Toys In The Attic

October 31, 2007

It seems a little bit weird that R.E.M. have covered Aerosmith, doesn’t it? At least in the sense that when the band recorded a cover of their 1975 hit “Toys In The Attic” for the b-side of “Fall On Me,” they most likely thought Aerosmith to be washed-up has-beens, and only one year later, they would be –ahem– back in the saddle again with a massive comeback that has continued on through this decade, and will probably keep going on for years to come. R.E.M.’s take on the song is fun but slight, and its appeal mainly lies in hearing the guys take a break from being a thoughtful, arty pop group and having a ball rocking out like a common bar band.

22 Responses to “Toys In The Attic”

  1. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Aerosmith–ahem–Rocks , Baby . Quite frankly , I was kinda surprised that the cover was as adequate as it is. Considering that you got Michael Stipe singing a song originally sung by Mr.Caterwauler Snarler himself, his scarfed crotch bulging lankiness perpetually in the midst of an MTS( major testosterone surge ),yes, Steven Tyler is Mick Jagger meets heavy metal, and Michael and the band dared to go there with …….adequate results. ( I was shocked recently to find out REM did Radar Love in concert back in the day. I wonder what that sounded like………..

  2. Kirsten Says:

    I think they did a great job of this one. I love the covers they chose to do – so varied and fun. Proves that REM can rock as hard as anyone.

  3. MM Says:

    Matthew sometimes makes comments that show his youngish age.

    I highly doubt that REM though were washed up. My guess is that they loved the song and the lyrics. A cover like this by REM is a sign of respect for the original song writers.

    Matthew, sometimes you create notions out of thin air.

  4. Paul Alferink Says:

    Umm. . . I think everybody thought Aerosmith was done around LRP. They where doing too many drugs and there albums had sucked sing the start of the decade. The line-up kept changing. It wasn’t until Permentant Vacation came out in 87 that they were consider to have made a comeback. And lets face it, most bands aren’t successful as long as Aerosmith was. You have a bad album and you may never be heard from again.

  5. Paul Alferink Says:

    Umm. . . I think everybody thought Aerosmith was done around LRP. They where doing too many drugs and there albums had sucked since the start of the decade. The line-up kept changing. It wasn’t until Permanent Vacation came out in 87 that they were consider to have made a comeback. And lets face it, most bands aren’t successful as long as Aerosmith was. You have a bad album and you may never be heard from again.

  6. Paul Alferink Says:

    Fun cover, again. Weird to think they did whole shows of Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, and 70 rock bands. Way back when, when the audience hated you and you just wanted them to stop throw beer bottles of piss at you. . .

  7. jim jos Says:

    I think it was the cover of this song, not the Run DMC/Rick Rubin collaboration of “Walk this Way” that gave Aerosmith their second career. Dude looks like a lady, is an obvious reference to early stipe in drag.
    πŸ™‚

  8. ScottMalobisky Says:

    PB: ” We played an Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, and we were getting death threats. They were passing notes, ‘If you play one more song like this, you die faggots!’ So me and Michael kissed one another. After that though we probably played the best show of the tour,..we were also playing a lot of semi-biker bars, places where when Blackfoot doesn’t tour any more you can maybe get a gig on a Tuesday night. We had to beat them over the head with the beat because if they didn’t know who you were ,they didn’t want to hear no love songs. We’ve never been beaten up at a club. But boy have we been threatened.”

    I caught Steven Tyler’s harmonica at a show in Pittsburgh back when A-smith were still toxic, a jam at the end of ‘Big Ten Inch Record, then he wailed it into the crowd and I with my height , athleticism , and tens rows front and center seat , snatched it. Shoulda used it as bait for that other snatch .

  9. maclure Says:

    Actually, my fave off DLO with the possible exception of the Pylon cover. It was the song that made me realise that REM could nail a cover good and proper…

  10. jim jos Says:

    I think it was the cover of this song, not the Run DMC/Rick Rubin collaboration of “Walk this Way” that gave Aerosmith their second career. Dude looks like a lady, is an obvious reference to early stipe in drag.
    πŸ™‚

  11. jim jos Says:

    sweet Scott.

    in the immortal lyrics of Steven Tyler “go, go, go, go goooow, goooow, ga ga ga goowwwww”

    or something such.

  12. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Some of you are insane! (Including MP for his multiplicity of posts today). This is NOT one of Aeromsith’s best songs and certainly not one of REM’s best covers. That said, it is fun, even silly sort of, and I willingly admit I miss the carefree spirit of them occasionally throwing something like this out there.

  13. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Sorry MM, you are wrong. By 1984-85 everybody thought Aerosmith was DOA.

  14. MM Says:

    My point was…not whether the general public thought Aerosmith was washed up but rather REM. I doubt REM would consider another group they covered was “Washed up.” Such covers by REM are a sign of respect for another artist.

  15. Dark Bob Says:

    I LOVE Dead letter office! It shows a playful, non-serious, sometimes drunk side of REM. This song is just plain fun to listen to. Not meant to be taken seriously.
    I wish REM would release another record that was similar to DLO, using throw away material from the 90’s thru the present.

  16. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    MM, I agree with your point, sorry for misunderstanding you.

  17. adam Says:

    they probably wouldnt have covered if they werent washed up has beens from thier youth.

  18. dumbek Says:

    A classic example of what was so endearing about early R.E.M. With all the mumbling-arty-alterna-rock kudos they were getting, they still weren’t afraid to have fun, get silly, sloppy and just rock-out. I wish they did that more often these days….though the impromptu Born To Run in DC a while back was loads of fun.

  19. lightaugust Says:

    Buck’s liner notes to this make it pretty clear (I thought) that he had nothing but respect for this tune and it’s originators… he worked at a record store, and probably wasn’t all that confined to what was qualifying for hipster cool between 82 and 86. Archie Bell and the Drells and the Turtles weren’t making anyone’s list either, but they found it in them to cover Tighten Up and Love is All Around… Saying that the only way to look at this is that they MUST have been doing ironic kitsch is looking at this through Post-1990s lenses.

  20. Howard Giske Says:

    R.E.M. do a lot of weird stuff. Remember the Andy Kaufman song, see the parody at http://www.realcrash.com/man-on-the-moon-alan-greenspan-rem/, how about that Elvis?

  21. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I gave the lady a lick and a promise I know she really don’t mind it I am the lord of her thighs eyes-zah

  22. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Tyler’s back in rehab–at the tender age of sixty– after all these years. I guess he couldn’t resist the lure of those beckoning mounds……


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