« sweeeeet | Main | comedy madness »

it's gonna be too late to bring you back

In honor of the 25th birthday of REM, I pulled this old post out of my ass. Well, out of my archives.

You know how sometimes you will fall out of love with a band you once swore you would devote your life to? Well, maybe not in those extreme terms, but I think you know what I mean.

You hear a new band, you fall in love. The band woos you with a couple of good cds and just when you think you're in it forever, they start sucking. They change their tune or their direction and you decide it's just not worth the effort of pretending you love them anymore, so you put away all the cds and get on with your life and your pursuit of other bands worthy of your love.

As time goes on, you remember only the bad things about that band. You remember the third-rate albums that followed the good ones and you forget about the good times you had together. The memories, like the cd cases, gather dust.

And then one day you happen to be listening to an internet radio station that is playing songs from that long gone era when your love with that band was new and fresh. And suddenly it all comes back. Why you loved them, why you stood in line for tickets to see them, why you scrawled their lyrics in your journal.

Chronic Town and Murmur notwithstanding, Reckoning was one of the best cds ever made.

Go build yourself another dream, this choice isn't mine.

Sigh. Come back to me, Michael. I miss you.


I'll add, on the occasion of their anniversary, thanks for the memories. Especially for South Central Rain, Driver 8, Orange Crush, Nightswimming, Don't Go Back to Rockville.

25 years? TWENTY FIVE YEARS? Holy shit, I'm old.


Gawd, this makes me feel old. I remember when they were this funky little band from Athens and the only chance to hear them was on WLIR in the wee hours.

Myself, I prefer Stipe when he was unintelligible. Once he decided to go with English it was all downhill.

Michele! I love You! You picked my favorites too. I would only add "Cuyahoga" and "Shiny Happy People" with Kate Pierson. You Rock!

Ahhh, the only band that mutters. I have to agree with you on Reckoning, this post convinced me to crank it up one more time. I originally got it on cassette, and it was the soundtrack for most of the time I spent in Scotland. Wore out the cassette, got it on CD, and last year ripped the CD so I can play it on the computer and (future) iPod.

I liked side A, but hardly listened to the other side. Vinyl made for some weird listening habits.

You mean I was only 3 years old when R.E.M. got together?

"Stand in the place that you work,
now face North..."

Some of the dumbest lyrics ever.

I really wish they would f*** off and go away too. God I hate REM, one of the few bands I really loath. (Of course, their first album was not bad at all.)

They have produced some of the most annoying songs ever 'Stand' was a criminal act it was so annoying. 'Everybody Hurts' is almost as crap.

And the band gave a launch pad for that total wanker Stipe.

Time keeps on slippin'...(oops, wrong band)

I saw them for the first time in 1985 in a little club. That remains one of the best shows I've ever seen in my life. Although, seeing them on a double bill with The Smiths wasn't bad.

I have to go with Life's Rich Pageant as my favorite album. Cut Superman off the end of it and it's almost perfect. But for pure fun, you have to go to their drunken cover of Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic from Dead Letter Office.

In college, I slept out for tickets - which turned into the biggest party of the year (they played at my college's stadium). After the concert, my boyfriend somehow got me into the afterparty, and I got to meet the band. 1987 - I think my love for REM was at it's Zenith then. That was when Michael was STARTING to be understandable ... lol.

Uh, thanks for the reminder michele.

I saw REM play on my college campus in the early 80s. Scary.

let's put our hands together and start a new country up

god, remember when it actually felt possible?

If you still do that kind of thing, listen to "I Believe" when you're stoned. It's a brilliant feeling.

"Swan,Swan humming bird..."

My band opened for them in the early eighties..

PS "UP" is a pretty good new album.

On behalf of all the elderly people in the house, especially me, permit me to say "Shut UP, Shawn."

Three years old. Errrggh.

I saw them in a small club in downtown Phoenix after Reckoning came out. The place was full of faux-mod girls (for some reason, Mormon girls who bobbed their hair and flipped the collars of their stupid Ralph Lauren polo shirts up were called "mod." Nothing to do with real 60s mods, of course. Phoenix was retarded) wearing dozens of dimestore bangles on their arms. Apparently, their older college-aged siblings had tipped them to this hip alternative band and so off they'd gone to buy tickets in hopes of finding the next Depeche Mode.

I do not know what they were expecting, but I doubt it was a grungy, longhaired ringlet-sportin', trenchcoat-wearin' singer who mumbled.

They shrieked and threw bangles at him anyway, like it was 1964 and the Beatles were playing. Maybe they thought he'd open the trenchcoat and Simon Le Bon would pop out.

The adulation ground to a halt when Stipe began methodically collecting the bangles and putting them on. Every single one. One girl threw an earring; he put that on, too.

You sort of have to imagine a crowded room full of teenage girls hissing to each other, "Wait . . . WAIT . . . is he, like, gay?"

I had a great time.

Dude was always weird. It just used to be the sort of weird I could dig.

Listen to Exhuming McCarthy, then try to make it through any of their new stuff. It's almost like like comparing Metallica's For Whom the Bell Tolls to anything from St Anger (ugg!)

After Fables of the Reconstruction they are useless. But God they used to be good back when, according to them, they did not know what they were doing.

Also, I liked Stipe better when I couldn't understand a thing he was singing.

I'm putting some on now.

Most bands have a core of three or four good albums after which they lose touch with the common folk and start singing about how difficult it is to be rich and famous.

Chronic town was a classic. Boxcars burning. Wolves Lower. Ahh. those were the days. I guess popularity eventually corrupts all.

You are just "oldish" - now the Pope, he was old.

Murmur, was indeed, one of my favs too.