An Album a Day: #2 Green

15 03 2013

REM - GreenIt was those two ‘classic’ albums Out of Time and Automatic for the People that introduced me to REM in the mid-90’s and it was those two albums that then encouraged me to delve into the back catalog, hence I picked up Green.

The album was originally released in 1988 and was REM’s first major label release for Warner Bros. I always find it interesting that REM are generally regarded as an Alternative Rock band, when in fact there is more of a pop element to the music they create which is why over time they have generated so much success commercially. Almost makes me wonder if Alternative Rock is the description used for those we cannot pigeonhole into other genre’s!

Sometimes I think we forget that REM were born in the 1980’s and that sound is certainly prevalent on Green although at the same time due to Stipes vocals it is unmistakably REM.

This album has some real gems on it with the more ‘poppy’ and commercial sound of Stand and Orange Crush juxtaposed with the more sedate and laid back Hairshirt and You Are Everything. You can certainly get the indication of the direction the REM sound was moving on Green with a lot of hints of what Out of Time and Automatic for the People were going to contain.

Album Score: 8 out of 10

Sleeve Notes/Artwork:  6 out of 10

You have to remember that this album was released in 1988 and it was still in the early days of CD, it contains all the usual production notes and weirdly the whole lyric for World Leader Pretend but nothing of the other tracks.

Track Listing:

  1. Pop Song 89
  2. Get Up
  3. You Are the Everything
  4. Stand
  5. World Leader Pretend
  6. The Wrong Child
  7. Orange Crush
  8. Turn You Inside-Out
  9. Hairshirt
  10. I Remember California
  11. 11

Favourite Track: I Remember California

Tomorrow’s Review: Your New Favourite Band – The Hives

Next Selection: Hollywood Town Hall – The Jayhawks


Bitten Off More Than I Can Chew?

13 03 2013

It was only yesterday that I announced my “An Album a Day” project and already I am wondering whether I have bitten off more than I can chew. I approached the first album today with a little bit of trepidation, it is not the listening that is difficult that of course is supremely simple. What has given me that tiny seed of doubt is the writing. Will I find the time to write every day for a year? Now whilst I don’t expect to be writing essays there does need to be more than just a few words said, so we will see how it goes.

The first album review in the project, Murray Street by Sonic Youth will appear on the blog tomorrow, I have so far listened to it 4 times today, luckily I had a meeting to go to so I stuck it in the car!

Listening Selection for tomorrow: Green, REM – will appear on the blog on Friday 15th March.

Lots of Free Tunes

14 10 2011

I think one of the things I am going to use this blog for more and more is links and articles on free music. By this I don’t mean illegal downloading, I mean genuinely free tracks that are available out on the web.

There are thousands of tracks that you can get access to legitimately and some of these sources are high profile music blogs. This week I have already downloaded four albums worth of music from two of the blogs that I follow.

The first one offers up some very good music on a regular basis and seems to have a link with many up-and-coming artists that are prepared to give away tracks or produce cover versions in order to promote themselves – makes sense right? Especially in this digital age.

The website/blog I am mumbling on about is Stereogum a music blog with some fantastic writing  that always seems to be on the pulse of what is new.

I never hide the fact that I am a massive fan of Radiohead and I was delighted to have found hosted on Stereogum a tribute album to Radiohead’s 1997 masterpiece OK Computer. OKX as it is known (celebrating 10 years of the album) is a release featuring 14 artists providing cover versions of these great songs. There are of course 12 original tracks on the album and these are joined by a second version of No Surprises by Northern State and the B-Sides Polyethylene Parts 1 and 2 by Chris Walla.

Some of the tracks are replications of the originals but two of my favourites are probably Exit Music (For a Film) covered by Vampire Weekend and the Twilight Sad’s version of Climbing Up The Walls.

You can find the full track list as well as download the entire album including artwork right here.

I also made two more ‘full length’ downloads from Stereogum, both tribute albums as well. Rather than go in depth in this post I will just let you know they are cover versions of Bjork’s ‘Post’ album and REM’s classic ‘Automatic for the People’. Having not had chance to fully give them a listen yet I will post and link to these in another blog post.

If you are prepared to explore there is so much excellent, free music available. It may not be by chart toppers (although in some cases can be) but I have always like exploring music and trying to unearth something that really appeals to me.

Another great source and where I got the final download from is Obscure Sound. They put together a monthly ‘best of…’ mix that you can download and listen to at your will.

If you are reading this then firstly thank you, and please don’t be put off if I have fed you information that you already know. I am looking to share plenty more free stuff for your aural pleasure over the coming months.

I will have a good listen to the downloads i have made this week and post up a couple of quick reviews.

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