See No Evil
October 31, 2007
Make no mistake — Television’s “See No Evil” is a classic, and the original recording on Marquee Moon is probably the most perfect that band ever recorded aside from that album’s epic title track. Nevertheless, the song is so perfectly suited to R.E.M. that when they performed it, it sounded as though the song was written specifically for them. Though they certainly lose the subtle disco-ish rhythm of the Television recording, R.E.M. fully integrated the song into their ’80s style, with Peter Buck adapting the melodic guitar parts into this jangly aesthetic, and Mike Mills and Michael Stipe transferring the vocal interplay of the original into something that sounds like it could easily be one of their mid-80s originals. As great as it is, they couldn’t quite capture the magic of Television’s original “See No Evil,” but they certainly did a wonderful job of making it their own.