Posts Tagged ‘Warner Bros Records’

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Although James Taylor released his debut album for the Beatles’ Apple Records in 1968, it wasn’t until his second LP, 1970’s “Sweet Baby James” for Warner Bros Records, that most audiences were introduced to the singer-songwriter. The album, featuring such Taylor songs as “Fire and Rain,” “Country Road,” “Blossom,” and the title cut, was a significant success, commercially–it reached No3 on the U.S. sales chart–and critically–it received a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year from his peers.

By late 1969, folk musician Henry Diltz had been photographing many of the biggest recording artists in Southern California, in Los Angeles’ burgeoning Laurel Canyon music scene for several years, and had become a top choice for publicity pictures and album cover photos. He famously shot the cover for Sweet Baby James, which remains one of his very favourites. “Peter Asher called me one day and asked if I could come to his house and photograph this guy that he was producing,” he says. After experiencing success as one-half of the British pop vocal duo Peter and Gordon, Asher had become an executive for Apple Records and signed Taylor. He ultimately resigned his position with the label to become James Taylor’s manager.

“I went over and as I walked into the living room,” says Diltz, “James was sitting on the far side, sort of behind the piano with his back to the window, finger-picking ‘Oh, Susannah’ on his guitar. And being a musician, it just absolutely blew me away to hear this music box version of the song.” Taylor was still just 21 years old on this December 1969 day. “I couldn’t even believe it. It was angelic,” recalls Diltz. “I kind of sunk down in front of him and asked if he would play it again. The first pictures I took of him, he was sitting there.” The photographer then suggested that they “go outside somewhere” and they went over to a friend of Diltz’s who had a place called “The Farm.”

“It was kind of a musical commune,” he says. “There were little sheds, little outhouses and things. So we took pictures there. It was very quiet. We weren’t talking much. And at one point James leaned on this big post. He’s a tall guy and he leaned on it and it filled my frame… my horizontal frame… in a perfect way. I thought, ‘Holy cow… I’m taking black-and-white, because they wanted publicity pictures.’ “So I said, ‘Wait a minute, James, don’t move.’ “And I picked up my colour camera because in my mind I was thinking I want to show this in my slide shows for my hippie friends and I wanted to show this picture that was blowing my mind.”

“And when Peter saw those, he showed them to Warner Bros. and it became the cover. The art director blew it up, it was kind of grainy, and he cropped it into a square. Inside that was a pull-out, black-and-white, that had the lyrics on one side and it was like 12×24 when you opened it up and on the other side was that black-and-white picture of him from elbow to elbow, leaning on that post as a horizontal shot the way it ought to be. And that’s one of my absolute favourite portraits.”

Sweet Baby James was released just two months after the photo shoot, in February 1970. “Years later, when I see that photo on the wall, I love seeing that picture of James.

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Van’s third solo album, November 1970’s His Band and the Street Choir, will never be considered one of Van’s grand statements, but it holds its place as a necessary piece of the Van Morrison puzzle. And is cherished by many Van the Man fans, who should enjoy this remastered and expanded near gem.

The songs on Street Choir are relatively compact and seemingly quite well-adjusted. Any allusions to being a “stranger in this world” appear to have been quelled by the band who achieve a perfect groove. “Domino” so immediately announces its ease of execution that Van can’t help but glide over the backing band with a sense of freedom so contagious that every listener floats on its merry wave. This sense of camaraderie among the players – enforced by the album’s photos taken at a birthday party for Peter, the son of Van Morrison’s then-wife Janet Planet – enabled Van to nail down several songs that had previously eluded him, including “Domino,” that hailed from the Astral Weeks-era of November 1968, according to Cory Frye’s informative liner notes.

The album itself was meant to capitalize on Van’s current hot streak withMoondance, whose single “Come Running” peaked at #39. His manager, Mary Martin, convinced him to return to New York’s A&R Studios, only a month after that album’s release. Working with the stellar core group of guitarist John Plantania, saxophonist Jack Schroer, bassist John Klingberg and the addition of keyboardist Alan Hand, trumpeter/organist Keith Johnson, and tour drummer Dahaud Elias Shaar (aka Daoud Shaw and David Shaw). Van rehearsed in an old church in Woodstock, NY, before laying down the official tracks in the studio. Martin’s instincts proved correct, as the album’s first single, “Domino,” went to No#9, Van’s highest charting pop hit in the U.S., passing “Brown Eyed Girl” (#10) by a notch.

