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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “Life and How to Live It”: This has a soft, folksy feel to it, a good contrast from the previous songs.
- “Old Man Kesey”: This song was cod written by Stipe’s friend Jeremy Ayers. It’s got a good rhythm.
- “Cant Get There From Here”: This song is such a banger! I think this is where R.E.M. starts to get good.
- 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.
- “Kohoutek”: This song is named after the comet, and is one of their earliest love songs.
- “Auctioneer (Another Engine)”: This has a good edge to it.
- “Good Advices”: Another good song with some strong lyrics from Stipe about trust.
- “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.