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 R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: steevee 
Date:   11-10-17 19:48

Here's my review of the deluxe reissue of R.E.M.'s AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE:

http://gaycitynews.nyc/r-e-m-s-pinnacle-quarter-century/

I did not know the prices listed at the end of the review, and I think they may be vinyl only.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: mats84 
Date:   11-10-17 21:17

Nice review steevee and I know for a lot of people this album is pretty important, ok very important (breno is quite the fan too)........... I've posted this a lot on here but to me I just can't stand the record. It's one of my "most overrated" default picks and I especially felt like that at the time, with the years gone by I'm not quite as livid in my contempt of it.

I guess for me, I'm one of those people who didn't get "blockbuster" REM at all - Green was maybe half good to me, Out Of Time was maybe that as well but...... AFTP was morose and icky and ponderous like a Hallmark card except for Nightswimming, and then Monster was the end for me - 4 records in a row I didn't like and now them flat out faking it - we were serious last time now we Rock etc.

For me I'll always be a Chronic Town/Murmur/Reckoning guy though I did still like them through Document but it's hard to take because it's one thing when a band you love makes music you don't like anymore, but it's quite another to see it sell a bajillion copies and hailed like it was to the point where even the band thinks it's their best.

Hurumph...........




Post Edited (11-10-17 21:24)

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: steevee 
Date:   11-10-17 22:32

I felt that way about most of GREEN and OUT OF TIME, although I think "Country Feedback" is one of the band's best songs, and then as I said at the start of my review, AUTOMATIC completely revived my interest in R.E.M. I was completely surprised, and at the time, I had no idea that it would go on to become the consensus masterpiece. I had the same opinions expressed in this review the first few times I heard it in 1992, although the stuff about it being a meditation on AIDS is only apparent in retrospective.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: nosepail 
Date:   11-11-17 12:11

Nice review, steevee!

AFTP is not the consensus masterpiece among my friends. I think it does not deserve to sniff the jock strap of Document.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: HollowbodyKay 
Date:   11-12-17 13:56

Quote:

I've posted this a lot on here but to me I just can't stand the record.


Document was the last R.E.M. record that really floored me.

.
.
.

Edited to include:

Quote:

I'll always be a Chronic Town/Murmur/Reckoning guy


Exactly.

And I'll even allow "Fables of the Reconstruction" to wiggle onto my list (even though the signs of creative fatigue were already evident at this point). "Life And How To Live It" still sends me.



Post Edited (11-12-17 14:01)

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: Michael Toland 
Date:   11-13-17 10:12

Though a high school pal of mine played Chronic Town and Murmur for me when they came out, I have to admit I didn't get it then. Too much into Rush at the time, I guess. I didn't become a fan until Green, and I will cop to liking Out of Time quite a bit at the time. (I'll also cop to having not listened to it in years, so maybe I'd feel differently now.) Automatic, which we played to death in the record store I worked in, I didn't care for. I love "Man On the Moon," but "Everybody Hurts" is like someone driving a spike in my eardrum. I think I purchased and sold Monster in short order (I mean, I can't even remember what it sounds like now) and ignored the band from years afterward. (I lost my taste for U2 about the same time, so maybe it was a disgruntled 20-something thing.)

I circled back around many years later, and Murmur was a revelation. Now I really enjoy those early years, with Murmur being far and away my favorite of their catalog.

I know it's not found favor with the gang around here, but I also really like Accelerate. I know it was a calculated move towards former glories, and most albums in that vein usually fail, but the songs are solid and the band sounds like it's having fun playing them. Indeed, having seen one of their first live shows in support of the album (a taping of the TV show), I can attest that they did indeed dig playing those tunes, far more than they did playing any of the 80s material.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: jothoma 
Date:   11-13-17 14:56

I actually like the last album they made with Bill Berry, "New Adventures in Hi-Fi" quite a bit. It was recorded while they were on their international "Monster" tour so the songs were recorded at many different studios, off the cuff and quickly. I think it benefits as a result compared to their last albums which seem way over produced and over worked in the studio to me. My only complaint is that the album is too damn long. At over 60 mins, some of the later songs start the same. They could have trimmed 2 or 3 songs and it would have made for a stronger album.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: Delvin 
Date:   11-13-17 16:55

I love all of R.E.M.'s Eighties work, including Green. Out of Time sounded like a failure to me: too many songs that seemed unfinished, and the finished ones sure got old fast. (I'd be perfectly glad to never hear "Losing My Religion" again, and I might someday yet sprain my wrist lunging to change the channel when "Shiny Happy People" comes on.)

Automatic for the People was a step up from Out of Time. The same too-slow flow, but at least the songs sounded as if they put some thought to completing them. Monster and New Adventures in Hi-Fi weren't up to par with their Eighties work, but each was a step in the right direction.

Then Bill Berry left, and from there, it was three steps back in succession, each one further than the preceding one. They did pick things up toward the end, though. Like some others, I thought Accelerate seemed a little calculated, but still, the first consistently listenable R.E.M. album in a long time. Collapse Into Now seemed to me to be the band finding its footing, and plotting a course between rocking out and satisfying its more out-there urges.

I would've liked to have heard what they were going to come up with next, but oh well.



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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: hoip chiggs 
Date:   11-14-17 13:35

Guess my relief at never hearing about REM for months on end has been short-lived.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: rhettlawrence 
Date:   11-14-17 23:52

I started losing my appetite for R.E.M. with Document and never really got into anything after that. I never owned AFTP until 5 or 6 years ago and probably never even heard it all the way through until then either. Not up there with their best by a long shot, but it was better than I expected when I finally got around to listening to it. The EP and the first two albums are still touchstones for me though.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: Delvin 
Date:   11-15-17 11:27

Of all the popular bands that have broken up, I'd say R.E.M. is right at or near the bottom of the list of who's likely to re-unite someday. It seems like the members decided, mutually and amicably, that enough was enough, and chose to end the band quietly, on their own terms.

Since then, Buck has kept pretty busy, mostly through his association with Robyn Hitchcock, and now as a member of Filthy Friends (a collaboration that hopefully will last beyond one album). Mills has had his musical pursuits as well, mostly The Baseball Project. And Stipe apparently has been content to ride his reputation as an "artist," though his actual involvement in anything creative seems peripheral at best.

Sounds like enough to keep those three guys busy and content for a while.



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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: breno 
Date:   11-15-17 12:07

For what it's worth, it's Robyn Hitchcock's favorite R.E.M. album. He said so when he signed my freshly purchased copy of the reissue at his show last night. (I didn't have anything of his with me for him to sign.)

There's supposed to be an image below. It doesn't show up on my computer, but who knows if it shows up on others.



We'll see if it works as a link.

http://tinyurl.com/yb5k25gc



Post Edited (11-15-17 12:08)

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: steevee 
Date:   11-15-17 17:21

That link was dead for me.

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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: breno 
Date:   11-15-17 18:03



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 Re: R.E.M. AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE review
Author: zwirnm 
Date:   11-18-17 19:03

I just got together with the Chunky Glasses crew to have a discussion on A4TP's 25th anniversary. It will be up in a few days; striking how imprinted on our memory the record is and how wondrous it still sounds (although there was some dissension about the merits of "Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and "Ignoreland"). One of the panelists was on the younger end and was still in high school when it came out 25 years ago; I and the others were in college or grade school ... the sensations of first hearing "Drive" are still vivid in my memory.

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