• Is there anyone out there who still likes REM? (The band, not the sleep state).

    Thought I'd ask this as a spin-off from @Anastasia-Smith's post about over-rated musicos (though I concede that REM might not be over-rated: as ever, I'm happy to be schooled).

    I find it fascinating. In the 90's, REM was seen as a kind of ultra-respected super-band, on a par with U2 ...but now they've faded right into the background. At one point, I had a rare, translucent-green vinyl copy of the 'Green' album, and 'Legends of the Reconstruction' (or whatever it was called) as a rare import. What I did with them? Gave them away in 1999. Not a problem.

    The thing is, REM made some excellent catchy and soulful tracks, but unfortunately they're synonymous with the sound of Michael Stipe's stupid whiney voice. If the songs had been sung by a different lead singer, say, Neil Hannon or Neil Finn, everything would've been fine.

    And the annoying thing is, think of the 90's bands that were just below REM in the popularity stakes. Beck. The Eels. Garbage. The Bad Seeds. Surely they're far more deserving the hype that was spewed on REM's head? Instead what we're left with is every franchise pop station giving Stipe a weekly royalty check that amounts to tens of millions just because he's got a farty, whiney duck voice. Also, look at his face. He looks like Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds. That ain't normal.


  • @Indrid-Cold I absolutely do still like them, and would have loved to see them if they were still going. "Up", which most folk seem to look down upon, is one of my favourite albums of all time. Deep, moving, soulful, without any catchy poppy twaddle which occasionally tainted some of their earlier records.

    Conversely, how could I forget about U2 on @Anastasia-Smith's post? Are they not the most over-rated band ever? They had some really decent tracks in their early career but by the time the mid to late 90s hit it felt as if they had completely stopped trying.

  • @Matt_Aranha Well. I agree with you about Neil Diamond being over-rated but disagree about U2 --and I know that's a bit of a Q-reading / dad-rocky opinion to have. In my humble opinion (as a gobshite), they've been consistently good. Even naff or chart-bait tracks like 'Kiss Me Hold Me Kiss Me Kiss Me Kill Me' or Hands that Built America have a certain charm. Are they in bed a bit too much with corporate America? Yeah, but aren't we all? Is Bono a dick? Well, yeah. But so is Tom Cruise, but that doesn't stop some cool films coming our way.

    You say they stopped trying by the late 90's. So that suggests to me you still kinda like Zooropa, right? I can live with that as a cut-off point.

  • @Indrid-Cold Nothing at all wrong with Dad rock sir. Hell, I still quite like REO Speedwagon, but that's a conversation for another day 😂

    I don't click with Zooropa, however many times I listen to it. I can still appreciate elements though; much prefer occasional later tracks. I even had "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" on transparent red 7" (not to be confused with Gloria Estefan's cover of "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" - I would have been interested to hear how her covering U2 might have sounded...).

    Still, as much as it is beyond me they're obviously doing something right else they wouldn't be so consistently huge.

  • @Matt_Aranha said in Is there anyone out there who still likes REM?:

    Still, as much as it is beyond me they're obviously doing something right else they wouldn't be so consistently huge.

    I know, right? I often wish people like George Ezra will quickly get a huge back catalogue so I can enjoy them without worrying it's one-hit-wonder territory.