Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In the Beginning there was Rhythm

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If you've read here before it's no surprise that I like to remind people of the early work of bands who's success and fame have resulted in a generally singular idea or notion of said band at the expense of other facets. A perfect example, and one of my favorite bands (often a shock to people who know my tastes), is R.E.M., mostly their early work, especially their first album Murmur.

Before mainstream success, R.E.M. was THE bridge between punk/post-punk and alternative. Along with bands like the B-52's and Pylon they spawned a whole scene of early-80's Athens art-rock that helpfed fertilize alternative movements throughout the country. Taking the minimal rhythms of post-punk and adding lots of pretty guitar work and simple and unexpected melodies, Murmur is a far cry from R.E.M. as most people know them. If you recoil at the thought of "Everybody Hurts" balladry, give this a listen and allow me to prove myself right - this early shit is good.

R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe
R.E.M. - Pilgrimage
R.E.M. - Laughing
R.E.M. - Moral Kiosk


FiL said...

Indeed, the early Athens scene was grand. And I agree - by far this is my favourite REM album.

Silent 3 said...

This is the real deal. Quick, light, and engaging as hell.