Everybody Hurts

March 26, 2008

One of Michael Stipe’s greatest strengths as a singer and lyricist — and presumably, also as a human being in general — is his seemingly effortless ability to convey genuine empathy. This is why so many of his “advice” songs work as well as they do, and why his corniest sentiments are often the most affecting. There’s just something there in his voice that indicates a sincere desire to see people do well, and a root of optimism that anchors even his most dark and cynical moments. As he moves on through his career, he brings up the future with greater frequency in his lyrics, and it makes perfect sense — much of the R.E.M. catalog is concerned with moving onward into the future, and finding ways to improve upon the flaws of the present in that future.

“Everybody Hurts” is an essential R.E.M. song, primarily because on a very basic level, it is about convincing another person that should want to be a part of this future. Out of everything they have ever recorded, it may be the most direct in its mission. Really, it kinda has to be — there is absolutely no use for ambiguity if the object of your song is to console the depressed and talk them out of suicide.

“Everybody Hurts” is a public service, and its arrangement is precisely calibrated to appeal to a person in a state of melancholy, and subtly, gently lift them up into a feeling of hope. There are no empty promises, and no expectations of easy salvation in the song, but there is kindness, generosity, friendship, and the encouragement that pain and suffering are not everlasting things, and that we often have the power to flip those negative experiences into something beautiful and constructive.

If you don’t need to hear any of this, you might find Stipe’s sentiment to be obvious, saccharine, and maybe even a little embarrassing. Good for you, but the reality is, the best, most important advice we ever get is the most simple and straight-forward. When we’re lost, lonely, and hopeless, we need the honest, obvious truth: Everybody hurts sometimes, so hold on. You are not alone.

A Birthday Note: This post marks the first anniversary of this blog’s first entry, and also the 20th birthday of my little brother Andrew. This song is for him.

144 Responses to “Everybody Hurts”

  1. […] and then note just how abrupt the beginning of “Sweetness Follows” feels coming after “Everybody Hurts.” The two songs aren’t exactly jarring side by side — if anything, they are far too […]

  2. Brian Says:

    I was on the R.E.M. Annotated Lyrics page the other night (something I’ve been doing every so often for a solid decade now) and I noticed how this song had zero entries. It doesn’t need any.

    Sure, we might celebrate Stipe’s complex imagery, but creating something this straightforward and beautiful is next to impossible. My late college adviser, a man I hold in the highest esteem, was fond of an Italian word “sprezzatura” that suggested that truly great artists had the ability to make incredibly difficult work appear simple.

    Some might call “Everybody Hurts” obvious or simple or whatever, but I’d argue that it’s one of the band’s greatest triumphs. Watch the people in the crowd at a R.E.M. show when the song begins and you’ll know why.

  3. God, if only I could see them play the song! They’ve never performed it at any of the shows I’ve seen.

  4. Brian Says:


    It’s unreal. I haven’t seen a lot of R.E.M. shows, but it was a specific highlight.

    Congrats on a year of Pop Songs as well. I’ve loved reading the blog – you always have considerable insight into the songs and I love reading everyone else’s thoughts too.

  5. Mr Cup Says:

    Despite knowing that everyone is going to have some kind of emotional connection to this song, that it may have saved many lives and that it is possibly the band’s greatest achievement, I just cannot bare it. Sorry.

  6. pggtips Says:

    Matthew, add to my congratulations on a fantastic blog.

    So I take it “Find The River” will be the last song you review (pre-Accelerate). I REMember having several discussions about this song when AFTP came out and how I was less immediately touched by “Everybody Hurts” as I was by “Find the River”. Obviously both of them along with “Nightswimming” are as good as any songs from any band and are timeless compositions it was just that after only two listens FTR jumped into my all-time favourites like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “God Only Knows”.

  7. I can tell you right now that “Find The River” is not going to be the last song. It’s the last song from Automatic For The People, obviously.

  8. ernie Says:

    This song has always been hit and miss with me. When AFTP first came out I usually skipped this song because it was too depressing. Then, later, when I went through a bit of depression, this song really made me feel better. That sounds pretty cheesy, I know, but it’s true. Then, when I got over the depression, the song became depressing again. So, I guess it just depends what kind of mood you’re in. But, for the most part, count me on Mr. Cup’s side. I generally can’t bear to listen to it. I’m also on pggtips’ side. This song is no “Find the River”.

  9. Ignis Sol Says:

    I have nothing to add, I will just listen to “Everybody Hurts” and let the music and lyrics do their work.

    Matthew, congratulations on the one year birthday of Pop Songs! This has been fun.

  10. Kirsten Says:

    This is the song that transported REM in my life from a great band to my lifeline. As a thirteen year old coming into yet another year of depression, for the first time in my life I felt that someone was offering me a conforting hand. Not a solution, not a fix-all but just the thought that someone cares. That someone will be there to help me though. Like a big hug.
    Unfortunately, I never grew out of that phase and I’m now almost 30 and have become pretty dependent on them just to get by.

    Over-exposure, comercialism or seemingly selling out any of the reasons some of you don’t like it?

    Mr Cup – did you ever see the D Gens version of this film clip? G O GG O. Hillarious.

  11. Kirsten Says:

    Oh, and Matthew – Happy 1st Anniversary.

    Thanks for giving me a reason to come to work everyday!

  12. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    This song has always held such power for me. It has an epic sweep in the way it builds toward its climatic crescendo. The amazing thing is that it is the very rare song that can be epic, in the truest sense of that word, yet remain SO simple, both lyrically and musically. As JMS has said many times, this song no longer really belongs to the band but to the people that have relied on it in dark times.

    In a fun side note, the video for this song (which in and of itself is a powerful work of art) has a special place in my heart as it was filmed on the double decker freeway in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. I skipped school the day of the filming and was at the shoot and several acquaintances of mine have small parts in the video, including my high school girlfriend who has a very quick and fleeting cameo of like a half a second.

  13. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Everybody hurts has always held a special power for me. I love the way the song builds up to its crescendo and is epic in the truest sense of that word. The song pulls of the VERY rare trick of being both incredibly simple in music and lyrics and also sweeping and epic. As JMS has said many times this song no longer belongs to the band but to all the people that it has brought hope and solace too.

    In a fun side note, the video for this song (which is an impressive work of art in itself) has a special place in my heart as it was filmed on the double decker freeway in my home town of San Antonio, Texas, and I skipped school that day and attended the filming of it. Several people I know who were acquaintances have small roles in the video including my high school girlfriend who has a very brief (like half second) cameo in the video as well. Ah, everytime I see it it brings back memories of first love.

  14. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Sorry about the double posting of nearly the same thing, it didn’t show up the firs time.

  15. Mr Cup Says:

    Haven’t seen the clip Kirsten. I’d forgotten about the D Generation.

    I have been known to have an REM habit. There was about 2 years of my life where I was at least an album a day user. That is at least one album every day for 2 years solid. Coincidentally, it was a shit 2 years by and large. But I self medicated with REM just like you Kirsten (and the rest of you perhaps). Seriously though, that period pre-dates AFTP, but I don’t think I could’ve listened to Everybody Hurts without feeling worse. I wanted a pick me up rather than a ‘let’s look at the precipice’ type of number.

