Murmur [Deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition]

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Leaving behind the garagey jangle pop of their first recordings, R.E.M. developed a strangely subdued variation of their trademark sound for their full-length debut album, Murmur. Heightening the enigmatic tendencies of Chronic Town by de-emphasizing the backbeat and accentuating the ambience of the ringing guitar, R.E.M. created a distinctive sound for the album -- one that sounds eerily timeless. Even though it is firmly in the tradition of American folk-rock, post-punk, and garage rock, Murmur sounds as if it appeared out of nowhere, without any ties to the past, present, or future. Part of the distinctiveness lies in the atmospheric production, which exudes ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Leaving behind the garagey jangle pop of their first recordings, R.E.M. developed a strangely subdued variation of their trademark sound for their full-length debut album, Murmur. Heightening the enigmatic tendencies of Chronic Town by de-emphasizing the backbeat and accentuating the ambience of the ringing guitar, R.E.M. created a distinctive sound for the album -- one that sounds eerily timeless. Even though it is firmly in the tradition of American folk-rock, post-punk, and garage rock, Murmur sounds as if it appeared out of nowhere, without any ties to the past, present, or future. Part of the distinctiveness lies in the atmospheric production, which exudes a detached sense of mystery, but it also comes from the remarkably accomplished songwriting. The songs on Murmur sound as if they've existed forever, yet they subvert folk and pop conventions by taking unpredictable twists and turns into melodic, evocative territory, whether it's the measured riffs of "Pilgrimage," the melancholic "Talk About the Passion," or the winding guitars and pianos of "Perfect Circle." R.E.M. may have made albums as good as Murmur in the years following its release, but they never again made anything that sounded quite like it. [As far as deluxe editions go, Universal's 2008 expansion of R.E.M.'s 1983 debut Murmur leans toward the skimpy: it may spill over to two CDs, but the only bonus material is a live show recorded at Larry's Hideway in Toronto, just three months after the album's release. There was enough room on the first disc to add both the early Hib-Tone single of "Radio Free Europe" and their first EP, Chronic Town, plus assorted stray tracks; much of this material has shown up on various releases over the years -- the bulk being reissued on 1987's clearinghouse Dead Letter Office, which also had Chronic Town on the CD, but the Hib-Tone single has popped up on Eponymous and the rarities disc, 2006's And I Feel Fine -- so most R.E.M. fans have this in their collection, which is necessary as it's not here. Any lingering resentment over this missing music should be soothed by the live show on the second disc, which captures the band in full flight. This release constitutes the first official release of an early R.E.M. concert there are bootlegs containing a slightly longer set but this is close enough to qualify as a full show and it's a welcome addition to their catalog as it crackles with an energy that is missing from the hazy, ethereal Murmur. R.E.M. barrel through the bulk of the album -- only "Moral Kiosk" and "Shaking Through" are absent -- plus a chunk of Chronic Town, throwing in a cover of "There She Goes Again" and early versions of Reckoning's "Harborcoat," "7 Chinese Bros.," and "Just a Touch," which didn't surface until 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant. This wasn't a showcase night for R.E.M., it was just another gig on the tour, and that's the great thing about it: the band isn't self-conscious, they're just tearing through their songs, rocking harder than they did on any of their studio albums. It's direct and a little raw -- with microphone feedback on occasion -- in a way that none of their early albums are, and that's what makes it worthy of a special edition, even if it's hard not to wish that first disc had just a few extra cuts as well.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/24/2008
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 602517882881
  • Catalog Number: 001225102
  • Sales rank: 43,423

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Radio Free Europe (4:05)
  2. 2 Pilgrimage (4:29)
  3. 3 Laughing (3:58)
  4. 4 Talk About the Passion (3:21)
  5. 5 Moral Kiosk (3:32)
  6. 6 Perfect Circle (3:31)
  7. 7 Catapult (3:56)
  8. 8 Sitting Still (3:18)
  9. 9 9-9 (3:03)
  10. 10 Shaking Through (4:30)
  11. 11 We Walk (3:01)
  12. 12 West of the Fields (3:21)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Laughing (3:51)
  2. 2 Pilgrimage (4:08)
  3. 3 There She Goes Again (2:43)
  4. 4 7 Chinese Bros. (4:15)
  5. 5 Talk About the Passion (3:01)
  6. 6 Sitting Still (4:10)
  7. 7 Harborcoat (3:44)
  8. 8 Catapult (3:52)
  9. 9 Gardening at Night (3:33)
  10. 10 9-9 (3:15)
  11. 11 Just a Touch (2:26)
  12. 12 West of the Fields (3:06)
  13. 13 Radio Free Europe (4:57)
  14. 14 We Walk (2:55)
  15. 15 1,000,000 (3:04)
  16. 16 Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars) (3:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
R.E.M. Primary Artist
Mike Mills Bass Guitar
Michael Stipe Piano, Vocals
Bill Berry Percussion, Drums
Bertis Downs Group Member
Jefferson Holt Group Member
Technical Credits
Don Dixon Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Lou Reed Composer
Peter Buck Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering, Remastering
Mitch Easter Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Mike Mills Composer
Michael Stipe Composer
Bill Berry Composer
Dana Smart Reissue Producer
Carl Grasso Collaboration
Neil Bogan Composer
Andrew Kinney Collaboration
Pat Lawrence Executive Producer
Ryan Null Photo Coordination
Sandra Lee Phipps Collaboration
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This is the One that started it all

    I don't remember where I heard "Radio Free Europe", the lead song off this classic disc. Probably the radio, late at night. I was the first one of the bunch I hung out with to get into them, and I remember thinking, "these guys are gonna be huge". <BR/> The cover reflected the sound these guys created, part Byrds, part Velvet Underground, totally unique to their sound. There isn't a bad song among them, either. I first fell for "Sitting Still", then later my fave was "Laughing". It changed several times. Today, my favorite is "Perfect Circle." <BR/> Another thing I noticed about R.E.M. is the fact that they evolved over the years. The Beatles were the first band to change over time with the times. R.E.M. just did it like it was natural to them. They grew into the Best Rock Band in the World during the late 80's early 90's. Think back to that time period, other than U2 there isn't another band that withstood the test of time.<BR/> I have heard some of the live show offered as the extended edition on disc two. It will not disappoint. This their first CD still stands as one of their best. Buy it and remember a time when college bands could really break out and be the best in the business starting out on a little record label(I.R.S. records). If you were there it will bring a smile to your face.

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    Posted June 12, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2008

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews