Of all of the albums that I will share, this is perhaps the finest for its relative obscurity and its overall weirdness of sounds and the sheer audacity that these four awkward genius dudes had to make music that they didn’t care whether you liked.
Look, all of the work of R.E.M. is rightly praised and damned by those who know and think they know.
They always had this incredible energy to polarize music people in some strange way because they weren’t hairspray or bubble gum and the college radio types somehow hated their success for being so brilliant with music like this during a period when they were popping out great albums every year.
I love most everything in their catalog but “Life’s Rich Pageant” is my favorite studio album and has been one of my favorite albums for most of my life.
I think “King of Birds” is as fine of a song as there is. I came in on the R.E.M. indie college party an album before this (and definitely had catching up to do on “Pretty Persuasion” and “Radio Free Europe”) but this fourth album is the one piece of music that I always tell people to buy that they probably don’t own.
Literally, just turn it on and turn it up.
It’s a roller coaster of sheer sonic awesomeness.
It is a beautiful box of rock chocolates with lots of different gooey centers and warm flavors.
My favorite song is “What If We Gave It Away” but “Fall on Me” also has aged well against global warming. And “Begin The Begin” is as good of an opening track as has ever been written.
And you, of course, know “Superman,” which was a bit of a throwaway but has stood the test of time.
Miles Standish proud, indeed…