    I don’t spend much time at the supermarkets, but there’s a one in three chance that this will come on as you reach for a bag of carrots. Beaten only by “Moonlight Shadow’ and “7 Wonders” by Fleetwood Mac. I think there is a motion sensor near the dog food that triggers the latter. It’s uncanny.

  16. Kirsten Says:

    They play Wanderlust at my local supermarket. That sums that song up pretty well I think.

  17. Ben Says:

    This song is a warm blanket. It’s sad that it’s almost become a cliche or a punchline because of how incredibly powerful and simple and beautiful the song really is. I’ll avoid the confessional, but I will say that this song is probably the main reason I hold R.E.M. in as high esteem as I do, and it’s also the single most important song in my life. It was practically my theme song when I was 13 and in middle-school hell.

    Side-note: The first CDs I ever bought were from the BMG mail-order club, and one of the first six I got was Automatic for the People. I’ve had the same copy for 15 years, and by some miracle it still plays flawlessly. It’s been spun so many millions of times I’m surprised there isn’t a visible scorch-mark along track 4.

  18. Rob Says:

    I haven’t a great deal to add hear. Though sometimes when you think this song has suffered a little from over-exposure it will suddenly come out of nowhere and hit you all over again with its simple beauty. I read in It Crawled From The South that originally this was supposed to be a duet with Patti Smith. Difficult to know whether that version would have been even better. |Oh, and a happy belated birthday Andrew.

  19. Paul Alferink Says:

    This is probably the only song in the REM catalog that I would consider “Overplayed.” I really like it when AFTP came out. But I liked many of the other songs better. And as songs like FTR grew on me, after hearing this, simpler composition on the radio for the 5 million time, I found it really had nothing more to offer. No lyric to reconsider. No background part hidden in the mix that I didn’t notice before. It just is.
    Worse than that, it has such a pop culture presences and is so simple and straight forward with its heart on it’s sleeve, that its become a song that gets lampooned by the ironic humor crowd. (Michael was right when he said that Irony was the shackles of Youth). It’s the song SNL played in the background when Bob Dole had to leave the Real World house. It’s the song Dwight is listening to in his car in the US version of “The Office” when he gets bummed out over something. There is a tendency by people to be afraid of such a naked expression of emotion, especial love or pain, that the have to disparage it and make jokes at it’s expense rather than deal with the consequences of those emotions. I tend to be one of those people, and I’m also the one who finds those jokes to be funny. So really, through no fault of it’s own, and admittedly through fault of mine., this song has lost some esteem in my eyes.

    It’s funny, because commercial success is a fickle creature, and how good you or your work is really has little to do with your success. Accerate could be the most genius album in the world, and I sincerely doubt that whether it’s good or bad effects it’s airplay much. REM had there moment. It’s gone now. Now they are just that respectable elder statesmen of music that has a following, and most of me doubts that anything could ever change that now. So if this song had been on any post UP album, I might continue to love it to pieces. But itstead, it came out on AFTP, the height of REM’s commercial success, and I tune it out when I hear it. Or worse yet, start my ironic, fake crying in the car. You know, so the person in the seat next to me knows that I’m too cool to be affected by such trivial emotions.

  20. Clare Says:

    God where do I start?

    Congratulations Matthew on sticking with this for a whole year & doing such a fine job, I really do check this site almost every day.
    A fine write up too on this song.

    Yes it is probably overplayed by radios, yes it is probably over performed by the band live, & yes it DEFINITELY is the most wrongly used song (in the wrong context) by media footage the world over.

    However, forgetting all that for a moment & putting on the record & pretending you are hearing it again for the 1st time??? Still as powerful to me now as it was to my 16yr old self & I will ALWAYS be grateful to the band for the simplicity, purity, beauty & urgency they managed to capture in a 4 minute pop song.

  21. maclure Says:

    Ah, Bill Berry’s so-called “polished turd”. I don’t really have a story connected with this song – other music has been important for me at different times. I have mixed views of this one. Basically 5 things I think about when I hear this song:

    1. This song taught me that I could play the guitar. When I heard a girl at school who didn’t really know how to play guitar pull off the G to Em run in the versey bit, I thought “I could do that!”. This song and Come as You Are by Nirvana were the first I learned to play.

    2. Sometimes I’ve thought that Everybody Hurts is slightly out of place on AFTP – on an album of subtlety and understatement it’s a bit “obvious”. But, actually that’s probably part of it’s appeal (as Matthew pointed out in his post).

    3. It is arranged in a consciously “epic” way as someone said above. The versey bits trundle along, but there is the middle part in a minor key with a violins part really designed to tug on the heart strings then the last third of the song is in a major key which always has the desired effect of sounding positive. I’ve seen it played live several times and the song is good live, but I sometimes think the band try to hard on a song that already does all the emotional work for them. The drums are too big, Stipe is too raw and they extend it past 6 minutes on occasion. I often skip this track (either studio or live) when listening to R.E.M.

    4. When Diana died this song was rolled out (along with Duran Duran’s Ordinary World) and played ceaselessly on British radio. It seemed apt and I was proud of REM for making the song. I suppose when Messrs Stipe, Buck and Mills join Berry in retirement on a farm knoll in Georgia they could look back on their career – in terms of tangible benefits to people’s lives – Everybody Hurts may well be one of the most worthwhile things they ever did.

    5. That video is a stroke of genius. I don’t see it as cheesey at all… it does that very thing a good video should do, but rarely does: it enhances my appreciation of the song.

  22. milesy Says:

    Congratulations on a great year of blogging, Matthew. Lots of interesting, amusing and insightful reviews. It’s a shame we’re nearing the end.

  23. milesy Says:

    I also want to acknowledge the quality and good spirit of the comments that have been added over the last twelve months. On almost every other discussion board I’ve read, on a huge range of subjects, it hasn’t taken much for people to start dismissing one another and generally degenerating into agressiveness and dismissal of others’ views. This has hardly ever happened here- maybe because we all agree on liking REM so much- (maybe because we have the swings where we can let off steam)- but I think this is also testament to the tone set by the initial reviews. Keep it up, MP

    By the way, I’ve been absent for a week or so because my email seems to have been blocked from commenting, was it something I said..? So I’ve changed it now!

  24. milesy Says:

    On Everybody Hurts, great comments as usual- I can’t help but agree with those who have found it over-played, and I have sometimes reached for the skip button; but can’t argue with the fact that it’s been such a key song for so many in times of struggle. I’ve also been lucky enough to hear it played live a couple of times: the first time people held up cigarette lighters, the second they held up mobile phones with the backlights on- how times change…

    Love the moment on Roadmovie as the song reaches a crescendo and Mike stands up and kicks his piano stool away- somehow seems to capture the power and emotion of the moment.

  25. milesy Says:

    I was having trouble commenting, as I said- but couldn’t help noticing the other day that Voice of Harold appeared on Easter weekend. ‘The Old Rugged Cross’… I think MP has been planning his timing carefully again!

