Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

R.E.M. - Eponymous (1988)

Although I was a big fan in the '80s, this is the only REM CD I own. I owned all their work on cassette from the band's 1983 debut Murmur through 1991's Out Of Time. My favorite REM release is 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant (now that you mention it, I should go buy the recently released 25th anniversary edition of that disc), but after that, their jangly guitar/mumbled vocals sound began to change and I began to lose interest in the band. After I heard their 1991 hit single, Losing My Religion, I knew I was done with them. This "best of" compilation contains songs recorded between the years of 1981-1987. Listening to this disc reminds me of what a great band they were back in the '80s. I got so fed up with them in the '90s that I haven't listened to this disc in a while. Time to put it back in the rotation.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #44

Tracks: If you were to ask my favorite all-time REM song, it would be a toss-up between Radio Free Europe and Can't Get There From Here. Both great and both included here. Almost all of the 12 tracks here are worthwhile. The only track I don't care for is The One I Love.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember listening to Murmur in the Markmobile in high school and getting the second track, Pilgrimage, stuck in my head and singing that throughout the school day. I got in trouble for singing in more than one class that day.

With its photo of a kudzu-covered railroad trestle, Murmur has one of my favorite album covers of all time. Not that it is an especially attractive image, but it perfectly captures the mood of the music.

In the spring of 1989, I worked in the offices of the San Antonio Symphony. From my window, I could see the back of San Antonio's Municipal Auditorium. REM played a concert there in March of that year and I watched the crew unload equipment into the hall. I walked over and watched them for a bit, all the while kicking myself for not buying tickets to that concert.

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