Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD (the original issue, not the subsequent reissues in 1993 and 2011).
Last week, I was motoring along many of the same roads in San Antonio that I traveled back in the summer of 1986 and this album came to mind. A quick stop into a used CD store and 4 bucks later I had the soundtrack for the rest of my visit and most of the ride back home.
The fourth studio album from R.E.M., I thought it rocked harder than any of its predecessors; the change to producer Don Gehman done did the boys some good. The group was no longer a "college radio" band - hell, they practically invented that genre - they had become a rock band. Even though it doesn't contain my favorite R.E.M. single (that would be either Radio Free Europe or Can't Get There From Here), it quickly became my favorite R.E.M. album and has never relinquished that honor.
|[sic] Entertainment Weekly, March 22, 1991|
Michael Stipe was improving as a lyricist and vocalist, so there's not as much mumbling mushmouth as in previous releases. (As I type this sentence, the horrid lyrics "I believe in coyotes and time as an abstract" from I Believe are playing, making me reconsider what I've just written.)
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #21
Tracks: let's rank 'em
- Begin The Begin
- Just A Touch
- These Days
- The Flowers Of Guatemala
- Fall On Me
- What If We Give It Away
- I Believe
- Underneath the Bunker
- Swan Swan H
Fall On Me has been called "the finest song in the R.E.M. canon" but to me, it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album. We also get a brief, novelty song in Underneath The Bunker and an awesome cover of Superman, a song originally recorded by the 60's Houston band The Clique. To be honest, I've never heard of The Clique apart from this cover.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: see this previous post
Previously revisited for the blog: