Now that it's remasterd and everything lets do an R.E.M.'s Murmur poll

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Talk About the Passion

Poll Results

OptionVotes
A1 Radio Free Europe 4:05 10
B4 Shaking Through 4:30 10
B2 Sitting Still 3:18 9
A5 Moral Kiosk 3:32 7
A6 Perfect Circle 3:30 7
A2 Pilgrimage 4:30 6
B1 Catapult 3:55 4
A4 Talk About the Passion 3:23 4
A3 Laughing 3:58 4
B3 9-9 3:05 3
B5 We Walk 3:01 2
B6 West of the Fields 2


Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:28 (ten years ago) link

It's a toss-up for me between "Sitting Still", "9-9" and "West of the Fields".

Z S, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:30 (ten years ago) link

i think i like side A better

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:30 (ten years ago) link

had this on cassette and used to let it flip over and over and over again in the car. i voted Shaking Through because i wanted it to have at least 1 vote.

brotherlovesdub, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:32 (ten years ago) link

I used to like side A better, but I've come to really love the other side over the past few years.

Z S, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:38 (ten years ago) link

the production on A is perfect.little less on B
both sides have great songwriting though. and Stipe's voice.

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:42 (ten years ago) link

Pilgrimage

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:45 (ten years ago) link

This is one of those albums where 6 or 7 songs (Radio, Pilgrimage, Talk, Moral, Perfect, Sitting, 9-9) have been my absolute favorite at one time or another. If I were to pull it out today and play only one song it would probably be "Talk About the Passion," but I voted for "Moral Kiosk."

Hideous Lump, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:47 (ten years ago) link

<3 moral kiosk

Matt P, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:47 (ten years ago) link

Shaking Through, though I say that with some embarassment, and though the real answer is obviously Radio Free Europe. Why don't I own this record, or have any of these songs anywhere? It was the first "college rock" (or alternative or whatever we were calling it back then) record I ever really paid attention to. I loved it to DEATH, played it incessantly, hundreds of times on infinite reapeat until the tape sounded like deep sea diving, and it opened a lot of doors for me -- I'd previously been into, like, The Buggles and Dire Straits. By far the most beautiful, distinctive and cohesive record in R.E.M.'s catalog, though Reckoning comes close.

Suggest Ban Permalink (contenderizer), Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:57 (ten years ago) link

Came close to picking Moral Kiosk.

Suggest Ban Permalink (contenderizer), Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:58 (ten years ago) link

i chose Laughing cause of the zero mentions so fat

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:59 (ten years ago) link

but R.F.E will win i guess

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 18:59 (ten years ago) link

Toss up between "Radio Free Europe," "Perfect Circle," "Sitting Still," "9-9," and "West Of The Fields." Ended up voting for "Perfect Circle" even though the opening 30 seconds of "West Of The Fields" might just be my fave R.E.M. ever.

"9-9" live >>>>>> "9-9" studio

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:23 (ten years ago) link

For my money they never came close to touching this again. Reckoning, life's rich pagean, etc. are all fine. Great, even. But Murmur and Chronic Town are pretty unfuckwithable as a mission statement(s).

Tepted by radio, but I know if I listened to it now I could easily be swayed

my inbox so hot (will), Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:36 (ten years ago) link

Kinda disappointing that, having made the statement, they ended up choosing an entirely different mission.

Suggest Ban Permalink (contenderizer), Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:48 (ten years ago) link

Passion is the best example for Easter and Dixon masterfull complex production:it's like a 4 different parts of productions (on the verse,chorus,bridge and instrumental) and playing style sticked together smoothly for 1 song.
other songs got it too,blending post punk and folk at the same song (Laughing for example) without sounding unpleasent.

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:50 (ten years ago) link

9-9 (but I was pleased as punch when they dusted off West of the Fields at the show I saw this summer). Most of this record is better than Radio Free Europe. Waiting for someone to make a case for We Walk.

dad a, Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:54 (ten years ago) link

it's the only song will Bill Berry on the billiard table

Mr. Que, Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:55 (ten years ago) link

with

Mr. Que, Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:55 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, production really is incredible. I couldn't put a name to what they were doing at the time (this record being my introduction to "post-punk" music), but it blew me away. All the ambience, distance and textural obsession of Martin Hannett's Factory style, but softened, sweetened, blurred into a dreamy haze. That "chock chock" sound the chorus of Moral Kiosk...

