R.E.M. – Murmur [TDK D-46]
January 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
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During a summer camp in Ireland in 1994 I felt like Losing My Religion was everywhere, though the song had been released three years before. It was on tv and on the radio and people where talking about it, we even had a grammr lesson or something during which the teacher gave us the lyrics to analyse! I knew the song already, but I never paid much attention to it, I don’t know why, maybe I was too young. Anyway, during those three weeks it struck a chord in me as it did with millions of people. I decided I wanted to listen to R.E.M first album though, before getting to Automatic For The People, so i checked into almost every music store I could find in Temple Bar in Dublin, but I just couldn’t find it. So when I got home I just forgot about it. Meanwhile Monster came out and R.E.M where again everywhere. Again, even though I liked it, it didn’t click with me. One year or two later, I was checking the new stuff at my favorite CD-rentalsand there it was: a reissue of Murmur! Since New Adventures In Hi-Fi had just come out I rented that too so that I could hear both the first and the last LP available by R.E.M. I was still much into heavy stuff and punk rock by that time, I was just about to explore what was out there and I fell immediately for both the records, specially for Murmur (though I still love some tracks on New Adventures: more about it in a while) as it was nothing like I had heard before. Edgy, nervous (Radio Free Europe), kind of menacing sometime (Moral Kiosk, West Of The Fields), with slanted melodies (We Walk) and that dry and neat sound: everything was in place. Everytime I listened to it it felt like eating some sort of exotic food: what’s that weird taste?!
What happened then? Nothing. It just stopped there, since then I always had an ear open for anything R.E.M. released, but I never quite got into them. It happens.
Cd Rentals were a dream came true for anybody who was into music: you could rent a CD for three days paying roughly 1€ and of course tape it if you liked it. It didn’t last long: all the CD-rentals closed due to the usual copyright laws. Video rentals where still open though: we never quite got that.
As you may see from the back of the cassette card, R.E.M. took the place of David Bowie‘s Pin-Ups: I don’t regret it at all. I love Bowie but personally I find that record to be quite over-rated.