A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Let's play...

I make a post, you disagree with my statement and tell me how stupid I am. Or I guess you could agree...

Post: REM is the best band of the last 30 years, with a string of great albums with nary a dud. Incredible live as well. Discuss.

This post brought to you by relistening to REM a lot.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jefe said...

That's a good one. I guess "best band" implies a certain amount of subjectivity. But if you were to break "best" down into innovation and influence, I would say yes up to mid 90s. Certainly they brought the sound of "the underground" (see Murmur and Chronic Town) into the mainstream and their guitars always did sound a little too jangly to be called pop. But they were consistently one of the most popular bands on the planet. I think maybe late-90s to present you might have to switch it over to Radiohead in terms of innovation and influence. And for all the murky, obscure lyrics, Automatic For The People proved Stipe could pull of strong, clear vocals without sacrificing too much integrity. I though Everybody Hurts was a little over the top, but the nice thing about REM is they never really went too insincere. Plus, some newer albums never really got their due: especially the phenomenal, yet unappreciated New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

10:39 AM

 
Blogger neill said...

I'm also a big believer in New Adventures, but I don't know that you can say that all their newer albums went underappreciated. I was very ambivalent about Reveal, for instance--it sounded very overproduced, and almost muzak-y in places.

I'd agree that among the small list of bands that have been around for ~30 years, they're probably #1. Even with the newer stuff that I haven't been in love with, I've never felt like they've become a self-characture (ie, U2).

5:21 PM

 
Blogger Jefe said...

No you're right: I never got Reveal but did have Up, which was decent, but not exactly my cup of tea. There's something to be said though of a band that loses a vital member and, rather than replace him, tries to forge a new sound. I didn't find that it always hit the mark, but it seemed admirable nonetheless. And it's hard with a band who's been around so long to not compare them to some of their former sounds.

9:34 AM

 

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