Suggest Ban Permalink (contenderizer), Thursday, 11 December 2008 19:55 (ten years ago) link

^^^Damn right.

But WHAT??? YOU WANT ME TO PICK A FAVE TRACK ON THIS??? WHAT???? DOES. NOT. COMPUTE. &*()&$*()#)_@!+@ {{{{HEAD EXPLODES}}}}

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Thursday, 11 December 2008 20:02 (ten years ago) link

"I couldn't put a name to what they were doing at the time "

hard to put a name for it even today i think.
there are some great examples of production layers, atmosphere and ideas (Eno,Buckingham), but not with influences like patti smith,modern lovers,byrds and gang of four on them

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 20:02 (ten years ago) link

(sell also:Easter work with Scott Miller)

Zeno, Thursday, 11 December 2008 20:04 (ten years ago) link

Contenderizer I just attempted to email you through the ILX webmail system. Look for it.

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Thursday, 11 December 2008 20:18 (ten years ago) link

check

Suggest Ban Permalink (contenderizer), Thursday, 11 December 2008 20:30 (ten years ago) link

A great album throughout, but still has to be "Radio Free Europe".

Geir Hongro, Thursday, 11 December 2008 21:42 (ten years ago) link

this was already remastered by MFSL and sounded awesome, how does the new one sound? anyway still probably my favorite REM album by a hair, I have lots of these songs in my head all the time, it's kind of their catchiest album with the best tunes. I'llhave to think what I like best.

akm, Thursday, 11 December 2008 23:49 (ten years ago) link

Catapult easily.

NewBeefLover, Thursday, 11 December 2008 23:53 (ten years ago) link

impossible

D'Andrelo, the gay white ex-con (Pillbox), Thursday, 11 December 2008 23:54 (ten years ago) link

ooh yeah catapult

My vote could alternately go to RFH, Pilgrimage, Passion, P. Circle, Catapult, Sitting Still or Shaking Through. This is just one of those albums that's so good that you're all like "Ooh, this is my favorite song" and then the next one cues and you're all like "Waitaminnit, this one.."

An embarassment of riches.

D'Andrelo, the gay white ex-con (Pillbox), Thursday, 11 December 2008 23:59 (ten years ago) link

*RFE

D'Andrelo, the gay white ex-con (Pillbox), Thursday, 11 December 2008 23:59 (ten years ago) link

shaking through

kamerad, Friday, 12 December 2008 00:24 (ten years ago) link

^^^

mookieproof, Friday, 12 December 2008 00:26 (ten years ago) link

Eno and Buckingham are accurate production touchstones. Even in the rather ashen original CD remaster, you can loads of shit on headphones: high-hats, an unmoored harmony, a tack piano.

Voted for "Catapult." The only song I don't care for is "We Walk," and I can't think of a good reason why.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 12 December 2008 00:32 (ten years ago) link

Shaking Through, for so many reasons; to name just two: it has one of the best opening lines ever, and the 'wordless' middle 8 that has such an intensity

Dr X O'Skeleton, Friday, 12 December 2008 00:36 (ten years ago) link

voted sitting still

akm, Friday, 12 December 2008 00:37 (ten years ago) link

Not sure if this needed a remaster, I haven't heard any but the original IRS LP & CD I own, and I like the muddy dynamics work for it. Also, my vote went to "Moral Kiosk".

derelict, Friday, 12 December 2008 00:45 (ten years ago) link

Not a bad track on this record but come on, people, it's "Pilgrimage."

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 12 December 2008 02:05 (ten years ago) link

If you haven't found their 1983 performance of RFE on Letterman... well, what are you waiting for??

that's not my post, Friday, 12 December 2008 04:20 (ten years ago) link

:-( I was really looking forward to doing this poll!

Doctor Casino, Friday, 12 December 2008 05:00 (ten years ago) link

But, anyway, fucking amazing album that I've maybe worn out a bit, but it still sounds great every time. Hard to really have original words about it at this point. In a really hyperbolic web review ("unique churn and mumble") I once wrote this about Stipe's voice:

On this record, it's a complete smokescreen, protecting meaning within a layer of armor on top of the loopy semi-sense of the lyrics themselves.

and this stuff:

But listening to the album, I can't put my finger on just what gives me this overwhelming sense of specialness and magic. Certainly a few songs are key: the loopy "9-9" is perhaps the album's unacknowledged masterpiece, sliding all over the place like it's about to bust its gearbox as Stipe repeats, mantra-like, strange and fearful words [...] The album would also feel far more pedestrian without the upsy-daisy "We Walk," which is so friendly it's sinister, and of course the muffled, driving kickoff, "Radio Free Europe," which seems to have about as much to do with Radio Free Europe as "9-9" does with the number 9.