  26. pggtips Says:


    That’s what I meant 😉

  27. Dark Bob Says:

    I remember seeing them do this live on the Monster tour, and they were showing the X-ray photos of Bills anyurism on the screen behind them. What a moment!

  28. ADB Says:

    Happy Birthday Pop Songs!

    When a song is this over exposed, it is sometimes hard to listen to it now and recapture the magic of what made it so special to so many people in the first place. But I was at the Portman Road, Ipswich gig in 2005, the day after the 7/7 bombings in London. Michael made a speech about the power of music which I’ll post below if I can find it, and they played Everybody Hurts as the first song of the set. Incredibly powerful and incredibly moving.

    “We came here today from London. It’s an understatement to say that this has been a difficult couple of days for everyone. Music is, at it’s best, about catharsis, about epiphany, about feeling, about remembering, about community and about celebration – about celebrating life. The intention here tonight and with this gesture is to honour that; not to forget but to remember and to honour the sanctity of life. Together, tonight, let’s raise our voices up in celebration and in rememberance.”

  29. beonetraveler Says:

    I found this song a powerful antidote to the gushy garbage that was still plaguing the airwaves in the early ’90s. The place I worked piped in the worst music, in my opinion. Michael Bolton, Extreme, Celine Dion. It was simply just…no.

    Thank God for Automatic. Sure there was other great music that was coming out at the time: In Utero, Vs., Ring (Connells), and I’m sure tons of other stuff I’ve never heard but need to.

    Still, “Everybody Hurts” was this honest, accessible, fact. As someone mentioned, this kind of, I don’t know, truth(?) is uncomfortable. Like having someone watch you eat. “Hey, don’t do that.” In the same way, the song points the finger at everyone and says, “See, he hurts sometimes. So does she. And that guy over there with the shirt on, too.” You want to respond with something like, “Dude, don’t look at me and think I’m vulnerable. I’m not. Ever. So, there.”

    Thus the progression/descent into the suppressed laugh at seeing Dwight Shrute in his Trans-Am lamenting that Michael Scott favors someone else.

    Speaking of honesty, Supernatural Superserious starts out with that same notion (i.e., we’re all from somewhere). But the lyrics sound…a little bondage oriented?. Summer camp humiliation…if you call out “safe” I’ll stop right away…the ropes start to chafe…

    Happy to be wrong on this one. Yessirree, Bob.

  30. pggtips Says:

    Nice little acoustic version of Supernatural Superserious. Well worth a look, particularly for Mike’s backing vocal.


  31. Jared W Says:

    I really like songs that develop along the way, and start out simple and gain complexity through their verses. So despite hearing this song too many times, and despite a secret loathing because of its giant non-fan public appeal, I have to respect this song musically. Those strings just do it for me.

    Its powerful lyrics aside, this song is quite beautiful. I had a sort of rediscovery of it a few years back, listening to it loud on a road trip with my then-girlfriend.

    You can learn a lot about this band by listening through a non-fan’s ears.

  32. jim jos Says:

    wow, one whole year, I have tried not too miss any of it this whole time. It is a great, great forum. And after a year, Matthew is still going strong with one of his best write ups. I agree, one of the reasons I like this blog so much is that the fans are all very friendly and accepting of others opinions. So many boards, even R.e.m. boards have put me off because of the bad vibe that emits from them. Not so here.

    So much of the time, even with the songs I own on Cd or have downloaded, there is a special feeling that happens when a song I love comes on the radio. One time, I was getting ready to go on a car trip and Pop Song 89 came on the radio, a song I rarely hear on the radio, it was very exciting to hear it come expectantly out of my car radio.

    For whatever reason, Everybody Hurts is one of the few songs that has the opposite effect on me. It’s a song that I seem to like so much more when I seek it out. There are times I need to hear it. When I hear it at work (it is one of only a handful of songs that comes on the “80’s station” at work (LMR, Stand, End of the World, One I love, MOTM being the only others..gotta love clear channel) I do not like it as much.
    But I love the song, it just seems to be more effective when I play it on my own terms, usually at night. Maybe I have too much of a “personal” relationship with it. Maybe I have to ask for support of it.

    Yesterday I saw the MTV interview with the three bandmates and the emo book with the title is mentioned on it, and Stipe said that it was one more thing they haven’t gotten credit or paid for (I am sure he was joking about the last thing) and Buck said that it belonged to the world now.

  33. Kirsten Says:

    Of course we’re all freinds here – except all of you who don’t like Saturn Return – shame on you!

    I think it’s the way people see this song AS REM. As we all know, there are so many different aspects to the band, but people only relate them to this song, to this sound. That’s why it can be a bit disheartening hearing it for the 10 millionth time on the radio, but an equily brilliant, or even better song of their’s gets completely overlooked.

    It is a beautiful song, and it will always hold great meaning to me (and so many others), but I apreciate it more when I listen to it by myself, for myself, without a “this song doesn’t effect me” type audience.

  34. Kirsten Says:

    Oh, I also forgot one very important aspect – Michael Stipe is dead sexy on the Video!

    As a thirteen year old, I would stand in the loungeroom coping every move he made. I used my poor parent’s couch in leiu of a cars….

  35. ADB Says:

    One of my favourite things about the video is that Michael doesn’t lip sync until the song reaches the stirring ‘Hold on’ climax – such a simple idea, but it really adds to the song’s redemptive power.

  36. Ignis Sol Says:

    traffic jams suck, R.E.M. makes them better

  37. Paul Alferink Says:

    REM made some great videos for OoT and AFTP. The videos before that weren’t terribly good, in all fairness. Since AFTP, I haven’t liked them near as much. I understand for the Monster tour, they wanted to do the band playing videos to start that album. But I can barely remember the videos since then. I guess I liked parts of Reno and I liked Bad Day, but other than that, I thought they were pretty lame. Oh well.

  38. Wesley Mead Says:


    Not even “Imitation of Life”? That’s one of my favourite R.E.M. videos, I think.

  39. Ignis Sol Says:

    Mike and Peter are straight? R.E.M. is a straight band? I think I need to rethink everything. Everything.

    wouldn’t it be funny (and by that I mean not funny) if there was no album release on April 1st and it’s just an elaborate April Fools hoax…. or maybe something else… hmmm…

  40. Kid A Says:

    There is only one thing I can say about this song, only one thing that can express why I feel it is so great, what makes it so individual, only one thing I can say that sets this song so far beyond other songs in term of importance; Everybody Hurts was not a revolution, it was not an ‘important’ song in the development of rock music, but this song boasts something that very few songs can.

    This song has saved lives.

  41. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Ignis, you would know about being stuck in traffic I imagine as Seattle has some of the WORST traffic jams in the entire world.

  42. Rob Says:

    Accelerate was released here in Ireland yesterday. I don’t want to spoil anything, but Wow!!!

