R.E.M Thread


Great Beyond is a great tune.

I always remember the column a former Q writer wrote for The Word about the changes in music mags in the early 00s. Basically, they all got taken over by big media moguls who seemed to think they knew what they were doing. This writer remembered having a meeting with the new owner who asked why Q hadn’t given out a 5 star review for a brand new album for years? The writer said they didn’t feel it was their role to announce a classic before they’d had a chance to become classics. The owner took from this conversation: “So a 5 star review is worth a lot of money then?” Two months later, Q gave a 5 star review to Semisonic’s second album…


I think ‘Imitation of Life’ was a big part of the reason the media portrayed REM as being “back”…that song was all over the radio at the time.


Much as I love R.E.M., I have honestly never listened to any of their albums since and including Up. I don’t want to sully their oeuvre up to and including New Adventures.


So, what’s your take on ATS?


I’d class up as their last really good album. It’s worth trying…


I found it a real slog. I dunno whether it was my frame of mind at the time but I didn’t really like Leaving New York either, it just seemed pretty standard, nothing special. They could knock those out in my sleep I thought.

I do remember liking Electron Blue and Outsiders but struggled to get through the whole record.


Accelerate was a welcome return to something energetic and charged and song by song I liked it much more but as said above it was really a false dawn. It never feels wise for a band to try and return to a former sound, they should keep pushing forward, otherwise Accelerate is what you get, it feels a bit fake and forced.

Collapse Into Now was better in that respect, a dignified is not great way to end it. They really tried, and there is some good stuff, but patchy.


Yeah, it is definitely a slog overall. They all sound like they’re really bored…which based on the accounts in the RU Talkin episode, they were.

Accelerate is by no means essential and is kind of Monster v2, but sounds to me like the band who know they’re close to the end of the road rediscovering a bit of fun and energy. I think it’s an enjoyable album that doesn’t try and be anything more than that.


yeah exactly. Accelerate works well live too, so it it succeeds like Monster in that sense. Similar records apart from prob Monster was new ground for the band really. They’d never done a record like it.


Anyone going to buy that new box set? The eight CD/DVD thing looks great but it’s £60. Definitely would like to own it. I’ll have a think.


same, there were a number of ridiculous album reviews (Coldplay, Razorlight etc) around that time. Q were consistently the worst offenders, handing out 5 star reviews to any ‘name’ band


would prefer more earlier stuff on it, too much latter-day fluff


If they’d done the full box on vinyl I would have bought it like an idiot. As it’s stands now i’m not keen on buying a CD box for £60 though.


if you were going to make a 12-track album out of post-New Adventures material, what would you include? singles/b-sides eligible.


I was thinking of doing this! I don’t know b-sides but I’ll have a think…


Living Well is the Best Revenge
The Great Beyond
Leaving New York
I’ve Been High
At My Most Beautiful
Hollow Man
Imitation of Life
The Lifting
Walk Unafraid
The Ascent of Man

for me, Clive


I’d struggle. I’d definitely have

  • Walk Unafraid

  • The Apologist

  • Blue

  • Oh My Heart

  • Daysleeper

  • Imitation Of Life

  • Supernatural Superserious

But after that, I’m struggling. Not sure I’ve ever actually listened to Around The Sun


I’d go for…
At My Most Beautiful
I’ve Been High
Imitation of Life
The Great Beyond
Supernatural Superserious
Mansize Wreath
Falls to Climb
Living Wells the Best Revenge
The Lifting

the hardest part is refraining from just listing a trimmed Up tracklist


Most of Up is an acceptable answer tbf. no quotas!


I’ve always maintained UP is an excellent 11/12 track record, in the wrong order.