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Vinyl

Vinyl love: R.E.M. “Automatic for the people”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: R.E.M.
Album Title: Automatic for the people
Year released: 1992
Year reissued: 2017
Details: 25th anniversary, 180 gram vinyl

The skinny: Unlike the focus of last week’s ‘Vinyl love’ post in this mini R.E.M. series, there was no hesitation in pulling the pre-order trigger when the 25th anniversary vinyl reissue of the band’s eighth studio album was announced. Much like the other two we’ve seen thus far, it was pressed to 180 gram vinyl and remastered, this time from the original analog masters, and man, does it sound great. “Automatic for the people” was recorded by the band while its predecessor was still climbing the pop charts and further making the band a household name. This one also did very well critically and commercially but it’s noticeably darker and in my mind, more cohesive. “Automatic” is, without comparison, my favourite R.E.M. album. Each side is perfectly balanced. I love every tune. There are no weak links. I have spun it countless times since I received it in the post almost five years ago and I imagine it will forever remain the record by this band that will hit my turntable the most.

Standout track: “Nightswimming”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: R.E.M. “Monster”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: R.E.M.
Album Title: Monster
Year released: 1994
Year reissued: 2019
Details: 25th anniversary, 180 gram vinyl

The skinny: Working backwards chronologically through my collection of R.E.M.’s records from last week’s post, we arrive with a jarring rip and roar at their 9th studio album. It’s yet another 25th anniversary reissue and it won’t be the last as we make our way in reverse. As I recall, I purchased this record online through Amazon, back when I still trusted them to ship me vinyl in one piece and back when it was still possible to purchase records for under $25. To be honest, I almost didn’t buy this one when the reissue was first announced and can’t remember now what changed my mind. But I am glad I did. It is remastered and pressed to 180 gram vinyl and sounds way better than I remember it sounding when I first played the CD copy I purchased back in university. “Monster” was an obvious shift for the Athens, Georgia quartet to a more harder rock sound and got them dusting off the cobwebs and heading out on the road for their first tour in five years. I personally didn’t see them on that particular tour but listening to these songs yet again, I can only imagine how on fire they must’ve been.
Standout track: “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?”

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: R.E.M. “New adventures in hi-fi”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: R.E.M.
Album Title: New adventures in hi-fi
Year released: 1996
Year reissued: 2021
Details: 25th anniversary, gatefold sleeve, 2 x 180 gram vinyl

The skinny: Just a day over three weeks ago, I signed off from work, from social media, and from blogging on these pages for a much needed vacation. And while I can’t say it was restful time away, it was good for the soul nonetheless. Last weekend, in particular, placed me in Tarannah to find something to do to celebrate my birthday so I dragged my wife downtown to explore one of its many neighbourhoods and it just so (coincidentally) happened to be where Rotate This, one of my favourite record stores, is located. Being my birthday, my wife patiently waited outside for me while I went in to browse the wares. I came out with the new-ish 25th anniversary pressing of R.E.M.’s 10th studio album, “New adventures in hi-fi”. Not only was this the last album recorded with founding drummer Bill Berry and the last in a series of successful collaborations with producer Scott Litt, but it’s also the only album out of those that I consider ‘must haves’ from the band’s discography that was as yet missing from my vinyl collection. (Hmm… I smell the beginnings of a new ‘Vinyl love’ series…)

Standout track: “Leave”