Theme From Two Steps Onward
August 29, 2007
I’d kind of love to know the reason why R.E.M. abandoned this song back in the mid-80s. I mean, it’s not an obviously brilliant piece of music, but there’s clearly some potential. What could have been the deal breaker, the thing that made the group collectively give up on it, especially in the midst of recording Lifes Rich Pageant, an album that reinvented several older songs in order to fill out its running order? While it’s true that the somewhat murky tone of “…Two Steps Onward” would have been out of place along with the generally sunny, upbeat numbers on that record, but a reworked version could have made sense on Document. That said, the song does sort of sleepwalk from one part to another, and though its prominent bass line has a distinct charm, Peter Buck’s guitar chords aren’t particularly inspired. Without Michael Stipe’s vocals, the song might just sound like a random, anonymous indie band, and I can see why that would be reason enough to toss it aside.