Wednesday, September 28, 2011

R.E.M. Comp Could Be Better

OK, time to get on the soapbox. Just as R.E.M. calls it quits, the band's 40-song double disc 'Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011' is announced with a Nov. 15 release date. This should be exciting. It marks the first time R.E.M. has ever had a best-of package that captures both their IRS and Warner Bros. material. Further, at least for uberfans, it's a big deal because of the three brand-new songs that will appear at the end of disc two. One of the songs, "We All Go Back to Where We Belong," will be released as a single on Oct. 18.

Here's the problem. For those of us who think their early indie output is far superior to the major-label material, we get screwed. Of the 40 songs, only 13 of them are from the IRS years. The songs from that period that were selected are all worthy of inclusion, but there should have been more. Why not divide the two labels by disc? For me, the biggest error was not including the single "Can't Get There From Here." If you honestly think that's asking too much, then please take a close look at the WB material on disc two. The second half of this compilation is very weak.

As for the addition of three new songs on a best-of package, I hate this marketing ploy. First of all, how can three songs nobody has ever heard be among the best songs the 31-year old band ever did? Obviously, the inclusion of these songs is to force R.E.M.'s biggest fans to buy a record they would not otherwise need. If you fall into this camp, do yourself a favor and listen before you buy. It is probably far better to spend $1.29 per song online for the ones worthy of purchase. I promise you a few years from now these three new songs will stick out like sore thumbs on this best-of package. They are taking up valuable space for fan favorites like "Drive" and "Can't Get There From Here. Please, record labels, don't put new songs on compilations like this. It's a lame cash grab. Preorder 'Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011' here.

'Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011' Tracklist
Disc 1
1. Gardening At Night
2. Radio Free Europe
3. Talk About The Passion
4. Sitting Still
5. So. Central Rain
6. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville
7. Driver 8
8. Life And How To Live It
9. Begin The Begin
10. Fall On Me
11. Finest Worksong
12. It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
13. The One I Love
14. Stand
15. Pop Song 89
16. Get Up
17. Orange Crush
18. Losing My Religion
19. Country Feedback
20. Shiny Happy People

Disc 2
1. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
2. Everybody Hurts
3. Man On The Moon
4. Nightswimming
5. What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
6. New Test Leper
7. Electrolite
8. At My Most Beautiful
9. The Great Beyond
10. Imitation Of Life
11. Bad Day
12. Leaving New York
13. Living Well Is The Best Revenge
14. Supernatural Superserious
15. ÜBerlin
16. Oh My Heart
17. Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter
18. A Month of Saturdays
19. We All Go Back To Where We Belong
20. Hallelujah

No comments: