Thursday, September 22, 2011

R.I.P. R.E.M. (The Unreleased Live Album, 1984)


"Pretty Persuasion."

That was the first R.E.M. song I ever heard. It would've been sometime in early 1985 and my hipper, cooler brother-in-law made me a tape which included everything from the New York Dolls to The Psychedelic Furs to Black Flag to Hanoi Rocks to The Enigmas to, of course, R.E.M. I quickly became obsessed with that soon-to-be-legendary intersection of mumble and jangle. I devoured Reckoning and its follow-up, Fables of the Reconstruction and I used them as my albums to fall asleep to (in a good way).



Now that R.E.M. have called it quits, I suppose it's time to re-visit a band I've hardly payed attention to for the last 15 years. What better way to do glance backwards than to present this live bootleg that, according to the liner notes, was supposed to be their final album for I.R.S. till it was nixed by lead singer, Michael Stipe. While this sounds a little fanciful to me, the performance and the sound quality are excellent reminders of why we should all mourn the passing of R.E.M.

REM "THE UNRELEASED LIVE LP" live R.E.M. Soundboard.

1         Chinese Bros.        
2         Catapult        
3         Radio Free Europe        
4         9-9        
5         Gardening At Night        
6         Windout        
7         Letter Never Sent        
8         Kohoutek        
9         So. Central Rain        
10         (Don't Go Back To) Rockville        
11         1,000,000        
12         Hyena        
13         West Of The Fields        
14         Old Man Kensey        
15         Second Guessing        
16         Hyena        
17         Letter Never Sent        
18         Driver 8        
19         Old Man Kensey        
20         Pretty Persuasion        
21         1,000,000        
22         Second Guessing        

Tracks 1 to 15 recorded live on Sept. 24, 1984 at Duke University in Durham, NC on the North American "Little America" tour.
Tracks 16 to 22 are bonus live tracks with no dates given.


So what was the first R.E.M. song you heard?  Let us know in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Unreleased Live Album link).



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22 comments:

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    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?58727blmh3mm7sn

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  2. The first R.E.M. song I remember hearing was their cover of Aerosmith's "Toys In The Attic". This, likely, explains a few things.

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  3. I saw REM at my school around 1982 (pre-IRS) opening for The Bongos. Musta been about 25 people there. Peter Buck gave my friend (we were all radio station geeks) an acetate copy of Radio Free Europe. Wonder that's worth these days! ALso saw them at the infamous show in NYC in about 83 on Halloween, when Stipe wore a bunny suit and they played all covers.
    The last time I saw REM was in an arena.
    Great band!

    nazz nomad

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  4. There was a time when I followed R.E.M. with a fervor. Then we all got older. Nonetheless, I'm sorry to hear their folding the tent.

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  5. Hey Jeffen

    I certainly haven't listened to much R.E.M. since around 1990.But I did see some great R.E.M. shows back in the day.A couple of shows at The Commodore had Dream Syndicate open one and True West open another.
    Then out at UBC the opener was Guadalcanal Diary.
    The day after the UBC show I was exiting my local video store and waiting for a traffic light to cross Granville St(near 67 Ave).The light changed and a bus stopped and I looked up to see 'Somebody You've Never Heard Of' written on the front of the bus.Then I noticed Michael Stipe seated on the front seat(& sleeping) of the bus.It was the R.E.M. tour bus.Heading home to the USA I assume.

    Cheers

    Doug

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  6. I remember being in middle school and seeing the video for "It's the End of the World As We Know It" and being fascinated but also perplexed. REM become one of my all-time favorite bands. They will be missed.

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  7. can't quite remember if it was the Hib-Tone single of "Radio Free Europe" or "1,000,000" off the "Chronic Town" ep...the band was playing all around the area when I was a college freshman and frequently had gigs in Nashville...they even opened for The Clash (!)...Thanks for the (now somewhat fuzzy) memories!

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  8. A friend handed me 2 lp's...'Murmur' and Rank and File-'Sundown'...'here's a couple of new bands',he said...one became huge...

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  9. radio free europe...

    managed to catch them in glasgow in 84 - when stipe was going through his long hair phase.... yes he did !!!
    they came on gone midnight... was very late when they finished.. and yeah we had to walk home.... 20miles.


    I remember picking up a copy of murmur in ed for 1.99 - it wasn't selling ;)

    I reckon they influenced me for a while then i moved on.... the vibe was great while it lasted.

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  10. First REM: listening to Atlanta's legendary Album 88.5 while blasting through Atlanta at what in those days was high speed on I-75, and hearing this plaintive yet assertive jangle that turned out to be Radio Free Europe (IRS version).

    It's odd. but to me, REM music is forever entangled in memory, never the present. Even when new albums came out, they seemed somehow all about the past. Which is not a bad place to vist, mind you...

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  11. 'Can't get there from here'...I heard it on Beacon Radio in Birmingham UK. later on that night, I won a signed copy of 'Fables...', which I thought was 'okay-ish' at the time. Then I joined an REM-alike band, played it again and revised my opinion drastically. What a great, dark murky album.

    Thanks for the Live album, too!

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  12. they'll be missed.