His Band and the Street Choir is another beautiful phase in the continuing development of one of the few originals left in rock. In his own mysterious way. Van Morrison continues to shake his head, strum his guitar and to sing his songs. He knows it’s too late to stop now and he quit trying to a long, long time ago. Meanwhile, the song he is singing keeps getting better and better.”- John Landau,

The Album also called “Street Choir”  was the fourth solo album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It was released on 15th November 1970 by Warner Bros. Records. Originally titled “Virgo’s Fool”  but was renamed by Warner Bros. without Morrison’s consent. Recording began in early 1970 with a demo session in a small church in Woodstock, New York. Morrison booked the A&R Studios on 46th Street in New York City in the second quarter of 1970 to produce two sessions of songs that were released on His Band and the Street Choir. Reviewers praised the music of both sessions for its free, relaxed sound, but the lyrics were considered to be simple compared with those of his previous work. Morrison had intended to record the album a cappella with only vocal backing by a vocal group he called the Street Choir, but the songs released on the album that included the choir also featured a backing band. Morrison was dissatisfied with additional vocalists to the original quintet that made up the choir,

Compared to the meditative beast that is Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972), with its twin 10-minute-plus epics, “Listen to the Lion” and “Almost Independence Day,” or the complete return-to-Ireland masterpiece that is Veedon Fleece (1974), Street Choir feels less ambitious. However, one should never discount Van’s handling of more succinct material. The Fats Domino homages are obvious (“Domino,” “Blue Money”) and slightly under the radar (“Give Me a Kiss”) and occasionally come across as workmanlike. But considering the Belfast fireplug’s impulsive phrasings and his behind-the-beat inclinations are always just an Irish Heartbeat away from creating an alternative Ulster R&B universe, it’s worth giving him his genre exercises. Besides, pianist Alan Hand works double-time to ensure everything rolls as it should.

Anyone versed in Van’s career knows he doesn’t stay in one place for long and no amount of Fats Domino love is going to contain him. Street Choir’s best moments –besides the ease of “Domino,” the Curtis Mayfield sweetness of “Gypsy Queen,” and the meditative acoustic revelry of “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” – come from the full-band blast-off of “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” where all is pure locomotion with Van on tenor sax, “Virgo Clowns,” where loosely doubled vocals create a rare-but-effective moment of joy from the legendary crank, and the closing duo of “If I Ever Needed Someone” and “Street Choir,” where Van teases out a George Harrison sentiment to the breaking point and Keith Johnson’s organ takes the title track to the next astral plane.

Essentially, it’s A-minus Van Morrison, which is still light years beyond all but ‘A’ list artists like the Stones, Kinks, Dylan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Sonics and Stooges. The original album packed 12 songs with no room for the improvisational sidetracking that makes his A-plus discs impossible to beat. At the same time, the album came just eight months after its predecessor and 11 months before its followup, Tupelo Honey. It wasn’t like Springsteen or Paul Simon who took lifetimes between releases. Despite Van’s masterful reach, he’s never treated any of his work as so precious that it had to be shined a thousand ways before final release. If something isn’t working, he moves on to something else and saves the idea for another day. Van’s genius is rarely in the writing. As a lyricist, he’s often lazy and as a songwriter he rarely ventures beyond the usual chords. Though he’s done more with two chords than most musicians do with a full arsenal. Van’s genius is in the execution.

The bonus tracks – alternate takes of “Call Me Up in Dreamland,” “Give Me a Kiss” and “Gypsy Queen” and alternate ‘versions’ of “I’ve Been Working” and “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too” (distinctions between ’takes’ and ‘versions’ not apparent) – mostly offer unvarnished, simpler takes that since not chosen were not subjected to overdubs.

