I think I’ve spoiled you recently, with my five songs to a post on here. Austerity rules, I’m afraid, Back to one per post (subtext: or I’ll run out of stuff to play you pretty quickly).
The keen observer will have noticed that I’m a big fan of R.E.M. When I say I’m a big fan, like most other big fans I accept that they had their day in the spotlight, and that their last few albums really aren’t much cop.
Usually with great bands, it’s a bit tricky, trying to work out where it went wrong. Not R.E.M. Oh no. With them, there are two things that happened around the same time, and after they did, nothing was ever the same, or as good.
Firstly, the signed a multi-million dollar deal with Warner Brothers. Nowt wrong with that. They’d paid their dues. They was owed.
Secondly, BIll Berry, the drummer, quit the band. The guy did collapse with an aneurysm mid-concert, so you can’t blame him for getting out before he became a Spinal Tap/Pretenders dead drummer statistic.
The last record he appeared on was “New Adventures in Hi-Fi”, an album mostly recorded on the road whist they promoted the “Monster” album. It’s a great record, even if a friend of mine insists on pronouncing it he-fe. (Not sure that translates…)
And then, after that…well, it just wasn’t the same. Poor pronunciation or not.
However, whilst they soldiered on for another few albums, they must have known their days were numbered, finally giving in and quitting in 2011. (As I type that, I honestly can’t believe it’s been 4 years since that happened.)
Anyway, they released a Greatest Hits album as they died, and of course it featured, as is the vogue these days, a few unreleased tracks. And there, hidden amongst them, was today’s post, a song which was exactly the sort of song their fans had been hoping they would make again:
I can’t help but think that had those final years had a few more songs like this, then they might still be with us. Ho hum.