Sunday, April 1, 2012

R.E.M. - A Late Appreciation Pt. 2

Imagine my surprise yesterday. After starting this way-after-the-fact appreciation of a band that broke up a while ago, I see that another guy has written his own series of written tributes. And his are much wordier, more serious, and more fitting for a great band. Oh well.

At any rate, one of the reasons R.E.M. ws important to me is that they were my gateway band. Remember, when they first started, hair metal was the rock standard. Bands like Scorpions, Motley Crue, and Ratt ruled the airwaves, at least in my town on rock radio, and that's what I listened to and liked. Well, okay, I never enjoyed Motley Crue, their vocalist wss terrible, but I still kinda like Ratt - Round and Round is awesome(And hey, I think I'm going to post next about Dio!).

Anyhow, R.E.M. was definitely one of the bands that I read about in CREEM that led me off the garden path. I read about this band from Athens with a mumbly singer, heard S. Central Rain, and was hooked. This led to searching out multiple artists -such as Wire, Let's Active, Robyn Hitchcock, Billy Bragg, Television, Minor Threat, The Byrds, Drivin' 'n' Cryin', and so on - heck, even listening to old Aerosmith. When I talked to Stipe and Mills, I expressed my surprise that they would cover Toys in the Attic, and they consequently expressed their surprise that I would find that cover unexpected. At any rate, my appetite for hair metal, hard rock or whatever you call it dwindled after I met R.E.M.

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