Regarding these bonuses, all are welcomed, though none shock the system. (Inexplicably, the seventeen-minute instrumental “Caledonia Soul Music” was eliminated from the final product.) The alternate version of “I’ve Been Working” is mildly quicker and looser with an extended sax solo in its mid-section. “I’ll Be Your Lover, Too,” the album’s most meditative and heartfelt cut, puts Van’s vocal right in your ear, without the mild studio reverb of the official track and with yet another superlative performance. “Gypsy Queen,” the first cousin to Moondance’s “Crazy Love,” begins with several false starts before aiming for – and landing in – the heavens. It’s another fine alternate take that illustrates how Van had these songs where he wanted them at this point and could at any moment out-sing just about anyone not named Stevie Wonder or Al Green.

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Tom Petty’s solo masterpiece, “Wildflowers”, will be getting an expanded release. The news was confirmed by his daughter, Adria Petty, in an interview  (June 25) on the Tom Petty Channel on SiriusXM. The collection, still referred to as “the Wildflowers project,” “is still not ready,” but a first release – a home demo of his “You Don’t Know How it Feels” – was premiered on the channel during the interview.

With some reported estate squabbles settled, the project is being overseen by Adria and her sister AnnaKim, in conjunction with Petty’s widow, Dana, and the Heartbreakers. Though the LP’s 25th anniversary passed in 2019, fans will likely savour what’s to come. Adria Petty was careful not to make a hard promise on a specific date for the release but the team is aiming for 2020.  In the years since Tom Petty released his landmark Wildflowers album, much has been said about the Rick Rubin-helmed sessions and how much unreleased material was left behind as the album evolved.  Petty originally had enough songs to release Wildflowers as a double-album – reportedly with at least 26 songs – but was persuaded against it.  In 2015, he released a preview track, “Somewhere Under Heaven,” for the release provisionally entitled Wildflowers: All The Rest.  But the collection was shelved after his death.

An expanded release of Wildflowers has been discussed for quite some time. Adria Petty said, “[We look forward to putting] this masterpiece in the framing that it deserved.” The finished set will include home recordings and demos. The team decided to put the “You Don’t Know How it Feels” demo out now because “fans have been waiting for this for such a long time,” she said.

“We don’t have my dad’s brilliant ears and eyes,” she said, “but as we were playing the demos, this one put everyone feeling really good. We get to [hear] my dad unpolished. This song is really cool because you see it coming right out of his notebook.”

The long rumoured projected had often been referred to as Wildflowers and All the Rest.

The news had been teased on Petty’s website and on YouTube, which featured an image of a wolf-like figure dressed in human clothing with the phrase “Most Things That I Worry ‘Bout Never Happen Anyway,” a lyric from the album’s “Crawling Back to You.” As a result, the members of the Facebook group Tom Petty Nation spent much of Thursday afternoon speculating on what the release would entail.

Tom Petty died on October 2nd, 2017, one week to the day after he and the Heartbreakers completed their 40th anniversary tour.

“Wildflowers”, was called Petty’s “finest hour as a recording artist and darkest as a songwriter.” The November. 1st, 1994 release was his 10th album and first under a new contract with Warner Bros. Records. Among the original’s 15 songs are such Petty favorites as “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” “You Wreck Me,” “Time to Move On,” and the beautiful title cut “Wildflowers”.

The Muffs - Blonder And Blonder

The Muffs’ debut hit the scene in 1993, and was an instant smash. Any fear that they could follow it up successfully was answered when Blonder And Blonder arrived two years later. The Muffs burst onto the California music scene at the beginning of the ’90s, and after a few independent singles and EPs, they were quickly snapped up by Warner Bros Records. Entering the studio with David Katznelson and Rob Cavallo (who would go on the helm records from Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, and more), The Muffs roared from speakers across the country in 1993. According to renowned critic Jim DeRogatis, “You’d have to reach all the way back to Blondie’s Plastic Letters to find punkish power pop this endearing.

If you’re curious why so many sing the praises of the late, great Kim Shattuck, “Blonder And Blonder” is the perfect place to start. The Muffs’ second album sees the screamer-guitarist joined by bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald, and the trio bash out these 14 Shattuck originals with spirit and skill. Green Day producer Rob Cavallo knows more than a little about punk-pop, and together with the Los Angeles band helms this collection, whose catchy hooks, droll lyrics and instrumental fury shine on such highlights as “Agony,” “Oh Nina” and single “Sad Tomorrow.” The Reprise set turns 25 this weekend, and any alternative rock fan will have more fun with “Blonder And Blonder”. 

