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Old 09-27-2011, 12:16 PM   #286
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Okay, there is the occasional new song that's actually a hit. But this R.E.M. comp has, what, 5 or 6 new songs? Not really "hits" then... That could have been 5 or 6 really classic R.E.M. tunes. Put out the new ones on a cheap E.P. or something...
Three new songs.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:59 PM   #287
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Bang and Blame is a great example of 'artistic use of effects'. Peter Buck must have taken a page out of Edges notebook that day.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:08 PM   #288
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It's a better example of a lame, uninspired track that shouldn't have been on the album, let alone released as a single.

Worst song on Monster.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Aygo

Curiously, I'm not a fan either of "Wake-up Bomb", "So Fast, So Numb" and "Low Desert". They seem too unidimensional and quickly-made to me. "Departure" suffers from that too, although I like it better and the main riff is contagious.
Basically what Laz said about Bang and Blame I feel about these tracks...I don't know how they made the album, because they certainly don't benefit the mood established by the other tracks. I also don't understand what makes Wake Up Bomb worthy of a 5 minute running time when it only has two gears, really.

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Originally Posted by lazarus

Thank you for not even mentioning Bittersweet Me.

For real.

I understand your displeasure with Wake Up Bomb, and Departure doesn't really do much. But I do like the latter two.

And I've grown to appreciate Binky the Doormat over the years (another one you overlooked).
Bittersweet Me has...elements that I enjoy. But that doesn't make it a coherent song. They really skimped on songwriting with that one, praying that the riff(s) would be enough to sustain it.

I've probably heard New Adventures 10 times and still don't remember how Binky The Doormat goes. I'm generally neutral on it, but it doesn't help the second half's case. Most of my favorites are early on, which is problematic for a 65 minute album.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:24 PM   #290
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Listening to the album today. Your comment about Bittersweet is spot-on. It's likable, but it's really just a riff and a crunchy chorus. The verses suck. Bang and Blame doesn't win on either front. Wake Up Bomb also has a great chorus which is why the rest doesn't bother me. But yeah, it's too long.

Departure is fun, but insubstantial. Low Desert has more depth, even if it's not as memorable. As most of these songs were recorded live or in soundcheck, there's not as much quality control, and it's not a coincidence that most of the best songs were done in the studio (How the West..., E-Bow, New Test, Be Mine). But the rawness and the try-anything approach is part of why the album is so special to me and so unique in their catalogue. And there's definitely some thematic consIstency in Stipe's imagery and vibe throughout the whole thing.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:12 PM   #291
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I think the lyrics on New Adventures are great, far superior to anything on Monster and most of Up. They're extremely thoughtful, evocative and generally coherent from track to track. REM always worked best as an extroverted band IMO, but Stipe managed to mine some real gems out of the darkest part of his psyche in a very short amount of time. Electrolite is incredible in that regard...the tune is pretty (if inferior to its older brother Nightswimming), but the closing line alone makes the song worth it. Would have been an excellent song to go out on, had they not chosen to continue.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:17 PM   #292
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SPIN's 10 All-Time Favorite R.E.M. Moments | SPIN.com

Is the chart on #7 still accurate? Out of Time seriously sold more than Automatic for the People? I always thought Automatic was one of those albums from the '90's that essentially everyone who liked music owned. Blows my mind that Out of Time sold more.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:20 PM   #293
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Well, Losing My Religion was their biggest hit, so there's that.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:24 PM   #294
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It's weird how easy it is to forget that before the digital age, you pretty much had to buy a full album to hear one song. (though I did own a handful of cassette singles as a kid)
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:33 PM   #295
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They got an $80 million contract in 1996?? REM was the Albert Haynesworth of alternative rock.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:40 PM   #296
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Yep, it's definitely Out of Time which had much bigger worldwide sales than Monster and Automatic For The People. In the United States though, it's close between all three and they were all four times platinum last time I checked.

Personally, I think Out of Time being half-baked and overexposed may have cost them some potential sales for Automatic For The People. No question in my mind that Automatic would have sold more had their releases been switched.

Also, it's pretty mind-boggling the amount of radio hits this band charted from 1988-1997 on rock radio. Just absolutely crazy how many promotional singles/videos there were.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:45 PM   #297
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Wonder if Warner feel as if they got a good enough return on investment from that $80 mil, all things considered, and not just the sales figures themselves?

The one thing that keeps me from listening to New Adventures In Hi-Fi more frequently is the running length, but when I do listen to it, it's a pretty satisfying journey. From track 5 through to track 10 is a super enjoyable stretch of songs.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #298
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Yep, it's definitely Out of Time which had much bigger worldwide sales than Monster and Automatic For The People. In the United States though, it's close between all three and they were all four times platinum last time I checked.

Personally, I think Out of Time being half-baked and overexposed may have cost them some potential sales for Automatic For The People. No question in my mind that Automatic would have sold more had their releases been switched.
I don't think the sales figures are as close as you think IIRC.

And there's two reasons OOT sold better than AFTP:

1. Losing My Religion was a fantastic lead single in terms of drawing in new fans

2. Drive was not

I'm in the minority on the quality of Drive and its placement at the top of the album, but I think most people would agree that while it certainly honors the feeling and theme of AFTP, it was not a song that was going to burn up the charts or build mainstream interest for the album.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:18 PM   #299
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In a world where King of Pop and Biggest Band in the World mattered, seemingly apeshit huge contracts meant something too, in the same way. An '$80 million record contract' doesn't necessarily mean that they actually got $80 million, or anything near it (although, at the same time, hypothetically at least, they could have made a lot more). Those deals are or were announced that way for publicity. I don't know anything about this one specifically, but generally/most often that figure is initial advance and/or bonus + forecast future potential royalty earnings (and other fiddly details). And those royalty earnings are generally inflated as though every album will sell as well as their best, all presented that way - as if it's all a sign on bonus - for publicity. Reality is that usually at most about 10% of that figure would be guaranteed one way or another, and the rest... depends on sales. Other complications for major acts like this can come from tied up publishing with sister companies, or the band or act owning their own minor label underneath the major, but most often, the figure presented up front is almost wholly complete bullshit based on an extreme dream.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:26 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by lazarus

I don't think the sales figures are as close as you think IIRC.
I always thought that Automatic was bigger in the US and it is actually listed as 4x platinum here, whereas OOT is 3x, but that's just wiki. Internationally, OOT appears to have a sizable advantage but doesn't give any numbers to add up and I'm too lazy to do that anyway. I'd say it's pretty close.

Monster isn't even really up there, overall. It's sold less than 3 million here, and it didn't do especially well internationally.
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