  43. 2d Says:

    i’d say that this is the counterpoint of “shiny happy people” off the previous album.

    happy is unembarassingly joyful, poppy and over-the-top sweet, with pretty weird and somewhat dark violin parts.
    hurts is unhesitatingly soulful, calm and over-the-top sad, with an ultimately hopeful and encouraging atmosphere.

    happy is simple and direct, both musically and lyrically. clear production.
    hurts is the same but builds up more. clear production.

    and both seem to have many haters because of their directness. and i love both.

  44. profligateprofiterole Says:

    not me
    I don’t hurt
    I am John Gotti
    my skin is impervious to bullets

  45. Znami Says:

    This song was and is a life safer. The album came out arround the same time my mother and brother died, I was 12.
    When I first heard, R.E.M. would play Leave and Everybody hurts on the 2005 tour I was enthusiastic. When I heard the songs I was devastated. The songs didn’t belong to me alone anymore 😉 Despite this they harm my feeling of a rock concert for a bit.

    PS: Happy Birthday, great blog

  46. Paul Alferink Says:

    Yeah, I always thought the imitation of life never worked well as a video. It has moments, and I almost included it in the list of video post AFTP that had value. I was annoyed that it doesn’t really connect to the song much, I didn’t think. Either in substance, or in timing of how it’s cut, which I think is pretty irrelevent to what is going on in the song. Just my opinion.

  47. jim jos Says:

    everybody Hurts (at least I do) when the 90 nights series ended today. But, soon, I will be able to have the actual cd. Pretty incredible reviews so far (Rolling Stone, NME, Q, Spin, IGN, Telegraph, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, AMG, The Guardian, Mojo). Nearly all the major reviews have been very positive, which is something I never thought we would see again.

  48. profligateprofiterole Says:

    REM was on the CBS Sunday Morning Show this morning, I was really surpised, PB even said a few words, part of the recording process for the new record involved renting out this auditorium thing on the University Of Georgia , “a great space with super acoustics”–MM, for three weeks….It was a very interesting piece. Stipe sporting a scruffy beard….And I’m assuming you all know that REM are on The Today Show on Tuesday morning, playing two songs.

  49. Paul Alferink Says:

    Tivo the Sunday Morning Peice, which was really quite good. Set to TIVO the Today show appearance.

  50. Dark Bob Says:

    Just heard ACCELERATE in it’s entirty. OMG I laughed, I cried (and then I listened to the record!) But seriously it is fantastic. Not a bad song on it. As good as anything they’ve done. WOW!

  51. Paul Alferink Says:

    Today, Opening Day. Tommorrow, Accelerate. Good Time. Good Times.

  52. Andy Says:

    R.E.M. returns in full force!
    Cubs win a world series!
    Chinese Democracy is finally released!

    Free Dr. Pepper for everyone!

  53. Andy Says:

    R.E.M. back in full force.
    Cubs win a World Series.
    GNR releases “Chinese Democracy.”

    Free Dr. Pepper for everyone!

  54. Paul Alferink Says:

    Wow. Which is more likely to happen? The Cubs win the Series, or GNR releases Chinese Democracy? It might be the Cubs winning the World Series! As a cynical Cub fan, that gives me hope for some, strange reason.

    Can I request Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper? It’s kinda my thing. . .

  55. Ignis Sol Says:

    Do they have Dr Pepper in Australia?

    I wonder if Stipe is a pepper.

  56. Timb Says:

    Accelerate is amazing!!

  57. Paul Alferink Says:

    Put Dr. Pepper in my Coffee . . .

  58. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Slash got a defibrillator implant these days; when he was on Letterman he was talking about how much he used to drink. He’s like , “Yeah, I used to drink about a gallon of vodka per day” –to which Dave was aghast–“and then I would go out!”–To which Dave was flabbergasted.

  59. milesy Says:

    It’s been Accelerate day in the UK today, so got the first full listen. It is good, and unlike any previous REM first listen I can remember. A lot of people seem to have likened it to LRP, but I don’t think that’s it. It’s true that it rocks, and it’s true that the vocal harmonies are back, and welcome. But the guitar sound is not 80s REM, more overdriven and dirty sounding.

    If the sound reminds me of anything, it’s Monster- but more melodic and less dense. Maybe…
    (it’s only a first listen)

  60. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Slash was telling a funny story about how when he first met Axl ..Axl was staying at his Slash’s pad in LA– which was really just the basement of his mothers place-, and one time Axl got drunk (I guess in a mellow sorta way if you can imagine that ) and fell asleep on the living room couch upstairs…So , Slash’s mother decides to talk to Slash about it , She’s like, “Hey what’s up with this Axl guy ? He crashed on the sofa and poor Grandma didn’t have a place to sit down..” So Slash says he’ll have a talk with him about it..” Slash recalls how , “Yeah, Man , he was riding in my car and I brought it up to him not in a combative way or anything , you know, and he proceeds to freak out and jump out of the car going 40 mph on Hollywod Boulevard !! It was then I knew I was dealing with a man of peculiar sensitivities ..” (He barely knew him then.)

  61. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Pirates at Atlanta tonight .
    Let’s Go Bucs .
    sorry Millzy…..

  62. jim jos Says:


    One of my favorite stories from that Slash book is when Slash literally dies, is brought back to life, and everyone is in the hospital when he wakes up and wonders how he got there.

    Everyone is offering support and sympathy until Axl chimes in with “you gave us quite a scare, I thought I was going to have to get a new guitarist”

    And when I say that story is funny, I mean that it is funny what a sociopath Axl is.

  63. profligateprofiterole Says:

    I wonder if Slash spent “23 Minutes In Hell”, look that one up, the book…….makes on wonder..

  64. Andy Says:

    Can you imagine Axl singing “Everybody Hurts?”
    It might actually work in a “November Rain” kind of way.

    (…I’m sorry I even put that thought out there for consideration…)

  65. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Dust And Bones YEAH. that’s alright

  66. Mr Cup Says:

    Haven’t seen Dr Pepper here. Think they tried – but we fear change!

    Still don’t have Accelerate at the local store. Is it any wonder record companies are losing money when I want to lay cash down but they can’t deliver?? Is it a f*cking wonder kiddies download these days?
    This is 5 days after the release date in Oz.

  67. jim jos Says:

    Axl covering “Everybody Hurts”

    “When the day is loooongewoowong, and ni-ie-ight, the night itsyoursalone, bitch.
    hang on chyield. Wah Wah Wah Woweroow.
    you’re not alowyoounneee.

  68. Kirsten Says:

    I haven’t seen Dr Pepper in a long time, but it might still be around. I tried it when it first came out. Worse than Pepsi…

  69. Mr Cup Says:

    We don’t get sarsaparilla.

    Like toothpaste, but you drink it for refreshment???

  70. Paul Alferink Says:

    Dr Pepper has been in the U.S. since before 1900. The Diet Version is relatively popular. It is my diet pop drink of choice, as diet cola taste kind of bland, imho.

  71. Justin Says:

    I just wanted to say happy R.E.M. new album eve.

    This doesn’t happen very often. How many more will we have?

    In 1992, I was a freshman in college. I walked to University Records for the Automatic for the People midnight release party, purchased the CD, walked back to my dorm, and listened to it on my Discman several times.