The band propelled by Shattuck’s material to even greater heights, and Blonder became the band’s biggest selling album.
Omnivore Recordings is proud to present this ’90s milestone on CD with 7 bonus tracks (2 U.K. B-sides, and 5 previously unissued Shattuck demos) and on LP for the first time in over two decades.
Like 2015’s reissue of The Muffs, debut album the full-color packaging includes photos, drawings, memorabilia, and essays from Barnett and McDonald, as well as, track-by-track commentary from Shattuck. 21 years later, Blonder And Blonder still sounds as vital and visceral as it did upon its original release. Face it, you to have this record in your collection.

Reuniting and issuing their first new release in a decade last year, garnering critical lauds and playing to enthusiastic crowds, it’s time to go back to where it all started. It’s time for The Muffs!

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Prince Daddy & the Hyena’s ability to transform rock-bottom defeatism into a raucous group activity. “Lauren (Track 2)” was, without a doubt, among the most fun song released in 2019, and the way Prince Daddy carry this energy over to other tracks on the album Cosmic Thrill Seekers, where Kory Gregory opens “Trying Times” by bellowing about how “every day’s been a bad day for so long,” or wails lines like “stupid fucking life, it’s only getting harder” moments before a killer outro on “Klonopin,” signals an optimistic turn for a genre that often invites isolation among its listeners.

Even the softest moments on Cosmic Thrill Seekers such as the acoustic intro to opener “I Lost My Life,” or the mid-track breather on closer “Wacky Misadventures of the Passenger”—are disrupted by Gregory’s yawps before heavy electric guitars hit as hard and unexpectedly as the depression that fueled so much of the record’s lyrics. There’s never really a moment of peace, but such brief periods of seemingly personal anxiety spouted by the vocalist are immediately filled by a massive support system in the form of Gregory’s dense backing band, at times even featuring a full brass section. The cyclical structure of the album—“Passenger” transitions smoothly back into track one—has been widely noted for its analogue to mood cycles, but there’s been little talk about the group-therapeutic nature of the record’s sound.

For plenty of bands of this caliber, an album is just a springboard for hectic live shows. But Cosmic Thrill Seekers offers anyone who feels pretty confident that they’ll die the next time they’re alone in their bedroom an opportunity to thrash in each others’ company.

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Neil Young has announced that his previously shelved 1975 album, “Homegrown”, will finally be released in early 2020 following its restoration from the master tapes.

“Homegrown will be our first release in 2020, sounding great in vinyl – as it was meant to be,” Young wrote on Neil Young Archives. “Made in the mid-nineteen seventies! …A record full of love lost and explorations. A record that has been hidden for decades. Too personal and revealing to expose in the freshness of those times. The unheard bridge between the albums Harvest and Comes A Time, Homegrown is coming to NYA first in 2020!”

The Neil Young Archives homepage also shows a video of Young’s longtime engineer John Hanlon mastering Homegrown in an analogue chain. “This is the way records were made when we started out. This is the way we made them sound great. We were told that this was impossible now, the Homegrown tapes were too damaged to use; we had to use digital. We didn’t agree. We did not accept. We painstakingly restored the analogue masters of Homegrown.”

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The Shelters fan a fresh flame with classic fuel on their second full-length, “Jupiter Sidecar”. Ebbing and flowing between rock ‘n’ roll roots, surf swagger, synth swells, and unassuming pop ambition, the Los Angeles-based group thread it all together with catchy melodic hooks. This approach quietly cemented them as a fan and critical favorite following the release of their self-titled full-length in 2016, which was produced by Tom Petty.

The Shelters returned to his Malibu studio to craft Jupiter Sidecar and to mourn the loss of their friend and mentor – and in the process learned to rely on one another like never before.

Band Members
Chase Simpson,
Josh Jove,
Sebastian Harris

New album Jupiter Sidecar out now!

Tuscaloosa (Live)

Neil Young culled highlights from his February 5th, 1973 concert at the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with The Stray Gators for a new live album entitled “Tuscaloosa”, which is due out on June 7th via Warner Bros Records. The first single from the seven-track LP is a slow and beautiful version of “Don’t Be Denied.”

