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R.E.M. Remasters, Expands Murmur For November Release

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I've been waiting for the Deluxe Re-issue announcements to start pouring in for Christmas 2008.  Of course if you watch TV or read the news, you're probably under the impression that Christmas has been canceled this year.  You lot isn't going to buy anything, so why bother celebrating?

Anyway, I've been waiting for an announcement from Camp Springsteen that a 30th Anniversary Darkness On The Edge of Town would be released.  That looks very unlikely.  Instead, we have a 25th anniversary Murmur being released November 25.

Disc 1 is the album, remastered.  I'm crossing my fingers that the remaster has been done by somebody other than Jacknife Lee on a Pogo Stick or one of these other assclowns who thinks remastering is code for jack up the volume.  I'm not optimistic, though.  It seems every remaster gets louder and more compressed.  I've looked for information about who did the remaster but so far have come up empty.  We'll keep an eye on this.

The treasure of this set, the only reason anyone is going to buy it, is the second disc.  Disc 2 is a 16-track performance from Larry's Hideaway in Toronto from the Murmur tour.  In addition to most of Murmur being played, we get early performances of songs that would later surface on Reckoning and Life's Rich Pageant. There are a couple songs from Chronic Town and a Velvet Underground cover.  This second disc has the potential to be a real gem of a historical audio document for R.E.M. obsessives.  I can't wait to hear it.

Now, let's bring out Debbie Downer, as 11 calls her.  The Larry's set was 20 songs the night it was played, meaning 4 have been trimmed and "Wolves, Lower," "Moral Kiosk," and "Pretty Persuasion" among them.  That is fucking criminal.  Shenanigans.  The reason the four songs were cut is that, presumably, the show went something on the order of 80+ minutes, more than a conventional CD can hold.  Of course, Disc 1 had plenty of room for the first 4-5 songs.  They could have given us the full show.  They should have given us the full show.  Shenanigans!

This is still likely a recommended purchase, but it could have been a whole lot more.

 

Disc 2 (Live at Larry's Hideaway):

 

01. Laughing
02. Pilgrimage
03. There She Goes Again
04. 7 Chinese Bros.
05. Talk About the Passion
06. Sitting Still
07. Harborcoat
08. Catapult
09. Gardening at Night
10. 9-9
11. Just a Touch
12. West of the Fields
13. Radio Free Europe
14. We Walk

15. 1,000,000
16. Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)

Larry's Full Set List:
01. Wolves, Lower
02. Moral Kiosk
03. Laughing
04. Pilgrimage
05. Moon River
06. There She Goes Again
07. 7 Chinese Brothers
08. Talk About the Passion
09. Sitting Still
10. Harborcoat
11. Catapult
12. Pretty Persuasion
13. Gardening at Night
14. 9-9
15. Just a Touch
16. West of the Fields
17. Radio Free Europe
18. We Walk
19. 1,000,000
20. Carnival of Sorts

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    oh fer gawdssakes…they cut Moral Kiosk? i wish i didn’t know that.

  • http://www.popgeek.org Matt

    Yeah, that no-show by the Darkness 30th anniversary set for this holiday season is a real bummer. He should make up for it by announcing Tracks 2, packed to the gills with Darkness outtakes.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    WTF, I bought all the expanded IRS discs when they added b-sides and live tracks years back. I ain’t doing it again. Harumph!

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Has there been an actual announcement that Darkness 30 is NOT coming? If so, I haven’t heard it.

    -Glen

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    Exactly, El B. In exchange for some new they take away stuff they already gave us. I don’t like it. They also failed to take advantage of the space they had and cut out some great stuff that people would want to hear.

    Matt, I’m hoping you’re right. Glen, I’ve not heard an official “no” but it’s getting close to the point where no news is no release.

  • JC Mosquito

    There’s a live REM boot called So Much Younger Then that has earlier material yet – does anyone know if any of those songs ever made the studio?

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    What are some of the track names, JC? I’ll ask my R.E.M. encyclopedias 11 and S.Rod.

  • Leslie Bohn

    I believe this is the document that used to be called Athens 81, which is just awesome and crazy and raw and cannot be easily reconciled with, say, Up.

    It’s got, um, Body Count, Permanent Vacation, Chained to the Wall, Sheherazade… that one? Legendarily, it’s a whole show from a place called Tyrone’s in Athens, but some of the songs’ sound qualities never matched on the versions we used to listen to obsessively instead of going to class. Long ago.

  • http://themidnightcafe.org Mat Brewster

    How can this be both awesome and sucky? Why can’t bands freaking release full shows? How hard is it?

  • JC Mosquito

    Yep – Body COunt, etc. – that’s it.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    I’m looking forward to the live disc, but there is NO WAY IN HELL the album disc is going to supersede the MFSL version. That thing is a revelation.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    There is probably a 0.0% chance they’ll use the MSFL master, and that’s a shame. I’d be excited for that even with an abbreviated show if they did.

  • MArk

    there were a few boots with those old songs.

    bodycount
    sheherazade
    lisa says

    and more

    they were

    “so much younger then”

    and “bodycount at tyrones”

    the sound quality on BAT is much better if you ask me. Also on the iTunes Essentials there are a few re-recorded songs from back then.

    sadly no new version of Narrator though…..

  • MArk

    question. do the MFSl cd’s sound as good as the LP’s?

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    I have not personally heard either version on vinyl, but the MFSL version of this album reportedly sounds better than the original LP – the master used for both LP and CD were both pressed with the bass rolled off, which the MFSL reinstates, and it sounds great! Very worth seeking out (and this and Reckoning can be found for relatively low prices, by out-of-print MFSL standards, anyway.) I would guess this deluxe is going to at least go back to the original master and correct the bass. I’ll be curious to see some reviews, as I’m waiting for Christmas on this one.