Review Revue: R.E.M. – Green

The recent announcement from R.E.M. that they’re calling it quits after approximately 100 years of being one of the biggest bands in the universe seemed like as good a reason as any to go digging around the vinyl stacks and seeing what juicy debate I could find on one of their album covers. And what better record to start with than their major label debut, Green, which was the first R.E.M. album I (along with millions of others, I’m sure) ever owned, and most likely signaled their mainstreamization and general decline to those diehards who had been fans since their indie days in Athens, Georgia. I think we all know it can be hard to watch a band that you loved when no one had ever heard of them explode into mainstream glory. The college DJs that helped put those bands in such a position probably have even more complicated feelings.

It’s impossible for me to imagine just what it must have been like, as a fan of the band that created Murmur and Fables of the Reconstruction, to hear the song “Stand” for the first time, but luckily we have some eyewitness accounts:

“No comment needed.”

“KXRX was promoting this as an album they were premiering. Those lying scum!! We always get to stuff first – we put this band on the map in Seattle.”

“So how long did it take for commercial radio to finally give them some play. What fools. Anyway, this is their first LP on Warner, for better or worse. This seems to be an OK album for them, but probably not their best. More listens will tell. Keith LeBlanc on 2.2!”

“Why is there a subliminal ‘4’ over both the ‘R’s on this cover – fill me in.”

“The Four Mr. Core noticed refers to the number of millions of copies of this LP Warner Bros. expects to sell. They probably will.” [Considering it was certified double platinum in 1994, that’s probably true.]

“Picks 4 KCMU: 2, 5, 8, 11. Hits or otherwise.”

“Middle of the road / God it stank / Let’s run this disk / over with a tank.”

“Why, why so mainstream?”

“Best song on this lifeless piece of Gary Glitter B.S. is Song #11 – ‘?’ 8 & 9 are OK.”

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  1. Stephen
    Posted October 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely love this album.

  2. Regina Regina
    Posted October 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love this feature. I wanna see what historical markings have been scrawled and stickered on the station’s Pussy Galore and Big Black records. Please make my dreamies come true. LOVE!

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