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The songs on LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT are listed out of order on the packaging. Two songs on the record, "Underneath The Bunker" and a cover of the Clique's "Superman," aren't listed at all.
R.E.M.: Michael Stipe (vocals); Peter Buck (guitar); Mike Mills (bass); Bill Berry (drums).
Recorded at The Belmont Mall, Belmont, Indiana.
Coming after the dark and arty FABLES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION, 1986's LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT was R.E.M.'s first tentative step towards the rock & roll mainstream. At the time, Don Gehman's production sounded shockingly bright and commercial, but, in hindsight, the album is clearly a dry run for the impending commercial pinnacle of GREEN, OUT OF TIME, and AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE. The gorgeous "Fall on Me" (an ecological meditation featuring a spectacularly pretty chorus sung in counterpoint by Michael Stipe and Mike Mills) remains the record's best-known track. However, it is a quartet of harder-rocking songs--"Begin the Begin," "Cuyahoga," "Just a Touch" (which quotes Patti Smith's 1975 deconstruction of "My Generation") and a giddy cover of the Clique's psych-pop obscurity "Superman" sung by Mills--that points towards the Georgia band's more emotionally direct and musically loose future. LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT has been largely overshadowed by its more commercially successful follow-ups, but it remains one of R.E.M.'s strongest albums.

  • Genre: Rock
  • Format: Vinyl
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