This is the next installment of Neil Young’s ongoing archival series, a concert he played with the Stray Gators simply titles “Tuscaloosa”, it will come out on a single CD and a three-sided vinyl album with etched artwork on side four.

“It’s from the period right around Harvest and Tonight’s the Night,” said Young,  “For me, it’s edgy. It’s like those mellow songs with an edge. It’s really trippy to be down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and singing those songs from Harvest and the songs that we were doing for Time Fades Away before it came out. I found this thing and it had such a great attitude to it. I just loved the whole night, so I put that together with [engineer] John Hanlon.

Neil Young + Stray Gators “Don’t Be Denied” from the upcoming album ‘Tuscaloosa” Available on June 7th.

Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis  has released an infectious new single titled “Wasted Youth” from her forthcoming album “On The Line”, due out Friday, March 22nd. Jenny Lewis releases her fourth solo album, On The Line – the follow up to 2014’s critically acclaimed The Voyager on Warner Bros. Records.

The 11 all new original songs were written by Lewis and recorded at Capitol Records’ Studio B, and feature a backing band of legendary talent including Beck, Benmont Tench, Don Was, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr and Ryan Adams. The track, which sounds like vintage memorabilia in new packaging, was previously debuted during Lewis’ live-streamed hangout session/listening party for On The Line.

Other advance tracks from the album include “Heads Gonna Roll” and “Red Bull & Hennessy.” Utilize the present and listen to “Wasted Youth” below,

‘Wasted Youth,’ ‘Heads Gonna Roll’ and ‘Red Bull & Hennessy’ comes from Jenny Lewis’ new album ‘On The Line’ – available March 22nd!

Indie idol and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis has released her third solo album, titled On the Line. It’s a masterful and sprawling record, sometimes devastating and other times soaring to great emotional heights. Lewis manages to convey a complete portrait of herself as an artist who has been through the gauntlet of rock stardom and made it to the other side vibrantly, loudly alive.

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Happy birthday to R.E.M.’s farewell de force ‘Collapse Into Now’, released on this day in the US on 8th March 2011. “We were doing the last record, Collapse Into Now. We hadn’t made an announcement or anything,” guitarist Peter Buck told Rolling Stone in 2016. “We got together, and [singer] Michael [Stipe] said, ‘I think you guys will understand. I need to be away from this for a long time.’ And I said, ‘How about forever?'” Michael looked at [bassist] Mike [Mills], and Mike said, ‘Sounds right to me.’ That’s how it was decided.”

Scott McCaughey, who’d been a touring member of the band with the late drummer Bill Rieflin for years, didn’t even know. “I just thought we were carrying off the high we were on from [2008’s] Accelerate and the fun we were having being a band and just making another record,” McCaughey said in Tony Fletcher’s R.E.M.: Perfect Circle. “I knew it would be the last record in the [Warner Bros.] contract, but to me that didn’t mean anything necessarily.”

R.E.M. finally confirmed their split six months after Collapse Into Now arrived on March 8th, 2011, and then the album was seen in an entirely different light. Every song, every word, even every element of the recording process – the drawn-out attempt to find the right studio, a belated decision to add some key guest stars – was scrutinized anew. Turned out Stipe wasn’t waving hello on the cover. They started sessions in a surprisingly loose fashion, considering the weight of the moment. After demoing at producer Jacknife Lee’s Jackpot! Recording Studio in Portland, they officially got underway with a series of lively jam-like sessions at a renovated warehouse in New Orleans called the Music Shed. A holdover from the Accelerate album along with engineers Sam Bell and Tom McFall, Lee oversaw the completion of a series of early-take tracks over just a few weeks. “It could have been Accelerate Part 2,” McCaughey said  “because we had a real brace of two guitars-bass-and-drums songs.”

Sessions for Collapse Into Now started back in early 2009 with songs worked up with interesting titles such as ‘After Ski At Timberline Lodge’, ‘Rusty In Orchestraland’, ‘Victim Of Psychic Surgery’ & ‘Sounds Of The Big Racers’..., (the guys certainly having fun) eventually changing to more. For Collapse Into Now, R.E.M., which is singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, and bassist Mike Mills, re-teamed with Grammy Award-winning producer Jacknife Lee, who produced the band’s acclaimed previous album Accelerate. Lee is also noted for his work on albums by U2, Snow Patrol, The Hives, and indie stalwarts Kasabian, Editors, Aqualung, and Bloc Party. R.E.M. and Lee recorded the album in New Orleans at the Music Shed and in Berlin at the famed Hansa Studios, where several legendary albums, including David Bowie’s Heroes, U2’s Achtung Baby, and Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life, were made. Additional recording and mixing was done at the venerable Blackbird Studio in Nashville.

