By 1985, Athens, GA-based group R.E.M. had already laid the groundwork for the alternative rock sound they helped pioneer with their two college radio-approved albums. They decided to switch things up a bit on their third album, Fables of the Reconstruction, by recording it in London with legendary folk-music producer Joe Boyd. Although the process ultimately proved uncomfortable for the band and its results were initially viewed by some fans as merely an interesting experiment, the record’s reputation has grown over the years, and it is now generally regarded as a masterpiece of Southern Gothic sounds.
The album’s eerie opener, “Feeling Gravitys Pull,” sets the tone for the record, replacing the band’s trademark jangle-rock sound with a moody tune complete with string quartet. Even the album’s singles, “Cant Get There From Here” and “Driver 8,” seem to be drenched in the murky humidity of the mythic American South.
Fables of the Reconstruction celebrates its 25th anniversary with a deluxe 2-disc set featuring a digital remaster of the album, as well as a complete run-through of the album in demo form, giving an inside glimpse of the album’s development. Also included are three other demos not included on the final album, including “Throw Those Trolls Away,” a song that has never before been released in any form. Whether you are a long-time fan of this unique album or hearing it for the first time, enjoy this classic R.E.M. reissue as part of KCRW’s Album Preview.
Official artist website: http://remhq.com
Fables of the Reconstruction will be available on-demand July 5 - August 3, 2010. The CD will be released Tuesday, July 13, 2010.
Listen to Disc One here.
Disc One: digitally remastered original album
1. Feeling Gravity’s Pull
2. Maps and Legends
3. Driver 8
4. Life and How To Live It
5. Old Man Kensey
6. Can’t Get There From Here
7. Green Grow The Rushes
9. Actioneer (Another Engine)
10. Good Advices
11. Wendell Gee
Disc Two: “The Athens Demos”
1. Auctioneer (Another Engine) [demo version]
2. Bandwagon [demo version] [final version was B-side to “Can't Get There From Here”]
3. Can’t Get There From Here [demo version]
4. Driver 8 [demo version]
5. Feeling Gravity’s Pull [demo version]
6. Good Advices [demo version]
7. Green Grow The Rushes [demo version]
8. Hyena [demo version] [album version appeared on Life’s Rich Pageant]
9. Kohoutek [demo version]
10. Life and How To Live It [demo version]
11. Maps and Legends [demo version]
12. Old Man Kensey [demo version]
13. Throw Those Trolls Away [demo version] *previously unreleased
14. Wendell Gee [demo version]