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Fables of the Reconstruction [25th Anniversary Edition]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For their third album, R.E.M. made a conscious effort to break from the traditions Murmur and Reckoning established, electing to record in England with legendary folk-rock producer Joe Boyd. For a variety of reasons, the sessions were difficult, and that tension is apparent throughout Fables of the Reconstruction. A dark, moody rumination on American folk -- not only the music, but its myths -- Fables is creepy, rustic psychedelic folk, filled with eerie sonic textures. Some light breaks through occasionally, such as the ridiculous collegiate blue-eyed soul of "Can't Get There from Here," but the group's trademark ringing guitars and cryptic lyrics have grown ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For their third album, R.E.M. made a conscious effort to break from the traditions Murmur and Reckoning established, electing to record in England with legendary folk-rock producer Joe Boyd. For a variety of reasons, the sessions were difficult, and that tension is apparent throughout Fables of the Reconstruction. A dark, moody rumination on American folk -- not only the music, but its myths -- Fables is creepy, rustic psychedelic folk, filled with eerie sonic textures. Some light breaks through occasionally, such as the ridiculous collegiate blue-eyed soul of "Can't Get There from Here," but the group's trademark ringing guitars and cryptic lyrics have grown sinister, giving even sing-alongs like "Driver 8" an ominous edge. Fables is more inconsistent than its two predecessors, but the group does demonstrate considerable musical growth, particularly in how perfectly it evokes the strange rural legends of the South. And many of the songs on the record -- including "Feeling Gravitys Pull," "Maps and Legends," "Green Grow the Rushes," "Auctioneer (Another Engine)," and the previously mentioned pair -- rank among the group's best. Like the new millennium expansions of Murmur and Reckoning, the 25th Anniversary Edition of R.E.M.'s third album Fables of the Reconstruction is augmented by a bonus live disc, but there's a difference here. Where its predecessors featured concerts, the bonus disc here finds R.E.M. live in a hometown Athens studio rushing through the songs they planned to cut in London with producer Joe Boyd. The group had come off their supporting tour for Reckoning and had spent several weeks polishing off these 14 songs, which includes the entirety of Fables, the B-side "Bandwagon," an early version of "Hyena," which would resurface on Lifes Rich Pageant, and the previously unreleased "Throw Those Trolls Away" which would later morph into "I Believe." These live demos are nothing short of a revelation: it's the sound of the Reckoning band ripping through the Fables material, creating a sound that's loose, lively, and wild. It's more rock & roll than folk-rock murk, lifting much of the muted murkiness that makes Fables a sometimes alienating listen but retaining its cryptic allure, which is more than enough to make this the best of the R.E.M. reissues.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/13/2010
  • Label: Capitol
  • EAN: 5099964607122
  • Catalog Number: 46071
  • Sales rank: 6,474

Album Credits

Performance Credits
R.E.M. Primary Artist
David Bitelli Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Jim Dvorak Trumpet
David Newby Cello
Camilla Brunt Violin
Philippa Ibbotson Violin
Technical Credits
Jack Skinner Mastering
Joe Boyd Producer, Engineer
Jerry Boys Engineer
Peter Buck Composer, Director, Liner Notes
Barry Clempson Engineer
Tony Harris Engineer
Jim Hawkins Engineer
Ron McMaster Mastering
Mike Mills Composer, Director
R.E.M. Composer
Michael Stipe Composer, Director, Packaging
Bill Berry Composer
E.M. Hammond Director
Dennis Wolfe Executive Producer
Ron Scarselli Paintings
Sandra Lee Phipps Director
J. Ayers Composer
W.T. Berry Director
W.J. Hole Director
Chris Billheimer Packaging
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