Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I see via Pitchfork that there is a new REM retrospective out called And I Feel Fine, which features music from their first 5 albums, Murmur, Reckoning, Life's Rich Pageant, Fables of the Reconstruction, and Document. These albums came out while they were still on indie label IRS and before they signed to Warner and generally started sucking.

There is really no way to explain my emotional connection to those first 5 albums. I just love them, and they're an integral part of my sense of what rock music should sound like and be. I used to have an excellent mix tape (yep, I'm old) of music from those records, but tragically, I lost it. So maybe this compilation can replace it.

In a weird way, my love for early REM is inextricably tied up with my feelings about U2. They both had their breakthrough albums (Joshua Tree and Document) at about the same time. I know that a lot of people 5 or 10 years younger than me (including some of my fellow junkettes) now see U2 as this great rock band, but in my mind they'll always take a back seat to the boys from Athens, Georgia.


Blogger Red Fraggle said...

Growing up, I loved REM far, far more than U2. There was really no competition. And I would take REM's early stuff (I'm willing to go up to Automatic for the People) over U2.

But then Monster came, which had a couple of good tracks, but more bad tracks, and that was followed by a bunch of mediocre albums, and they just lost their relevance. Michael Stipe started using the word "Hollywood" in his lyrics a little too much, while (I think) U2 remained relevant and, although there have been some blips, has continued to churn out some good records.

So it's a tough call for me. Because REM was BY FAR my favorite band for a very long time, and I still think they are the best (when you discount the later work). One summer I wore the same REM concert tee-shirt every single day, sometimes with jeans, sometimes with a long skirt. I did wash it, though, no worries.

I have all of their albums--will "And I Feel Fine" have anything additional that would make it worth buying?

9/15/2006 4:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home