Thursday, September 17, 2009

10 albums a day #44

- Chronic Town (1982, CD)
- Murmur (1983, CD)
- Reckoning (1984, CD)
- Fables of the Reconstruction (1985, CD)
- Life's Rich Pageant (1986, CD)
- Dead Letter Office (1987, CD)
- Document (1987, CD)
- Eponymous (1988, CD)
- Green (1988, CD)
- Out of Time (1991, CD)
- Automatic for the People (1992, CD)
- Monster (1994, CD)

When I was hired at Mr. Gatti's in May of 1985, I was one of the first two employees specifically hired as delivery drivers. They had only started delivery service and until that time what little business they had done was performed by someone already working there who delivered pizza on his motorcycle. A few months later they hired another driver, named Eric. Eric was one of those co-workers whose interest and knowledge about music I came to respect. He was a fan of R.E.M. and I bought my first albums of theirs on his recommendation. I came to like them quite a lot.

Chronic Town was originally purchased on cassette. The following four originally on LP. Later on, Chronic Town was released as part of the CD compilation Dead Letter Office. It was never released as a stand-alone CD. Just wanted to clear that up.

My favorite of these by far is Life's Rich Pageant. I started losing interest with Document. I had previously also bought several singles, not for the A-side, but for the alt versions of their songs that they would put on the B-side. I bought Eponymous because it includes several of these alt versions and I wanted them on CD. Green and Out of Time were basically just from fan loyalty, but I don't really care for them all that much. The last two were birthday gifts from my wife, until I told her she didn't need to keep buying me REM CDs.

Dead Letter Office is another interesting one because it's made up of covers of other artist's songs, showing influences from Velvet Underground to Roger Miller.

Life's Rich Pageant is still one of my favorite overall albums, and another that I think of as a road album.

I might go through those old singles and rip the B-sides that weren't on Dead Letter Office, just for kicks (for example, a guitar version of Floyd Kramer's "Last Dance"). But I don't see myself buying anything else by them.

I wasn't going to say anything else but okay, here is what really turned me off of R.E.M.  It was one of those article/interviews about/with them in Musician magazine.  Their remarks were so ironic that that single issue weighed about 10 pounds.  Irony has it's place as a literary device, and sometimes as a form of karma, but make it your lifestyle and YOU HAVE SCREWED UP.  They spent most of the article making fun of their own past albums and deriding fans who still liked the older music.  Okay, guys, I thought, I am going to keep listening to those old albums and never buy another damn new album of yours again.  How's that for irony?

The preachiness and political correctness was just another nail in the coffin.

Album count: 447.

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