Of course, don't let all this talk of mystery and hidden treasure let you think that this is some quiet, introspective album. It's full of wonderful nooks and crannies, but it is at heart a rock and roll barnstormer - check out "Moral Kiosk," and "Catapult," two out-of-control trains about to jump the tracks.

So, yeah. When I first got into this album it would have been "9-9" easy, and that's still the best rock song on here, the most Chronic Town thing in the bunch - but it's "Laughing" that I picture when I think of listening to this album, on a cassette walkman wandering around Oxford on study abroad, having no particularly deep appreciation for anything around me but totally digging on flowers, sunshine, and the way the whole world seemed to open up ahead when you have music on headphones and Stipe intoning "Lighted, lighted..." I'm falling back on the same hyperbolic tone as before, which is enough to smother the song I'm afraid. Anyway it gets my vote.

Doctor Casino, Friday, 12 December 2008 05:06 (ten years ago) link

REM - "Pilgrmage"

Doctor Casino, Friday, 12 December 2008 05:11 (ten years ago) link

moral kiosk is the enduring favourite, though i like all the tracks on this album immensely

Charlie Howard, Friday, 12 December 2008 06:23 (ten years ago) link

I'll bet "Talk about the Passion" doesn't get a vote.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Friday, 12 December 2008 07:06 (ten years ago) link

no idea what to vote for, since i like all the songs but i also like them all best in context with each other. lots of great intros on this record: the opening of "r.f.e," obviously, but also the way "laughing" starts out all stark and bass-y before turning pretty, stipe's voice drifting in from some dark corner on "pilgrimage," the big chiming picked chords on "talk about the passion," the nervous hihat on "shaking through." they knew how to start a song.

tipsy mothra, Friday, 12 December 2008 07:48 (ten years ago) link

the big chiming picked chords on "talk about the passion"

And the arpeggios!

One of my favorite noodly warmup things on an acoustic. And the reason I voted for it :-)

Passenger 57 (rogermexico.), Friday, 12 December 2008 08:12 (ten years ago) link

there is really so much good shit on this album. i'm lovin it

Matt P, Friday, 12 December 2008 08:17 (ten years ago) link

xpost haha that first bit made no sense... edit failure :o

Passenger 57 (rogermexico.), Friday, 12 December 2008 08:21 (ten years ago) link

One of my favorite noodly warmup things on an acoustic. And the reason I voted for it :-)

24 years after figuring out how to play it, "Sitting Still" is STILL the song I play when I'm checking out a guitar.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 12 December 2008 09:02 (ten years ago) link

"Sitting Still" is like their version of a Who song from 1966.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 12 December 2008 09:03 (ten years ago) link

"Sitting Still" on Showtime's Rock Palace show in 1984. I still have the tape I recorded of this when it first aired.

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Friday, 12 December 2008 09:15 (ten years ago) link

What is Rainn Wilson doing, lying there all sweaty at the beginning of that clip? Is he reeling in post-coital bliss?

D'Andrelo, the gay white ex-con (Pillbox), Friday, 12 December 2008 14:36 (ten years ago) link

could've picked any of 8 tracks, went "Shaking Through"

Dr Morbius, Friday, 12 December 2008 14:42 (ten years ago) link

"Sitting Still", a lot easier of a choice than I thought it would be. I love this song so much. In my most rockist days I made a mixtape that I called something like "the history of punk" or something similarly idiotic, and this was the last song. In my ridiculous drunk on beauty liner notes I scribbled something like "this song is the emotional culmination of punk". The thought is incoherent and I can't justify it, but I still think of the song as punk, and have always had a hard time understanding why this record got compared to the Byrds rather than the Clash or, as said above, the Who. I've listened to the Hib-Tone version of the song a lot more than the original recently, and I like it more: there's a harshness in Stipe's voice that works better than the sweetness in the Murmur version (same's true for me with the A-side, "Radio Free Europe").

