Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross talk you through R.E.M.'s history, albums, music, and influence.
Episode 20: Finale
It's the end of the show as we know it (and we feel fine). This has been a great deal of fun, revisiting one of our favorite bands and thinking long and hard about what makes them special. We found new favorite songs and learned about the lives and stories of some truly great artists.
This finale is a variety episode. We answer a few letters, name our favorite songs from R.E.M.'s catalog, and even bring you a special surprise... but you have to listen to find out what it is.
Episode 19: Collapse Into Now
R.E.M. goes out on a high note with Collapse Into Now, an album that takes a bit of a tour through the band's various styles over the years. It's impossible to say that the upward trend in the quality of their records would continue, but it's fitting that the group busted their ass to make their last effort their best in years.
Episode 18: Accelerate
R.E.M. pulls out of its nosedive with an album whose title also serves as its mission statement. It was lauded as a return to form for the band, compared to Lifes Rich Pageant, and talked up as the album that Monster was supposed to be. But does it stand up on its own merits, or does it only succeed because it follows Around the Sun?
Episode 17: Around the Sun
Well, this is it. The nadir. If you're thinking R.E.M. couldn't release an album as bad as Around the Sun's reputation would indicate, then we're sorry to tell you that they can. Up might have had a daysleeper, but this one's a sleepwalker. It's hard to recommend listening to this album, but maybe dip into a few songs to get a feel for what we're talking about. The good news is that this album stunk so bad that the band got their shit together and made two good and fun albums after it.
Episode 16: Reveal
R.E.M. set out to make an idyllic album about summer, but instead made a product that showed the world just how comfortable they'd gotten. The highs are still high, but the search for what R.E.M.'s voice would be would continue.
r.e.m.IX - WikipediaThe Lifting (Original Version) - YouTube(1) Beat A Drum (Dalkey Demo) - YouTube(1) 2JN - YouTube(1) REM / Yellow River - YouTube(1) 165 Hillcrest (R.E.M) - YouTube(1) Summer Turns To High (32 Chord Song Demo) - YouTube(1) R.E.M. - Fascinating - YouTube(1) R.E.M. Reveal February 2001 Advance Master - YouTube(1) REM - Favorite writer - YouTube
Episode 15: Up
After the Bill Berry left the band, R.E.M. had to make the biggest adjustment of their 18 year career. Previous reinventions happened on their own time, and at their own discretion. The shifts into clearer lyrics, into softer instrumentation, and into cocky rock were nothing compared to losing 1/4 of their band. The album that resulted from this labor, Up, nearly broke them up. But it shifted their sound into something more electronic and more produced. Does it stick the landing, or is it twisting in the wind?
Radiohead W/ Michael Stipe - Lucky - YouTubeR.E.M. - E-Bow the Letter (with Thom Yorke) - YouTubeCountry Feedback (with guest Neil Young) - YouTubeNeil Young & REM - Ambulance Blues - Bridge Benefit, 1998 - YouTubeR.E.M. - Falls To Climb (1999 Documentary) - YouTubeREM Why Not Smile Oxford American version - YouTubeEmphysema - YouTubeSurfing The Ganges - YouTubeREM Lotus (Weird Mix) - YouTubeLeonard Cohen - Suzanne (Audio) - YouTubeDraggin' the line by R.E.M. - YouTubeR.E.M. - Lotus (Official Music Video) - YouTubeR.E.M - Suspicion - YouTubeR.E.M. - At My Most Beautiful (Official Music Video) - YouTubeR.E.M. - Daysleeper (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Yup yeah yup yeah yeah
Excellent series for fans of R.E.M.
Worth listening to, great narration, interesting content. Well done. Don't miss the show notes and reference material links contained on the podcast's website.
Great Insight and Research
I grew up not far too from Athens, Georgia. At the height of their college rock weirdness I was in high school and saw them for the first time when I was fifteen (Life's Rich Pageant). Gary and Kole do a great job of capturing the the phenomenon that they were in those early years and offer fantastic insight into the recording process and other elements that contribute to the effect or lack of effect the songs or albums have for R.E.M. If you were a fan of R.E.M. back in the day or want to learn more about a band that had a profound impact on a lot of other bands, I highly recommend listening to File Under Water.