    I have had Accelerate for a couple of weeks and know each song by heart. I will buy the deluxe version tomorrow on iTunes.

    Life is strange. Yeah, life is strange.

  72. Kirsten Says:

    My husband loves sarsaparilla. It’s disgusting.

    Every drink here comes from somewhere…

  73. Mr Cup Says:

    How about a nice cold glass of Dencorub?

  74. Kirsten Says:

    I think I’ll stick with your lemonade. If REM tour, maybe we could share some with them. Would that be incentive enough to come? Meet the famous swings? BYO biodegradable (mr) cups of course…

  75. Mr Cup Says:

    Wouldn’t take much to turn the lemonade stand into a (moral) souvenir stand, just drag a tarp over it.

  76. davegassner Says:

    I can’t wait to pick up Accelerate tommorow…this is my third REM album release since becoming a fan in the late 90’s and its the same curiosity, excitement and anticipation every time despite vastly changing surroundings and life settings.

    This may be off topic by this point, but my favorite “Everybody Hurts” moment was when I was on a day trip to a spa/resort in a neighboring city with my girlfriend and 2 or 3 friends a few years back. Things had been tense between me and my gf all day that day for some reason, and finally just as we were filling up with gas to leave and head home in the early evening, she snapped after a comment I made and after various screaming at me, awkward, tense, unspoken silence filled the stuffed car full of people I was driving. A few miles out of town and several wordless, soundless minutes later I muttered ‘that’s it…’ and finally grabbed AFTP from my cd pouch. It was straight to Track 4.

    A few earlier had commented on the song being so simple, straightforward, and powerful that, as a concentrated microcosm of all human sadness in musical form basically, combined with commercial overexposure, it has basically become an ironic joke and tacky cliche of melancholy. I don’t see this as negative, but rather as a rare honor and a testament to its true, immediate and undeniable rawness. As the only sound filling the car became the the slow laddering of Peter Buck’s chord pickings, and Michael’s heartfelt tender croon, you could see everyone, stressed disconnected and joyless just moments before, suddenly holding back their smirks in the reflection of the windows they stared out of. Some began mouthing the words. By the time it exploded into the closing crescendo and I made use of the volume-up dial on the steering wheel, the absurdity of our fighting and tension the entire car ride was suddenly something safe to laugh at again.

    Whether it’s helping a lonely depressed lost person alone in the privacy of their midnight bedroom, or bringing an entire bar together with karaoke as the drunken singer walks along the wall siding and throws beer bottle label paper shreddings down on everyone from above (both of which I’ve also experienced firsthand with this song, sadly) this song’s ultimate goal is the putting into context of human pain and, in that contextualizing, revealing the hope that is always still there somewhere. Even if, in some cases, that means depicting that melancholy as a complete joke. This song ultimate goal, and success, is its route to some sense of joy again I think, and being able to reveal that joy in multiple ways, each of which say: “we’re not alone” .

    ….sorry kinda got off on a tangent…anyway, I have a bet about which song Matt is planning to review last, I think he briefly mentioned it was his favorite at one point (it’s also mine actually). Not sure I should say it, but here’s a hint: desert go-carts, balls-and-chains, upside-down living rooms.

  77. milesy Says:

    I’ve always assumed that an appropriate last song would end with something like ‘I’m outta here.’

    But I’m also encouraged that two of my all times favourites are still out there (both 3rd tracks:-)).

  78. jft Says:

    the obvious last song is also still out there – but this one is one of those songs I never really got to like.

    I think find the river would have been a great end. but as that’s not the case… well, we’ll see, still a couple of great songs left =)

  79. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Rhapsody version of Accelerate includes Redhead Walking and Airliner

    where can I hear Staring Down The Middle Distance ?

  80. profligateprofiterole Says:

    ……..the barrel there-of…..

  81. Clare Says:

    I know, me too…I really liked that one in Dublin & so did everyone else. Wished they’d put that on instead of DJ…it’s fun live but doesn’t really go with the rest of the vibe.

  82. davegassner Says:

    milesy Says:

    I’ve always assumed that an appropriate last song would end with something like ‘I’m outta here.’

    Hehe, that makes it even more perfect actually. And that it’s already a closing track. And in that sense it was their last song with Bill Berry. And that REM did the bulk of their work in the “20th century”…actually, while King of Comedy or You Are the Everything still hold some chance, (amongst other track 3’s I’m probably overlooking) I’m placing my house and car on the big E. Guess we’ll find out this spring sometime. This is such a neat blog.

  83. milesy Says:

    King of comedy??!
    No, wait, deja vu. We did this track 3 business on These Days a while ago. There is another track 3, though…

  84. davegassner Says:

    …ohhhh THAT one! I thought he had done it. Yeah that tune’s great, Mills vocal harmonies to the max.

    And yes, more likely than King of Comedy!

  85. Matheus Says:

    I bought the album on Tuesday here in Brazil. Was I lucky or did some stores start selling it earlier?

  86. Matheus Says:

    Not Tuesday…. I meant Sunday!

  87. Ignis Sol Says:

    listening during my lunch hour is Seattle… only on “Hollow Man” WOW! (one lunch hour = two listens!)


  88. profligateprofiterole Says:

    “We are the hollow men” , where’s Alferink when you need him ?

    MP might end with Life And How To Live It…..

    Today Show was great except for terribly dissappointng song selection but it was really interesting to get such a clear and close up live look at the lads. They were looking very healthy and vital I must say..And I wonder what they’re doing right now, where they split to after the show there in NYC….The kind of thoughts that only drive me mad so why do I think them ?

  89. profligateprofiterole Says:

    I REALLY LIKE the song Accelerate, haven’t listened past that point yet, too much work to do, savoring the first half of the record for now……..

  90. jim jos Says:

    talk about life in 2008 (and how to live it, perhaps)
    I just got Accelerate, wanted my first true listen to be the actual cd. (I got such a great rush when I held it in my hand and walked back through the parking lot). And now, before I play it again, I wanted to write about it here!

    This has got to be the LOUDEST cd I have ever listened to. It is surprising LOUD LOUD LOUD.

    The loudness might be off putting to some, but I think it works, because it is also very, very good. And that is just not from some crazed R.E.M. fan (I hope).

    There isn’t a bum song in the whole bunch, there is nothing less here than good. There are some moments that border on sublime, some real R.E.M. magic moments.
    The opening of Living Well is perfect. It announces the album perfectly, I love Peter’s guitar on that one. Man Sized Wreath and Supernatural Superserious are more traditional in nature and are just plain great R.E.M. songs. Mr. Richards has a tremendous vibe to it, kind of a trippy feel and it is a stand out moment.
    Perhaps the best moment is Sing for the Submarine, that whole song, to me, is just draw droppingly good.
    Horse to Water rocks harder than any R.E.M. song in history.

    This isn’t similar in sound to anything that the band has ever done. I don’t see how it could be considered a retread. It is not Document, Pageant or Monster.

    Need to go listen to it again, but I am not disappointed.