After "Sitting Still" I'd probably vote for "Talk About the Passion", which meant a lot to me in high school when I spent a lot of time carrying the weight of the world (or at least talking about doing so).

Euler, Friday, 12 December 2008 15:30 (ten years ago) link

Okay, I'm voting for Perfect Circle, but only because that's the words that would come out of my mouth if someone pointed a gun at my head over it, and because I dread RFE winning. Still, just fuck anyone who wants to listen to ONE track on this album at any given time. It needs to be heard in its entirety.

Cheap Uptown Dirt (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 14 December 2008 10:29 (ten years ago) link

Also, what is the synth noise at the beginning of Radio Free Europe??? HANNETT ANYONE???

Cheap Uptown Dirt (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 14 December 2008 10:42 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 15 December 2008 00:01 (ten years ago) link

Voted for Pilgrimage in the end, btw.

Cat-Wrangler (Pillbox), Monday, 15 December 2008 07:04 (ten years ago) link

i've voted for "we walk". it's nothing like the rest of the album and it's kind of cheeky in that way.

the next grozart, Monday, 15 December 2008 10:20 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 00:01 (ten years ago) link

Wow, I knew "West of the Fields" wouldn't do that well, but I didn't think it would do that badly. I'm glad my vote at least made it tie for last with something else. I think my true favorite may be "Moral Kiosk" though.

Z S, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 00:09 (ten years ago) link

you haven't quite got the hang of this poll business, eh?

flavors of funyun (Roberto Spiralli), Tuesday, 16 December 2008 00:20 (ten years ago) link

Why won't it let me vote anymore?!

Z S, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 00:49 (ten years ago) link

woulda voted laughing

Mr. Snrub, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 02:37 (ten years ago) link

You cannot fuck with this album.

Mr. Snrub, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 02:38 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Thanks to Euler above for turning me on to the Hib-Tone version of "Sitting Still," which I somehow never knew about before! I'm not sure it's better, but like the single "Radio Free Europe" it has a welcome metallic punchiness. Wish it was on "Chronic Town."

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 04:58 (ten years ago) link

Shaking Through is my least favorite on the record. Therefore, I am slightly displeased with the results of this poll.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 14:32 (ten years ago) link

On the other hand, hooray for Shaking Through.

served by boot-face (contenderizer), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 15:36 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, I don't understand the high placement of that song either.

With Oatmeal Sauce (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 17:21 (ten years ago) link

Oh damn, so much harder than the LRP poll. I would have voted "Sitting Still" probably. Can't believe "Laughing" was so low.

landfill spectre (wanko ergo sum), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 19:17 (ten years ago) link

Perfect Circle wuz robbed

Ye Mad Puffin, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 19:22 (ten years ago) link

ok wtf, here's the order in which I'd have ranked them, could we poll for second, third, etc. I don't really get the love for "Shaking Through" as it's kinda an embarrassing Stipe vocal but maybe that's the appeal? I don't really feel the ballads on this one anyway so maybe that's what I'm missing. Also fuck yeah on the Hib-Tone "Sitting Still", metallic punchiness is a nice way to put it.

B2 Sitting Still 3:18 9
A2 Pilgrimage 4:30 6
B1 Catapult 3:55 4
A3 Laughing 3:58 4
A4 Talk About the Passion 3:23 4
A1 Radio Free Europe 4:05 10
B5 We Walk 3:01 2
B3 9-9 3:05 3
A5 Moral Kiosk 3:32 7
A6 Perfect Circle 3:30 7
B4 Shaking Through 4:30 10
B6 West of the Fields 2

Euler, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 21:56 (ten years ago) link

Shaking Through is totally embarassing, borderline Everybody Hurts, but it runs me through nonetheless.

served by boot-face (contenderizer), Tuesday, 30 December 2008 21:59 (ten years ago) link

you people embarrass too easily

kamerad, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 23:15 (ten years ago) link

two months pass...

I just bought & listened to this album recently, and I was surprised at how much I didn't take to it. Like seriously, I thought it was going to be like Chronic Town (which brought the awez), and instead it reminded me of highly unengaging albums like Document and Out of Time...

to these ears: Remy Zero's first album>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Murmur.
I guess I just don't get it

I am Robertson Speedo (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 26 March 2009 18:50 (ten years ago) link

DAM: Had to be there, maybe? I dunno. I was just floored when I first heard Murmur in the mid 80s (I discovered R.E.M. late). That energy and jangly guitar and big beat and gothic Southern vibe all sounded familiar, but somehow like it was floating in from outer space.

