Even though Giving The Cheese is going so well, I cannot in good faith give R.E.M’s full catalogue The Cheese. Shit.
I became a fan of R.E.M. in 1991, when Losing My Religion took over the charts and I bought the Out Of Time album. I was in my first year of high school and the year 1991 was the perfect time to be 13 years of age. Suddenly I found myself putting away the Bobby Brown albums and instead listening to obscure bands like R.E.M, U2, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More and The Smashing Pumpkins. Many of these bands are obscure even today, that’s how alternative they were in 1991. They were HEAPS alternative.
Unlike other artists, especially Springsteen and U2, the albums that R.E.M put out before I was a fan have just never gelled with me. If you look at almost anyone’s list of favourite R.E.M albums (especially a hipster delight list) and you’ll probably find the IRS albums ranked right up the top. For me, it just doesn’t work that way.
The further back into the band’s catalogue I go, the less connected I feel to the music. I quite like a number of songs from Document, Lifes Rich Pageant and Fables Of The Reconstruction. Maybe even half of each album. But outside a few tracks here and there, I’ve never connected with Reckoning or Murmur. And Murmur is often listed as people’s favourite album from the band.
So, really, to give this period of the band’s music The Cheese, the list would look like this :
01 Document (1987)
02 Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)
03 Fables Of The Reconstruction (1985)
04 Reckoning (1984)
05 Murmur (1983)
Yep, totally in reverse chronological order. So in other words, it would be even more pointless than normal.
I’m sure I’d feel different if I was aware of the band when those albums came out. But I wasn’t. I do like Document and Lifes Rich Pageant more than Green…so that’s something, yeah?