  91. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Just listened to Accelerate for the first time. Overall I am very impressed. It does seem to fly by very quickly with its mostly uptempo songs and short running times. There were not any songs I did not like although on first listen “Man-Sized Wreath” and “Horse To Water” were only okay (only a first listen though so they could certainly grow in stature for me). The stand outs were “Living Well . . .”, “Accelerate”, “Houston”, “Mr. Richards”, and “Sing For The Submarine” – love the fact that REM name drops several of their own songs, how post-modernly silly! “Sing For The Submarine” already has connected itself in my mind to “High Speed Train” for some reason as well – they seem sonic cousins of sorts.
    As for what this album reminds me of, for me it is sort of a cross between Document and Around The Sun. Musically, it has the darker, but more straitforward tone and feel of Document, while lyrically it actually reminds me a lot of ATS (I know many of you dislike ATS and do not want to here this) but the themes and lyrical feel of the new CD actually reminds me a lot of ATS. It’s hard to argue that songs like “Final Straw”, “I Wanted To Be Wrong”, “High Speed Train”, “Ascent of Man”, and possibly even “Aftermath” could easily feel at home with many of the songs on Accelerate, and it makes me wonder what the songs from ATS would sound like if they had all been produced by Jacknife Lee and recorded in just a few takes instead of being toyed with for months (or vice versa, what the songs from Accelerate would have ended up like if Pat McCarthy produced and Mike and Michael had spent months tinkering – almost positive “Mr. Richards” would have been more like “Hope”). Also, have to agree that “Houston” and “Until The Day Is Done” both strongly remind me of “Swan Swan H” as has been mentioned in several reviews. I hope somebody actually read and comments on this long and rambling post.

  92. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Okay, just finished a 2nd listen and “Horse To Water” is better than I first thought. Also, “Man-Sized Wreath” is very good, it’s “Hollow Man” not “Man-Sized Wreath” that was only okay and that didn’t seem any better to me on another listen.

  93. profligateprofiterole Says:

    jimjos/BWD, interesting ,really looking forward to Mr.Richards and Horse To Water and Sing For The Submarine after youguyzez comments…..maybe in the morning as the first cup crackles Up The Neck after hopefully a great night’s sleep……A guitar bit from the first half –Man Size Wreath ?–is reminding me of Pearl Jam “Glorified G’, can’t put a finger on it…..might be thinking of something else entirely..it’s in my head , go there somehow…..

  94. profligateprofiterole Says:

    oh yeah , BWD , gotta check out that Tragically Hip song ….for comparison ……

  95. profligateprofiterole Says:

    should be “got there somehow”, not “go there somehow”….surely you didnt think I was saying to somehow go to the inside of my head, eh?

  96. Paul Alferink Says:

    Yeah. I Thought about the Eliot reference in Hollow Man. But other than the title (Which is pretty superficial) I don’t see anything else there.

  97. Ben Says:

    Is it just me, or does “Mr Richards” sounds a lot like “Hope”? Not in the instrumentation, but there are a few lines where Michael’s delivery sounds quite familiar (in a good way, of course).

    My early favorite has to be “Until The Day Is Done”. That song manages to combine all the best bits of 90s-R.E.M., and it’s also what “Around The Sun” would most likely sound like with a few more teeth. Great, great song.

    Also, if you didn’t shell out for the CD/DVD edition, I highly encourage you to download the “Airliner” b-side. It’s a Peter Buck surf-guitar instrumental, and it’s every bit as awesome as that sounds. They really should’ve included it on the full album, if only as a throwback to the instrumental tracks of yesteryear.

  98. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    The guitar riff between Living Well Is The Best Revenge & The Tragically Hip’s “All Tore Up” are very similar. However, I did go back (being the music nerd I am) and play them back to back and the Hip’s riff is slower.

    Also, again I say, any REM fan should really take a moment and discover The Tragically Hip, not carbon copies by any means (Hip is more REM meets Pearl Jam) but great overlooked band that has a lot of similarities. Heck, I’d made you a burned mix if I could convince people to try them out.

  99. Tim Says:

    What a great day to be an R.E.M fan! These days are few when we can enjoy a new record for the first time from the boys, especially one like Accelerate.

    Hey BWD, I don’t know a thing from Tragically Hip, but I’ll take a burned mix :). I even live in Utah (don’t you too?)so it would be cheap postage…or you can just give me some recommendations, and I’ll do some downloading

  100. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Airliner is a Buck instrumental? , like his sense of humor there, an airliner from Seattle to London perhaps ? , damn that’s a long flight……unless your in first class……..

  101. Ignis Sol Says:

    profligateprofiterole…….. be good, now! 🙂

  102. Mr Cup Says:

    Try Perth to London. Everybody hurts after that one!

    mwwaaaa haaaaaa.

  103. Timb Says:

    profligateprofiterole Says:
    April 2, 2008 at 12:31 am
    A guitar bit from the first half –Man Size Wreath ?–is reminding me of Pearl Jam “Glorified G’

    Yeah I thought that too, and there’s another riff that’s on there that’s reminiscent of something else that I can’t put my finger on…

    Man am loving this album the more I listen to it, every track is great, not something I can say for a lot of REM’s stuff bar OOT, Monster and LRP. It also very inspiring from a creative POV of view, it’s good to see a band I love reconnecting with their muse…

    I’m really keen to see where they go next!

  104. Rob Says:

    Ok, I’ve been listening to Accelerate since Friday and amazingly I’m still in no danger of overplaying it. It sounds fresh every time. Man-Sized Wreath and Mr. Richards MUST be released as singles. Godammit they’re good.

  105. maclure Says:

    Yeah, loving Accelerate and I’m not growing tired of it. I think any of the first 4 songs should and could be singles. Mr. Richards I’m not a fan of – vocals and guitars too compressed. Sing for the Submarine has gone from “eh?” to “Ok, it’s the token long, anthemy second half album track” to “Wow! this song rocks!”

  106. Dark Bob Says:

    The more I listen, the more I love this record. It could easily fit well into their IRS catalog. The song ACCELERATE is really amazing. Just a reminder that REM will be on THE COLBERT REPORT tonight.

  107. Paul Alferink Says:

    Saw them on the Today show yesterday. Performed admirably. Trotted out LMR, which works better acoustic like that. Rocked out on Supernatural Superserious. Played Hollow Man, which upon first listen to don’t have much of an opinion of.

  108. clare Says:

    I see Michael has had the last word with “High Speed Train” on Song for the Submarine!!

  109. maclure Says:

    Also, a shout out to the basslines on Accelerate. I suggest listening to the album with headphones or tweaking your settings to hear the ridiculously excellent basslines on LWITBR, Man Sized Wreath, Accelerate, Horse to Water. Its just so nice to hear Mike having fun!

  110. 2d Says:

    the bass for “man-sized wreath” is indeed fantastic, simply brilliant. and “accelerate” too – i hoped they would let it shine the moment i heard the song performed at the dublin rehearsals. 🙂

  111. milesy Says:

    Wow, this thread is moving along.

