Tuesday, July 25, 2006

R.E.M. Rarities Due Out Later This Year

Billboard has the rundown on a CD/DVD compilation from R.E.M.'s classic years on IRS. If only the band had stuck to their promise and disbanded when Bill Berry walked away in 1997, they wouldn't be tarnishing their image with one increasingly indifferent album after another. Just yesterday I was talking with my friends at NYCD about how R.E.M. would always irritatingly indulge in the rock star habit of trashing their last album when a new one was about to come out. ("That wasn't what we wanted to accomplish at all; THIS album is the REAL deal.") Didn't matter if the last album was a classic like "Murmur" or "Life's Rich Pageant," they would always downplay it in favor of whatever was new. Now of course they do almost the opposite, always praising their most recent (and ignored) album by arguing that if "Up" or "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" had been released by an unknown band instead of R.E.M., it would have been praised to high heaven. Uh, no guys. It would have been ignored. Now at least with this compilation they seem to be embracing their glory days. Here's hoping they've still got some gems left in them for the future.

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