R.E.M.: Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982 - 2011
FAIRLADY editor, Suzy Brokensha reviews R.E.M's most epic greatest hits album.
As retrospectives go, this particular compilation is difficult to beat, accessing as it does – for the first time ever – the entire back catalogue of the band, as well as three new tracks recorded after their last (ever) album. The brilliant title, which could probably apply to most things, is something that guitarist Peter Buck once said about R.E.M. in an interview - its humour, self-deprecation and warmth is indicative of the band itself.
When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone/when you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on. Don't let yourself go/everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes.
There are so many. R.E.M. have been around for nearly 30 years, after all, expertly managing that difficult balance between staying true to their roots (an intelligent College alt rock band) and creating hit after hit. I personally love The End of The World, because (name drop alert) I saw R.E.M. perform it live at a three-day rock concert in Europe on their first ever international tour (yes, it was years ago).
This is a spectacular album, and – seriously – if you are fan, you need to have it, not only for the music, although that is obviously brilliant, but for the intimate and revealing sleeve notes accompanying every track, written by one or more of the band members.
If you like this, try Bruce Springsteen’s Wrecking Ball.