Ranking the Discography: R.E.M.: Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

Fables of the Reconstruction was the first album recorded outside the United States, as it was recorded in the UK. Its producer was Joe Boyd. The album had a Southern Gothic theme, and had three singles. The album reached #28 in the US, and #35 in the UK.

The Tracks:

  1. “Feeling Gravitys Pull”: The album starts with this great hard-edged track. The guitar has a good rough sound to them. The song is about falling asleep while reading.
  2. “Maps and Legends”: This song was dedicated to Rev. Howard Finster, who designed the sleeve for the previous album. It has a good jangle to it. I like the harmony from Mills.
  3. “Driver 8”: This song has some rural imagery in it. It has a good tempo. This song’s video received lots of MTV airplay, although we still have a ways to go before R.E.M.’s breakthrough.
  4. “Life and How to Live It”: This has a soft, folksy feel to it, a good contrast from the previous songs.
  5. “Old Man Kesey”: This song was cod written by Stipe’s friend Jeremy Ayers. It’s got a good rhythm.
  6. “Cant Get There From Here”: This song is such a banger! I think this is where R.E.M. starts to get good.
  7. Green Grow the Rushes”: This song alludes to a folk song and was something both Michael and (now) former 10,000 Maniacs lead singer Natalie Merchant did by both writing songs about the genocide of the Native Americans.
  8. “Kohoutek”: This song is named after the comet, and is one of their earliest love songs.
  9. “Auctioneer (Another Engine)”: This has a good edge to it.
  10. “Good Advices”: Another good song with some strong lyrics from Stipe about trust.
  11. “Wendell Gee”: Peter Buck hated this song, saying the banjo solo was the only good part. Even so, it has a good piano solo.

Final Verdict: This album has some signs of the darker tones REM adopted on later albums. This is a good start for R.E.M.’s growth.

Grade: A


Author: rocklobsterjwt

I am a Christian and an anime fan. My blog will cover anime reviews and maybe an occasional story

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