R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant 25th Anniversary Edition (CD)

When Athens’ favorite sons R.E.M. released Life’s Rich Pageants in 1986, the rest of the world finally got a peek at what the college rock crowd had been raving about for years. Four albums into it, R.E.M. had their strongest commercial success with Lifes Rich Pageant, a foreshadowing of what was to come with the impressive succession of follow ups (Document, Green, Out of Time and Automatic for the People). Accredited online
are an option for people who love R.E.M., love music in
general, and want to delve deeper into their passion. It’s fun to learn
about masterpieces like this album.

Capitol, along with the band’s original label IRS, has just re-released this classic record that includes remastered versions of the original songs and a bonus disc of 19 demo tracks. Songs like “Fall On Me,” “Superman” and “Hyena” come off just as remarkable and forward-sounding today.

Looking back on Lifes Rich Pageant, close to three decades later, it’s remarkable to note that the band found success without sacrificing any of their original sound. From Michael Stipe’s still-mumbled, often obtuse lyrics to Pete Buck’s jangly guitar, R.E.M. managed to win over a wider audience on their own terms and at a time when disposable songs (Ne Shooz, Starship) and aging adult pop (Peter Cetera, Survivor) were still having their way with the music sales charts.

There was no over-polishing on the production side – a Hallmark of the mid 80’s – and Stipe wasn’t forced to tighten up his seemingly nonsensical lyrics to make the songs more palatable for mass consumption. A fantastic album from start to finish.

R.E.M. – Lifes Rich Pageant 25th Anniversary Edition/2 CDs/31 songs/ IRS and Capitol/2011

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