The band has also revealed that Collapse Into Now features some very special guests: Patti Smith, guitarist Lenny Kaye, Peaches, Eddie Vedder, and The Hidden Cameras frontman Joel Gibb.

“I guess a three-legged dog is still a dog,” said Michael Stipe when drummer Bill Berry quit R.E.M. in 1997. True, but a three-legged dog never triumphed at Crufts or the racetrack. Even so, the R.E.M. that recorded 1998’s Up (experimental, frequently beautiful), 2001’s Reveal (lush, frequently beautiful) only started listing badly on 2004’s Around the Sun, where a mystifyingly insipid production and sluggish mood got in the way of frequent bouts of beauty. Stung into action, they tore through 2008’s frequently thrilling Accelerate – but can an R.E.M. album ever feel like an event again?

The clock is indeed ticking for the band, this being their 15th album on their 30th anniversary. But Radiohead should be so lucky at this stage. Even if a lyric sheet on a R.E.M. album doesn’t feel right, Stipe’s words are alluring, enigmatic and provocative, free of rhetoric (the Hurricane Katrina aftermath of Oh My Heart notwithstanding). Unlike Accelerate, Collapse into Now is also free of a planned response to a predecessor. It’s as varied and deep as previous R.E.M. classics. It’s not epochal like Automatic for the People, but it can’t be. These are different times.

On that basis, the album kicks off like Accelerate Part Two, with Discoverer and All the Best incorporating that sinewy and keening R.E.M. rock thrust of old. There are also passages that are, yes, frequently beautiful. All five ballads get the tense, urgent delivery they deserve, and at best, Walk It Back show as they get older, R.E.M. are even better at gravitas, Oh My Heart’s accordion/mandolin undertow is an immediate earworm and Every Day Is Yours to Win is the kind of wistful lullaby often reserved for an album finale.

The closing track here is more in line with You from 1994’s Monster: Peter Buck’s guitar is drenched in fuzz, Country Feedback-style; Stipe’s spoken word diatribe and Patti Smith’s solemn incantation equally fire; and a surprise coda returns to Discoverer’s exuberant chorus. Before then, though, we’ve heard the first (non-session) guest men on an R.E.M. album. Every Day… features Eddie Vedder and The Hidden Cameras’ Joel Gibb on valiant backing vocals and Patti’s faithful guitar foil Lenny Kaye transforms Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter into something that’s virtually hard rock (Peaches adds lascivious vocal back-ups). Fun, maybe, but also overblown. Consider it the album’s only misjudgement. Fortunately, That Someone Is You follows in a more dutifully golden, Byrds-ian rush.

One of the great final gasps of R.E.M. is this stunning jam that stresses the idea of carpe diem. It’s about embracing the unknown and the changes that come from within. Musically, the whole thing brims with harmonies, hooks, and the kind of woodsy instrumentation that made the Athens outfit so iconic, but we’ll leave it to Stipe to explain the lyrical nature itself: “I wanted to picture an almost blunt outsider’s perspective – the experience of a guy who is walking through a city that is completely new to him and still very unfamiliar. I have combined these two words to express that. I don’t pretend being a German or a Berliner. Not at all. I just tried to figure out the mind of this outsider….” Well, there you are.

Buck reckons no R.E.M. in 20 years has 12 songs as good as this. 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi may have something to say about that, but Collapse into Now genuinely feels like their first post-Bill Berry album to resemble a four-legged dog. And that, folks, is an event. “We felt like we made a great last record,” Buck told Rolling Stone. “The last two records we made — I’m really proud of them. Accelerate is in my top five. But we got to the point where we wanted to go our own ways. We didn’t want to keep doing 20-year-old songs.”

R.E.M. were still a band. Talk of a split had not been made public. Behind the scenes, however, they’d already decided that 2011’s “Collapse Into Now” would be their final album.