one too but have largely forgotten it. i’d argue Accelerate is their weakest. reminds me of The Eternal by Sonic Youth, trying to recapture an urgency/archetypal sound but fooling no-one. no coincidence it was their last in both cases


REM released one more album called ‘Collapse Into Now’. I genuinely didn’t know that Sonic Youth had officially called it a day. I think i assumed they would carry on without Kim at some point.


I think Leaving New York is good in their ‘big pop songs’ tradition. I always enjoy Electron Blue and The Outsiders too, but there may be an element of guilty pleasure in there, as they’re possibly a little cheesy?

The album gets a bit ploddy, strummy and midpaced for me after that for a while. Some of the songs may have been okayish in isolation, but as a collection, they’re a right slog.

High Speed Train is pretty good later on, but sounds unfinished both musically and lyrically I think - it’s like a well produced demo. Same goes for Ascent of Man - the chorus step up is unexpected, and could have been really interesting, but unfortunately as it is, it’s all a bit of a mess.

The title track isn’t bad either - gets good in the second half.


The first two songs on ‘Reveal’ are pretty good (‘The Lifting’ & ‘I’ve Been High’), but i find the album boring after that.


lol so they did. strike my last comment from the record


That’s The Lifting right? I think it was meant to be the sequel to Daysleeper or something, and it’s definitely the best of a bad bunch. I don’t really like the production throughout though - all those bleeps and bloops seem so much of the time that it hasn’t aged well imo.

She Just Wants To Be A Star is a contender for their all time worst song for me too and just burns up most of my goodwill for the rest of the record…


Reveal is very patchy. Bar the Lifting, I’ve Been High (really good) and Imitation of Life (catchy single if nothing else) I’m pretty bored by it at best and hate it at other times. The Chorus and the Ring I’ll take as a decent album track I always find curious.

It’s hilarious now that it got such good reviews. Q gave it 5 stars. Everywhere proclaimed it was their best since Automatic. Really did a lot of dent my trust in the music media.


There is something about the production on ‘Reveal’ that i don’t like at all. It has a polished sheen but is is sort of synthetic and sterile sounding. Agree about ‘She Just Wants To Be’…awful song.


I do remember it getting 5 stars in Q and it was praised as a ‘return to form’ pretty much everywhere.


With The Great Beyond, Reveal was very much treated as a return to the relatively safe pop-rock style of Out of Time and Automatic. Basically the music mags playing up to folk who were scared of electronic bleeps and bloops and slightly noisy guitars, who they thought were their only audience. Funnily enough, music magazine readership started to drop like a stone round about that time.


Great Beyond is a great song I think, would have helped the album if it was on there. I know around that time I started taking much less notice of mag reviews, just kept getting burnt.