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  13. I was a Feelies man and was at the age when REM first hit where I found them a hipster band for the more youngin' than myself. A few years ago I explored their catalog and found I liked them well enough to not dislike them any more. Same story with The Smiths.

    That's all I got!

    Emerson

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  14. I'd read reviews of Murmur while I was in high school in Oklahoma, when I was just starting to get my feet wet in the 'underground' music scene, and memorizing the names of bands I needed to check out.

    But I didn't get the chance to hear REM until college- "Pretty Persuasion" played over a local radio station that was still trying to find a format that worked. Unfortunately, the station settled on Top 40, so that was also the last time I heard Pretty Persuasion on the radio.

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  15. 1. First REM: Heard "Radio Free Europe" at just about the last party I went to before graduating from college.

    2. How's this? Once played REM's cover of "Toys In The Attic" out the window of my apartment while my wife and I AND Joe Perry and his wife and baby lounged on the "beach" in front of our apartment building! (Not citing this to show how "cool" I am, but instead just to highlight how odd life is. Life's Rich Pageant indeed.)

    Ace

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  16. saw/heard them first on german television, 'live aus dem alabama', they broadcasted live from the show for about 45 minutes. must have been in 1985. i was not very familiar with paisley underground at these days, was more in husker du and all those sst-guys, but the r.e.m.-gig was great anyway.
    saw them later live in munich at the 'circus krone' with the go-betweens opening, both bands did a great job that night (think it was in 1989). i definitly lost them with the 'automatic for the people'-album which i never liked at all....

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  17. Great post - thanks for sharing. Been a fan since a girlfriend bought me the Chronic Town EP that preceded Murmur.

    Who would have thought a drummer would prove to be so crucial to he heart of a band but since Bill Berry left it has been a case of generally diminishing returns. Still my favourite band of all time.

    Only saw them live once - 1984, Rock City, Nottingham, UK (a cutdown version of which was broadcast on Radio 1). After a couple of extended encores including T Rex's '20th Century Boy' and Television's 'See No Evil', Michael and Bill came out without Mike and Peter and sang Moon River acappella perfectly in harmony.
    You could have heard a pin drop, were it not for the sound of the audience's collective jaws being picked up off the ground.

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  18. I can hardly credit memory at this point, so long after, but I swear I saw them at Barrymore's, a 200 or so seater in Ottawa, touring _Fables_ and simply utterly magnificent, drunk and drunker as the night went on (Canadian beer, I assume) and by the end, with all of us sweating and deaf and grinning stupidly in joy along with the band, they came back and did cover after cover after cover (I recall "In the Year 2525" and a try at "Public Image" but Stipe didn't know the words so he just kept yelling "Public Image!"--I think it was that song or something Lydon wrote, but memory, you know . . .) and with me being 18 then I was so sure that was the greatest concert I would ever see, and I was right.

    Somewhere is a recording of them hanging with Neil Young under his six-foot pot plant. I do hope so. They did get pretentious, but the younger recordings still work and always will.

    I thank you for this recording and them for all the others.

    Cheers,

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  19. CPJ
    I was baffled until you explained this came through a classic rock DJ, which sorta explains this bizarre incongruity.

    Nazz
    REM, the Bongos and free acetates of 'Radio Free Europe'?
    My life sucks.

    Anon
    "There was a time when I followed R.E.M. with a fervor. Then we all got older. Nonetheless, I'm sorry to hear their folding the tent."
    I wish I could 'favourite' comments here.


    Doug
    1) Love that REM tour anecdote.
    2) My cousin saw that REM/GD show at UBC and he said that GD blew REM off the stage (and from what I saw of GD Id believe it!)

    Eric
    Yeah "End of the world" kept me hooked on REM even when I was mostly only listening to hardcore.

    Anon
    Can't say now what I'd give to have (even fuzzy) memories of a Clash/REM show.

    HM
    You got two great albums that day.

    Anon II
    'the vibe was great while it lasted.'
    Amen

    synonymicious
    'It's odd. but to me, REM music is forever entangled in memory, never the present. '
    Nicely put.

    rushbo
    'Can't get there from here'..
    Great first track to hear.

    Anoonn
    .

    Emerson
    Thanks for the chuckle and thee reminder to re-listen to that 1st Feelies album.

    Michaael
    I wish I'd heard PP even once on the radio!

    Ace
    if you're not trying to show how cool you're failing! That's one hell of a cool rock n' roll l anecdote.
    Thanks.

    Anon
    Some good REM memories there, though I have to say that I still like AFTP despite its overexposure.

    Stevo
    Gotta agree with you about the importance of Bill Berry. Part of me thinks that his departue might've been a better time to fold up the tent.

    jbull
    'with me being 18 then I was so sure that was the greatest concert I would ever see, and I was right.'
    SO REM makes us all a little more pithy.

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  20. Thanks for this.

    I had heard Radio Free Europe but never really paid too much attention to it. Then I heard Peter Buck and Stipe interviewed on college radio (CKCU). They played the just-released Pretty Persuasion, which got my attention. After, Stipe said it was about a dream he had where he was talking to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at on a dock somewhere and then they just got up and left.

    I was hooked.

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