The first time I had heard of REM was when I was a freshman in college. That was the fall of 1986 and Life's Rich Pageant has just come out. I was literally blown away. Every single song on that album - and I do mean album - was fantastic. How had I not heard of these guys?
I remember having my record player (yes I am old) set up in my dorm room - I played this record until it started to get screwed up and I had to buy another copy. I think I might have the vinyl in my basement.
I specifically remember planning a night where I bought a bunch of beer and had a few friends over and the whole goal was to listen to the album ten times in a row. College.
I think I saw them twice or three times when I was at school.
I am hearing now that they will be remastering Life's Rich Pageant.
This is a tough sell for me. I still remember pretty much every note of this album and I am not sure I want it to change. Life's Rich Pageant completely changed the way I thought about and listened to music, and I bet that album affected scads of other people my age in the same way. I will probably listen to the remix, but I don't think it will give me the same feeling it did 25 years ago.
Of course after hearing Life's Rich Pageant, I had to get the rest of the REM recordings, which were also awesome. Those first four albums of REM are probably my favorite block of music put out by anyone, anywhere.
Then REM sucked. Out loud. Document was a pretty good album, but you could see the writing on the wall. Then Losing My Religion, Shiny Happy People and all that bullshit. It wasn't REM to me anymore. To me it will always be about the old stuff. I hope they do a good job remixing Life's Rich Pageant, but I don't think it will measure up to the old vinyl. Just hard to tinker with perfection.