What does it sound like?:
This is a taster for the “R.E.M. at the BBC” box set, documenting their various radio sessions, live broadcasts and TV appearances. It’s a little bit of an odd release, in that I’m not really sure who it’s aimed at. The casual punter is more likely to pick up a best of, while R.E.M. fans will surely go for the full box set, which is a nine disc monster with four live concerts (from 1984, 1995, 1999 and 2003), two discs full of recordings for radio sessions, and a DVD compiling their various appearances, including a full episode of Later devoted to the band. Frankly it looks brilliant, and I’m buying it tomorrow.
This two disc abstract is divided into “Sessions” and “Live” discs, and highlights from the relevant areas of the box set is unsurprisingly what you get. Up was a difficult album to love, a departure into fussy experimental flourishes that never quite landed (I know for some people it’s a favourite, but it’ll never be mine) but here it benefits the most, the strength of the songs coming through much more clearly in these stripped down versions. ‘Lotus’ in particular stands » Continue Reading.