I really wish I had the time to write about what I really want to cover today, which is the school shooting in Montreal, but I don’t have the time to give it the proper post it deserves; maybe this weekend. You’ll find I won’t write about something serious unless I have the time to give it the respect it deserves, which is why you didn’t see a September 11 post this week either, and why you see lots of music posts, which I can pull out of my ass like it’s nobody’s business.
Speaking of pulling out of my ass…
If you’re one of those people who rags on 80’s music as “the suck” or who only knows R.E.M. from their big label “Losing My Religion”-Automatic for the People years, you really owe it to yourself to buy/borrow/download/steal the band’s new Best-Of collection And I Feel Fine, which collects the band’s best work from their five 1980s albums on the IRS indie label.
Unlike most best-ofs – where you can complain endlessly about the playlist – here, even if a few favourites are missing, I can’t possibly imagine a better collection to represent the band’s early work. This is excellent stuff, proof that while some bands take time to grow and find their footing, R.E.M. were confident as hell and relevant from the first note. It also proves why they’ve earned the credibility to make as many boring albums as they want without tarnishing their legacy.
But don’t just take my word for it…Pitchfork agrees with me, and we all must bow down before our Pitchfork gods, right?
And thanks to the magic of YouTube, here’s the band’s first ever TV performances on Letterman shortly after the release of their debut album, Murmur. The first is “Radio Free Europe,” the second a then-unnamed “So. Central Rain.”
And while it has nothing to do with their early work, this is great excuse to show this video as well, the only redeeming thing that has ever come of this particular dreadful, dreadful R.E.M. hit: