Green (Remaster) R.E.M.

Album info

Album-Release:
1988

HRA-Release:
11.07.2012

Label: Concord Records

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Classic Rock

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Pop Song 8903:51
  • 2Get Up03:13
  • 3You Are The Everything03:04
  • 4Stand02:41
  • 5World Leader Pretend03:44
  • 6The Wrong Child04:19
  • 7Orange Crush03:38
  • 8Turn You Inside Out04:17
  • 9Hairshirt03:55
  • 10I Remember California05:03
  • 11Untitled03:09
  • Total Runtime40:54

Info for Green (Remaster)

On Green, R.E.M. dares to think positive. Songs like 'Stand,' 'Get Up,' 'World Leader Pretend' and 'The Wrong Child' are a continuation of the upbeat call to arms sounded on Document's 'Finest Worksong.' It was no coincidence that such a hopeful record was released on an election day whose outcome was a foregone conclusion. Now is not the time for despair, R.E.M. seems to be saying, but for a redoubling of efforts.

Having made the leap from a small label, I.R.S., to a monolithic major one, Warner Bros., R.E.M. hasn't sold out; rather, the band has taken the opportunity to crack open the shell it's been pecking at since it recorded its first album. On Green, R.E.M. acknowledges the outside world with a slew of musical references and some relatively pointed lyrics.

As Michael Stipe's vocals get more distinct, so does his message — instead of meaning almost anything you want them to, his noticeably improved lyrics seem to be about at most two or three different things. Stipe even makes an effort to enunciate. And perhaps more remarkable, this is the first R.E.M. album with printed lyrics — actually, it provides the lyrics to just one song, 'World Leader Pretend,' but with this band you take what you can get.

Green reveals a much wider range than previous efforts, including a playfulness that wasn't there before. Some songs have a downright bubble-gummy feel: on 'Stand,' Peter Buck lets fly with a ridiculously wanky wah-wah guitar solo. Still others reveal more emotion than the band has shown in the past; 'You Are the Everything' and the untitled track that closes the album are frank love songs with few strings attached.

Except for those tender ballads, R.E.M. has completely lost its folk inflections. A heavy guitar sound has replaced the old Byrdsy jangle (which scores of college bands continue to ply). The trademark asymmetrical song structures are gone, too; now, verses are repeated for maximum catchiness.

The band's last two albums — Life's Rich Pageant and Document — seemed very much of a piece, but Green is a distinctive record with a new feel, at once slightly synthetic and deeply felt, with Stipe conveying strong conviction without shouting and subtle emotion without disappearing into the woodwork. (Green was coproduced by Scott Litt, who also coproduced Document, the band's commercial breakthrough.)

'Turn You Inside-Out' includes percussion by former Sugar Hill Records house drummer Keith LeBlanc, but it's no rap jam — rather, it's the heaviest rock these guys have yet recorded. R.E.M. won its reputation as a great rock & roll band as much with its live shows as with its earnest, evocative records, and this album begins to approach the concert experience — not necessarily in its visceral impact, but in its stunning contrasts: the song that follows 'Turn You Inside-Out,' the mandolin-laden 'Hairshirt,' is the most delicate and affecting thing the band has ever done. 'I am not the type of dog who could keep you waiting for no good reason,' Stipe fairly croons.

Musically, Green quotes a lot of sources. Listen closely and you can hear references to the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Sly Stone and others. If R.E.M. were any more calculating, one might suspect this is the band's sneaky way of squeezing into tightly formatted AOR radio, with its emphasis on classic rock bands.

Just as it's fascinating to watch elder statesmen like Keith Richards reconcile rock & roll with middle age, it's fascinating to see how R.E.M. handles fame and commercial success. On paper, this looks to be the band's biggest album ever — strong singles material ('Get Up,' 'Stand' and 'Orange Crush'), a major label, a more accessible sound. So it's not for nothing that the album is titled Green, although environmental concerns, naivete and the generally positive attitude of the record must also have something to do with it.

R.E.M. may be dangerously close to becoming a conventional rock & roll band, but Green proves it's a damn good one. (Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone Magazine)

Bill Berry, drums, piano, vocals
Peter Buck, guitars
Mike Mills, bass, organ, piano, vocals
Michael Stipe, lead vocals

Additional Musicians:
Jane Scarpantoni, cello (track 5)
Keith LeBlanc, percussion (track 8)
Bucky Baxter, Pedal Steel (track 5)

Produced by Scott Litt & R.E.M.
Recorded at Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios


R.E.M.
were an alternative rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, United States in 1980. The band originally consisted of Michael Stipe (vocals), Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin), Mike Mills (bass, keyboards, vocals) and Bill Berry (drums). Berry retired from the band in October 1997 after having suffered a brain aneurysm in 1995.

R.E.M. released its first single, 'Radio Free Europe', in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band's first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit in 1987 with the single 'The One I Love'. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.

By the early 1990s, when alternative rock began to experience broad mainstream success, R.E.M. was viewed as a pioneer of the genre and released its two most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), which veered from the band's established sound. R.E.M.'s 1994 release, Monster, was a return to a more rock-oriented sound. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract in history. The following year, Bill Berry left the band, while Buck, Mills, and Stipe continued the group as a three-piece. Through some changes in musical style, the band continued its career into the next decade with mixed critical and commercial success. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Work on the group's fourteenth album commenced in early 2007. The band recorded with producer Jacknife Lee in Vancouver and Dublin, where it played five nights in the Olympia Theatre between June 30 and July 5 as part of a 'working rehearsal'. R.E.M. Live, the band's first live album (featuring songs from a 2005 Dublin show), was released in October 2007. The group followed this with the 2009 live album Live at The Olympia, which features performances from their 2005 residency. R.E.M. released Accelerate in early 2008. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard charts, and became the band's eighth album to top the British album charts. Rolling Stone reviewer David Fricke considered Accelerate an improvement over the band's previous post-Berry albums, calling it 'one of the best records R.E.M. have ever made.'

In 2010, R.E.M. released the video album R.E.M. Live from Austin, TX—a concert recorded for Austin City Limits in 2008. The group recorded its fifteenth album, Collapse into Now (2011), with Jacknife Lee in locales including Berlin, Nashville, and New Orleans. For the album, the band aimed for a more expansive sound than the intentionally short and speedy approach implemented on Accelerate. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, becoming the group's tenth album to reach the top ten of the chart. This release fulfilled R.E.M.'s contractual obligations to Warner Bros., and they began recording material without a contract a few months later with the possible intention of self-releasing the work.

On September 21, 2011, the band announced via its website that it was 'calling it a day as a band'. Stipe said that he hoped their fans realized it 'wasn't an easy decision': 'All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.' Long-time associate and former Warner Bros. Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology Ethan Kaplan has speculated that shake-ups at the record label influenced the group's decision to disband. The band members will finish their collaboration by assembling the compilation album Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011, scheduled for release in November 2011. The album will be the first to collect songs from R.E.M.'s I.R.S. and Warner Bros. tenures, as well as the group's final studio recordings from post-Collapse into Now sessions.

On 21 September 2011, after over 30 years together, R.E.M. announced that they had split up. (Source: artists.letssingit.com)

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