Monday, December 19, 2016

REM - Automatic For the People II - 1992

And now for something completely different...  Talk about a change of gears, I took it from 3rd gear and slammed it into reverse.

No need for extensive posts on this one, we all know who REM is, and what Automatic For the People was in their career.  Quite honestly, their best album ever, backed by what would become a fast slide into mediocrity.  In fact, I may have been satisfied with mediocrity, but the rest of their catalog from here on out was crap, as far as I'm concerned.  It's unfortunate, really, that they got as big as they did.  It's when they became gods that they hit that peak and started into irrelevancy.  I saw their Monster tour, and I must say that I walked away feeling as if they sold out.

I do remember being thrilled when this one came out.  I got it the same time I got Enya's Shepard's Moon album, and I think also Suzanne Vega's 99.9 album....

This toasty collection brings together all of the b-sides, fan club tracks, and unreleased material from the AFtP sessions.  I decided to post it this week, as it has a few Christmas tracks on it that you all should like.

I never really did get into their instrumentals, though.  They seemed incomplete and half-baked.  I couldn't feel any heart in them.  Makes you wonder what sort of role Stipe's voice played in making sure their songs exuded passion and emotion. 

4 comments:

  1. I agree that this was their last great album. "Nightswimming" is just one of THE most sublime songs ever recorded. I liked about half of "Monster," but the next few albums were horrific. They didn't hit their stride again until "Collapse Into Now," and sadly, that was their last album.

    I never did get their instrumentals, either. The only one I can honestly say I really liked was "Wind Out" (it's on "Dead Letter Office"), but the rest of them just never had the R.E.M. magic for me.

    "Murmur" will, for me, always be their bright shining moment. That album is AMAZING from start to finish.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for this collection. Should be interesting to see what they include on the 25yr anniv reissue next year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe it's been 25 years! It makes me feel so VERY old....

      It's hard to believe that the Beatles' Sgt Pepper came out 4 years before I was born....

      Anyway, I'm sure my set will be obsolete (yet again) once the new collection comes out. Maybe, then, I'll do an update, because I'm sure they'll have more tracks (hopefully not demos, unless they're significantly different than the originals) but they may not put the fan club stuff or the compilation cover songs on there. We'll see....

      Delete