Thursday, August 20, 2009

Das Boot: R.E.M. (1984)

The tracklist for R.E.M.'s two-disc set 'Live at the Olympia' is out. If you have seen any parts of these July 2007 "working rehersals" from Dublin, then you know the band went out of its way in a tongue-in-cheek manner to proclaim these were not concerts with a backdrop that said "THIS IS NOT A SHOW". The 39 songs picked for the discs are a tiny bit heavy on the 'Accelerate' album because that was the band's latest. This would be a turnoff if not for the fact the I.R.S. years are so well represented.

1. Living Well Is the Best Revenge
2. Second Guessing
3. Letter Never Sent
4. Staring Down the Barrel of the Middle Distance
5. Disturbance at the Heron House
6. Mr. Richards
7. Houston
8. New Test Leper
9. Cuyahoga
10. Electrolite
11. Man-Sized Wreath
12. So. Central Rain
13. On the Fly
14. Maps and Legends
15. Sitting Still
16. Driver 8
17. Horse to Water
18. I'm Gonna DJ
19. Circus Envy
20. These Days
21. Drive
22. Feeling Gravity's Pull
23. Until the Day Is Done
24. Accelerate
25. Auctioneer
26. Little America
27. 1,000,000
28. Disguised
29. The Worst Joke Ever
30. Welcome to the Occupation
31. Carnival of Sorts
32. Harborcoat
33. Wolves, Lower
34. I've Been High
35. Kohoutek
36. West of the Fields
37. Pretty Persuasion
38. Romance
39. Gardening at Night

It's time for me to come clean on my feelings for R.E.M. Their first two full-length records, 'Murmur' and 'Reckoning', are among my favorite 100 all-time albums. With each subsequent release, however, I like the music less and less. Even before the jump to Warner Bros., I felt the band had peaked. So, with that in mind, I would like to present a bootleg performance from Florida Atlantic University on Sept. 29, 1984. When 'Live at the Olympia' is released on Oct. 26, compare R.E.M. circa 2007 to 1984. Apart from asking you to discount production, mixing, etc., that's all I'm going to say.

R.E.M. From Florida Atlantic University, Sept. 29, 1984
R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe (mp3)
R.E.M. - Hyena (mp3)
R.E.M. - Letter Never Sent (mp3)
R.E.M. - Camera (mp3)
R.E.M. - Gardening at Night (mp3)
R.E.M. - 9-9 (mp3)
R.E.M. - Windout (mp3)
R.E.M. - (Don't Go Back to) Rockville (mp3)
R.E.M. - So. Central Rain (mp3)
R.E.M. - Little America (mp3)
R.E.M. - Second Guessing (mp3)
R.E.M. - Talk About the Passion (mp3)
R.E.M. - Wolves, Lower (mp3)
R.E.M. - Moon River (mp3)
R.E.M. - Ghost Riders in the Sky (mp3)
R.E.M. - There She Goes Again (mp3)
R.E.M. - We Walk (mp3)

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