    BWD (many comments back now): once again I couldn’t agree more about the way much of ATS would fit so well with Accelerate. I was driving home last night with Until the Day is Done playing, thinking, ‘I know what this reminds me of…’

    I’m sorry guys, I know it’s got weak points, and I know even the band lament the drawn out production… but ATS has a lot going for it. And I like it even more in the light of this wonderful new album!

  112. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Tim, I would love to get you a Hip mix, how do you want me to contact you for details?

  113. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Tim, I would love to get you a Tragically Hip mix, how do you want me to contact you for details?

  114. Ignis Sol Says:

    At this point in their grand career, you are going to hear many similarities (Until the Day is Done/I Wanted to be Wrong, Mr. Richards/Chorus and the Ring, Accelerate/Circus Envy) just because of the expanse of music they have composed over the years. What we are talking about on Accelerate as an album is the shift in dynamics of sound. And it is radical. The fuzzy overtone guitars from Monster are traded in for crispness and sharp spiky guitars. The same can be said of Document’s industrial sound being whittled down to a bare-bones punkesque in the smoky club sound. Life’s Rich Pageant sound has just been amped up mixed with guitar in mind.

    Moreover, their newfound attitude is shining through with a masterful marketing campaign. They deserve all the top notch reviews. Again, they have pushed the musical envelope. Look for more raw nearly live studio albums coming in at 30 minutes from acts in the near future. Bono?

  115. Kirsten Says:

    Airliner is also a B-Side to Supernatural Superserious.

    Still waiting for my copy of Accelerate, you guys make it sound sooo great – it’s killing me!

  116. jim jos Says:

    ok. Perhaps there are better places than here, and my apologies to Matthew for putting some kind of overlong review here, but this blog has been such an R.E.M. channel that it seems a little natural to do so, but I had to put these obsessive thoughts somewhere and what better place than here with all of you?
    If you are not interested just don’t read!

    With a now a full five CD listens:

    The initial shock of the LOUDNESS of the record has sunk in and I am a bit more used to it, which lets me focus on the album more.

    track by track:
    Living Well is a tremendous opener. I love how the guitar opening just announces the record, perfect feel and perfect guitar sound. To me, it is like the Stones “jumpin jack flash” on some levels. It is a brilliant “made it through the storm” type of rock song that works on a choose your own level (political? band wise? personal?). Most sublime moment: somewhere in the song Mills seems so taken by the momentum of the song that he starts to just kind of shout in the background (and why wouldn’t he?). Love that.
    “Man-Sized Wreath” and “Supernatural” these are 100%, shaken, not stirred R.E.M. songs. I love that they are presented back to back. Two examples of Stipes writing hitting me in the face with two great song ideas. I do despise the political grandstanding of modern day sound bite politics. And writing a “geek anthem” is something that I find really appealing.
    most sublime moments: “kick it out on the dance floor like you just don’t care” it is so tongue in cheek hilarious and rather nicely dismissive of clueless TMZ culture; and the ending of Supernatural. Starting from “Inexperience…”
    Hollow Man. I read in the Q song “songwriters” article that Stipe was reminded about not having to rhyme all the time, by singing his older stuff in Dublin. In my mind, he went home after that interview and wrote the verses for this song, which I find quite pretty. I understand the need not too let the song get too Around the Sunish, and that a change in dynamic was really, brilliantly, called for here. But, maybe the chorus is just a bit too forced. Perhaps the one major instance where they could have developed something more. Most sublime, the pretty verses.
    “Houston” Essential track to the overall album. It has been disappointing how many artists have not dealt with the recent environment of life in the U.S. one of the strongest elements of this album is that it does just that. Most sublime:
    “if the storm doesn’t kill me, the government will”…would be a little overbearing if it was not followed brilliantly by “gotta get that outta my head”
    “Accelerate” is a very enjoyable classic kind of rock song and while other albums would begin to fade here, this one doesn’t. Accelerate the song marks, to me, where the band shows they will stay consistant.
    Most sublime: even though its been done a million times, using the title of the song as a stand alone refrain really works here.
    “Until the Day is Done” Maybe it’s because the whole record moves so quickly that this, more standard length song, seems to drag a little in the context of the album. The album has already increased our ADD tendencies, that they seems more noticeable when brought back to a more “traditional” R.E.M. sound. A dirge not quite on the level of “Drive” but a pretty good one. Most sublime: that there is a song on the album that includes this type of R.E.M. sound.
    “Mr. Richards” There is a decent psychedelic feel here, which I love, and it is political, but not overbearingly so, because it is also slightly comical. Most sublime: the lyrics that ask Mr. Richards to talk about prison. This is not about Kramer Richards, but Mr. Richards is a mix of all the sleazy, Larry Craig kind of politicians we have seen over the past few years. Like Houston, this is a brilliantly “sign of the times” type of album moment.
    “Sing For the Submarine” a real highlight of the whole album for me. Too much is made of the self-referencing lyrics and not nearly enough of how they seem to reference some kind of dream state. It’s like the mind of “World Leader Pretend” has imagined this world, or this is the life that he found when he razed the walls. There is something so cinematic, or even broadway-esque about this song, but in a very rocking, not schmaltzy way. It is epic in nature and one of the best songs the band has ever done. IMHO. Most Sublime: Lyric “that’s the good news my darling, it is what its going to be” there is something so life-affirming about that line, I do love it.
    “Horse to Water” kind of like if you took “Good Advices” and “Another Engine” off of Fables, mixed them together, picked up the pace and cranked the volume. Most Sublime: That part in the song where it all seems to be imploding and there is that mention of humpty falling. Or, the part at the end about pounding the daylights out of you. That, makes me smile.
    “Gonna DJ” gotta say I was skeptical about this song being here, would have rather had “staring down the barrel..” instead. But I must admit that it works because of the album it is on. There is this overall apocalyptic vibe to the record, so it makes sense that this would be the closer. Kind of like Accelerates version of “Wendell Gee” for me. A short coda after the album seems to have finished, for better or worse.
    Maybe its because of the last two songs that Accelerate kind of reminds me of Fables, in its own way.

  117. jim jos Says:

    oh, and the drumming on “Horse To Water” could not be any better if done by Mr. Berry himself, having the guy from Ministry on the album really adds (maybe because he is named Bill?) for once I don’t miss the drums. Had to mention that.

  118. Tim Says:

    I love the backing ohhh ohhhh ohhhh’s over the last chorus of Sing For The Submarine.

    BWD: tp3331@gmail.com

  119. Kirsten Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Jimjos. Should help hold me over. 🙂
    A lot of positive comments on Middle Distance. Hopefully they’ll make it a b-side.

  120. jim jos Says:

    thank you Kristen. Had to get that off my chest and I felt a lot better after writing it!

    My own personal take on Middle Distance:

    Going three-four years between albums is not what the band needs to do next. Maybe I am being selfish, but the idea of waiting until 2012 for another R.E.M. release seems unbearable. Not that I want them to churn out sub par stuff, but I think that brevity is the key and that this album is going to give them some renewed momentum, one they might lose if they slumber too long.

