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Lifes Rich Pageant [Import Bonus Tracks]
     

Lifes Rich Pageant [Import Bonus Tracks]

by R.E.M.
 

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Fables of the Reconstruction was intentionally murky, and Lifes Rich Pageant was constructed as its polar opposite. Teaming with producer Don Gehman, who previously worked with John Mellencamp, R.E.M. developed their most forceful record to date. Where previous records

Overview

Fables of the Reconstruction was intentionally murky, and Lifes Rich Pageant was constructed as its polar opposite. Teaming with producer Don Gehman, who previously worked with John Mellencamp, R.E.M. developed their most forceful record to date. Where previous records kept the rhythm section in the background, Pageant emphasizes the beat, and the band turns in its hardest rockers to date, including the anthemic "Begin the Begin" and the punky "Just a Touch." But the cleaner production also benefits the ballads and the mid-tempo janglers, particularly since it helps reveal Michael Stipe's growing political obsessions, especially on the environmental anthems "Fall on Me" and "Cuyahoga." The group hasn't entirely left myths behind -- witness the Civil War ballad "Swan Swan H" -- but the band sound more contemporary both musically and lyrically than they did on either Fables or Murmur, which helps give the record an extra kick. And even with excellent songs like "I Believe," "Flowers of Guatemala," "These Days," and "What if We Give It Away," it's ironic that the most memorable moment comes from the garage rock obscurity "Superman," which is sung with glee by Mike Mills. [In 1992, the British division of IRS reissued all of R.E.M.'s albums with bonus tracks. Many of these cuts were featured on Dead Letter Office, but others were rare flexi-discs, fan-club singles, compilation contributions, forgotten B-sides, live tracks, and outtakes. Lifes Rich Pageant contained a number of oddities, from outtakes to flexi-discs. There's a pair of B-sides, "Rotary Ten" and "Toys in the Attic," that appeared on Dead Letter Office, and a live-in-the-studio version of "Just a Touch," but most fans will be interested in the previously unreleased "Tired of Singing Trouble" (truth be told, it's not very good, lacking a real idea and barely lasting a minute) plus the group's two contributions to Athens, GA. Inside/Out, "Dream (All I Have to Do)" and an acoustic version of "Swan Swan H." Even if there are no great revelations here, those last two songs are worth the extra price for hardcore fans, even if R.E.M. themselves were reportedly unhappy with the bonus tracks on these reissues. However, keep in mind that many of these bonus tracks -- the ones that weren't originally on Dead Letter Office -- later appeared on the limited-edition U.S. rarities collection In the Attic, which means that these imports aren't necessarily worth the search.]

Product Details

Release Date:
06/30/1998
Label:
Emi Import
UPC:
0077771320125
catalogNumber:
13201
Rank:
60518

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