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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reconstruction Time Again

This summer R.E.M. will mark the 25th anniversary of their third album, Fables of the Reconstruction, with the third installment in the band’s ongoing reissue series. (Ironically this will also be the third version of this album I will have purchased. ed) The package will be different from previous efforts as this will be a double disc release featuring 14 previously unreleased demos. The Fables reissue follows similarly expanded re-releases of 1983’s Murmur and 1984’s Reckoning in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The previously unreleased demos cover every track on Fables of the Reconstruction, plus “Bandwagon,” which was used, in finished form, as the B-side to “Can’t Get There From Here”; “Hyena,” later recorded for Lifes Rich Pageant; and “Throw Those Trolls Away,” a song the band has never released in any form.

From REMHQ An excerpt from the Peter Buck-penned liner notes:
“The last day of rehearsal, I think with Joe Boyd in attendance, Jim Hawkins recorded what we had come up with. We spent about four hours recording all the new songs live, with minimal overdubs. I hadn't listened to this stuff since we recorded it, and I'm kind of stunned at how good it is. My memory of the rehearsals is us scrambling to finish songs. The songs on both Murmur and Reckoning had been performed for months if not years by the time they were committed to tape. I remember feeling dangerously unprepared when we flew to London, but on the evidence of this recording we must have known what we were doing.”
In the U.S., Fables Of The Reconstruction peaked at #28 on The Billboard 200, and its singles, “Can’t Get There From Here” and “Driver 8,” reached #14 and #22 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart, respectively. In the U.K., Fables reached #35, the band’s highest U.K. chart position to that point in their career.
“It's a personal favorite,” writes Buck, “and I'm really proud of how strange it is. Nobody but R.E.M. could have made that record. It took our four twisted personalities and the legendary Joe Boyd to make an album that character-filled and vibey.”
On July 13th The Capitol/IRS set will be packaged in a “lift-top box” with a poster and four postcards. The remastered original album also will be released on 180-gram vinyl that same day.

See full tracklist for R.E.M.’s Fables of the Reconstruction reissue below

Fables Of The Reconstruction(25th Anniversary Edition) (2CD, digital)

Disc One: digitally remastered original album

1. Feeling Gravity’s Pull
2. Maps and Legends
3. Driver 8
4. Life and How To Live It
5. Old Man Kensey
6. Can’t Get There From Here
7. Green Grow The Rushes
8. Kohoutek
9. Auctioneer (Another Engine)
10. Good Advices
11. Wendell Gee

Disc Two: “The Athens Demos”

1. Auctioneer (Another Engine) [demo version]
2. Bandwagon [demo version] [final version was B-side to “Can't Get There From Here”]
3. Can’t Get There From Here [demo version]
4. Driver 8 [demo version]
5. Feeling Gravity’s Pull [demo version]
6. Good Advices [demo version]
7. Green Grow The Rushes [demo version]
8. Hyena [demo version] [album version appeared on Life’s Rich Pageant]
9. Kohoutek [demo version]
10. Life and How To Live It [demo version]
11. Maps and Legends [demo version]
12. Old Man Kensey [demo version]
13. Throw Those Trolls Away [demo version] [previously unreleased]
14. Wendell Gee [demo version]

R.E.M. credits from original album

M.E. Mills - Consulate Mediator
W.T. Berry - Best Boy
P.L. Buck - Ministry of Music
J.M. Stipe - Gaffer Interpreter


Barbara Bruederlin said...

The fact that you own three versions of the same album may just indicate a deep-seated issue with completionism. Do we need to have an intervention?

Westcoast Walker said...

Hey Sean - so when I read this sort of thing I can actually feel my mood elevate, my pulse quicken and my heart rate pick up, sort of an endorphin rush born out of my obsessive musical geekery. You once posed a question along the lines of "What is it in our DNA" that gets us so excited about this stuff, and I still find myself amazed by the physiological reaction I have to music, or even the promise of good music. Needless to say, I'll be picking up this reissue for sure.