    How about putting Middle Distance, On the Fly, and a couple of new songs on an EP type release? Maybe that won’t work with Warner, the EP might be a dead musical format, and I am not sure how such a thing would fit into their 5 cd contract.

    Middle distance, especially, seems to good to be lost as a B-side.

  121. Paul Alferink Says:

    I had stopped listening to ATS by this point. 4 Hours and still going strong. Going to bug my office mates tomorrow!

  122. Mr Cup Says:

    The good thing about Accelerate is it won’t become an acronym : )

  123. Paul Alferink Says:

    The best thing about A (Bite me Mr. Cup! 🙂 ) is that the I’m gonna DJ doesn’t suck like I thought it would. I benifits by being made tighter than the live verision.

    Also, Mr. Richards reminds me of “Major Tom.” Have no idea why . . .

  124. Mr Cup Says:

    A is the best thing since R

  125. Mr Cup Says:

    …but not as good as M

  126. Paul Alferink Says:

    Way better than U. Which R? Which M? Probably in G or D territory.

  127. Clare Says:

    I agree “DJ” sounds much better on the record than live (which is very unusual for recent REM) think it has to do with the overall arrangement. Yes what happened to “on the fly” as well, I actually have forgotten how that one went now since Dublin, but remember quite liking it at the time.

    Still really like U (think A is a completley different kettle of fish anyhow), can only think Mr Cup means the 1st M. Think A is more akin to D than 2nd M. Blooming good though…..Kirsten sometimes the anticipation is part of the whole experience…a’la Christmas!

  128. Dark Bob Says:

    Did anyone catch REM on The Colbert Report last night?
    Hilarious! Gotta say that Bill the drummer is friggin awesome.

  129. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Now that we have Ministry’s drummer, do you think we could see a Michael Stipe/Al Jourgensen duet? Maybe “Losing My Stigmata”, or a mash-up of the anti-Bush rants “NWO/Final Straw”?! And don’t even get me started on the potential of “Jesus Built My Orange Crush”!

  130. milesy Says:

    I’m really enjoying the comments on Accelerate.
    Ignis Sol, your last post is spot on, what I would like to say but better- particularly your description of the way the guitar sound is loud but all new: ‘The fuzzy overtone guitars from Monster are traded in for crispness and sharp spiky guitars.’ Yes! That’s what it is!

    On another note, this is the first REM album release since I have had both children and a commute to work on a bike (ie no listening in the car or on the bus). How am I supposed to get the chance to turn it up loud..? Memories of lying on the sofa in 96 getting to know Hifi; yeah I know, I love REM but I love my kids more…

  131. maclure Says:

    Does anyone else think that in many ways REM are really a 5 piece? Yeah, the picture has the original 3 but all the promotional work and live performances have featured Scott and Bill all along – and they both contribute in unique ways to the present sound of REM, including extra harmonies and pounding drum parts respectively on Accelerate. I’ve got very used to having them around and have no problem thinking of REM as a three legged dog using a very efficent two-wheeled scooter.

  132. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    The drums stood out to me immediately upon first listen (sacrilege is coming, so you may not want to keep reading), and for the first time since HiFi I did not miss Bill Berry. Bill #2 has filled in very admirally and seems to have ven had at least some voice in helping to shape the songs. I don’t notice it with Scott as much (maybe because REM has used several other 2nd guitarists over the years) but its nice having a drummer back in the mix as a (semi?)-permanent fixture and partner. Don’t get me wrong, I’d take Bill Berry back yesterday (he contributed so much as a writer and melodocist), but if the boys ever took the step to make the new Bill “official” I could live with that (I think).

  133. catapult Says:

    Wow! What’s not to like about this record? Well, except for Houston, which try as I might, I just can’t embrace it. The absolute highlight for me is Man-Sized Wreath. Just a gigantic in-your-face rock song best listened to as loud as your neighbors will allow. I love this song…might just be my all time favorite REM single. And it only makes it better that I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment: The utter phoniness of hollow made-for-TV patriotic gestures. It’s Ignoreland on steroids. Thank you, thank you, thank you REM, for this song and this album. Damn near perfect!

  134. Paul Alferink Says:

    I really like Houston. I kinda think that if you put Houston on AFTP and took out Ignoreland, it would be an even better album.

    Plus, that first line is a killer. “If the storm doesn’t kill me the government will.” And that Organ alarm sound and the fog horn cello part. Great piece. And early favorite for me.

  135. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Yeah, have to agree Houston is easily my favorite on the whole CD, hands down.

  136. Kirsten Says:

    I don’t know about this whole 5-piece thing. I am more than happy to have them as perminant “fill ins”, but it just doesn’t seem right having them as part of the band. Plus I don’t have the time to find out all about them and their pasts and to worship them as the Gods they will become! 🙂
    Plus replacing Bill just isn’t right. Especially with another Bill. Feels like you’d be writing Berry out of history.

  137. Mr Cup Says:

    It’s funny…Man-Sized Wreath totally rubs me the wrong way. I have enough memories of the 70’s to feel almost nauseous when I hear the ‘give-me-so-ooome’ and the drum fill after it. It’s OK for KISS to be doing that. Still.

  138. profligateprofiterole Says:

    Love Houston, the strong cup of coffee in the Texas panhandle imagery, makes me wanna go for a drive that way….Laredo and Galveston….dream along the open road.

    Accelerate reminds me of Judas Priest Turbo Lover. a tiny guitar bit in Hollow Man that sounds like Pretty Persuasion, anyone catch that ?

  139. profligateprofiterole Says:

    very beginning of Mr.Richards sounds like What The Fuck Is The Frequency , Kenneth ?…or is that a given already etablished . Am I covering old news here ?

  140. wigi Says:

    Texas Holdem – Mejor sitio para jugar texas Holdem? Hemos calificado sitios para jugar texas holdem con jugadores de todo el mundo. Juega póquer holdem hoy- http://www.omaha-pokerhome.com/es/

  141. profligateprofiterole Says:

    REM = Tres Hombres

  142. […] that some unknown reward for his strength and courage is somewhere out there on the horizon. If “Everybody Hurts” is telling you to hold on, “Find The River” is explaining why: Your just deserve is […]

  143. RedParakeet Says:

    My least favourite R.E.M. song … I’ve heard it so much it’s so old now.

  144. Melonie Says:

    I know I came way late to the party, but I wanted to add two cents on this one as well. I am of two minds on this song. On the one hand, it’s just a beautiful song with a powerful sentiment behind it. But as someone who has struggled with debilitating depression, I wonder how I would feel about it if I was in the midst of one of my bouts. A part of me hopes that I would see the hope and allow it to give me the strength to hold on, but on the other hand I find that it may be a little too simplistic to really make a difference. Sure, everybody hurts. It’s a nice reminder. But sometimes the hurt is so great, so unbearable that even knowing that others have felt as you do is not a comfort. I hope I never find myself in that place again, but in the meantime when I have bad days this song is a comfort. My personal favorite line is “don’t throw your hand” because that truly is what it feels like sometimes.
    Just my perspective. Though it makes me wonder if any of them have ever struggled with a mental issue, and that’s what this arose from. Who knows?

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