Too bad they've fallen so far since their pretty-damn good mid-career stuff.

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:05 (ten years ago) link

Had to be there, maybe?

yeah, that's what I'm thinking...I heard and liked Fables decently and Chronic Town and Automatic are amazing, but I'm beginning to suspect that I think R.E.M. is shit...

I am Robertson Speedo (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:13 (ten years ago) link

You really need to distinguish between early-R.E.M., mid-career R.E.M., and late-career R.E.M. They're fairly distinct, in terms of their sound and the quality of their work.

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:17 (ten years ago) link

early = CT + first four albums

mid = Document thru Up

late = everything afterwards...

is this what you mean?

I am Robertson Speedo (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:26 (ten years ago) link

I'd put Up in late-career (everything after Bill Berry left). Otherwise, yeah.

Daniel, Esq., Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:27 (ten years ago) link

stuff I like from all 3 periods:

Chronic Town EP, Driver 8, prolley a couple other trax from Fables, Disturbance from the Heron House, King of Birds, Strange - the Wire cover, Losing My Religion, Texarkana, Shiny Happy People (mainly for Kate Pierson), ALL of Automatic, What's the Frequency Kenneth?, E-bow the Letter

I am Robertson Speedo (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:33 (ten years ago) link

only E-Bow the Letter, Driver 8, and the Chronic Town EP are on a patch with that first Remy Zero album tho...

I am Robertson Speedo (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 26 March 2009 19:35 (ten years ago) link

four years pass...

Does "We Walk" have a vibraphone? I don't remember hearing it before!

timellison, Monday, 30 December 2013 04:19 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

not gonna blow anyone's minds here but what a fucking album am i right

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Sunday, 17 March 2019 21:37 (seven months ago) link

You're completely correct, of course!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Sunday, 17 March 2019 21:50 (seven months ago) link

seven months pass...

empty prayer, empty mouth

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:28 (one week ago) link

cambien du temps?

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:29 (one week ago) link

take the steps to dash a worried heart

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:31 (one week ago) link

When I was in high school, I assumed a "moral kiosk" was one of those four-sided bulletin board things (with little roofs to keep the flyers dry) you see on college campuses... because R.E.M. was a "college band"

jeanie bueller energy (morrisp), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:32 (one week ago) link

combien, combien, combien du temps

Michael Stipe and I were in the same Elementary French class in 1980; he sat very quietly in the back and seemed to be hiding under his long hair. While I was struggling with pop quizzes, he was probably writing cool lyrics.

Brad C., Tuesday, 5 November 2019 21:42 (one week ago) link

somehow gets better every time i listen to it

american bradass (BradNelson), Saturday, 9 November 2019 18:05 (three days ago) link

it’s an incredible album, there’s nothing else quite like it

Titanic was cliched Marxist crap. (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 9 November 2019 18:40 (three days ago) link

I always imagine Lucy in her booth, dispensing advice to Charlie Brown, whenever I think of the phrase “Moral Kiosk”.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Saturday, 9 November 2019 19:16 (three days ago) link

Brad C., that’s awesome!

quinn morgendorffer stan account (morrisp), Saturday, 9 November 2019 19:18 (three days ago) link

Minty breath, minty mouth
It’s Gumby in reaction
Minty breath, minty mouth
Talk about the passion
Gumby in
Gumby in
Gumby into town

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 9 November 2019 19:42 (three days ago) link

Lol

Irae Louvin (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 9 November 2019 19:53 (three days ago) link

he was probably looking out the window murmuring “combien de temps?”

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 9 November 2019 20:14 (three days ago) link

I remember our TA very sweetly congratulating him on a story in the student paper about his band

from early 1980 to the release of Murmur was a long time in R.E.M. years

Brad C., Saturday, 9 November 2019 20:31 (three days ago) link

It must have been astonishing to watch their trajectory after that. And the B52s of course.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 9 November 2019 20:32 (three days ago) link

we were such tiny children we took it for granted

the B-52s were the only frame of reference and they were rarely in Athens by that time

Brad C., Saturday, 9 November 2019 20:39 (three days ago) link


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