Category: R.E.M.

Various Artists: Pensioners On Ecstasy

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Creation 1990.  CRELP 082

Discogs

Creation were in the habit of putting out endless badly compiled and pointless compilations whenever their bank balance was a bit low, which with Kevin Shields’ studio bills to pay, it often was.  This one is certainly badly compiled and some of the tracks are awful, but it isn’t pointless because there are some rare gems amongst the garbage.

First up is The House Of Love with a sublime live acoustic version of Shine On recorded live, apparently during one of Guy Chadwick’s meltdowns.  It was originally on a flexi given away at gigs, and Creation, being hopelessly disorganised had lost the tape, so this was mastered from a rather damaged flexi.  It sounds surprisingly listenable given the source and it’s well worth downloading the album for this track alone.

Next is a My Bloody Valentine rarity – an instrumental taken from a 7″ single given away free with the first few copies of Isn’t Anything.  It’s unlike anything else they recorded, in that it uses a drum loop – in fact the same drum loop Madonna later used on Justify My Love, and works really well.  It’s doubly welcome here because it sounds much better than the original 7″, although it has more recently been included as an extra track on the re-issue of Isn’t Anything.  The same comment applies to the excellent Momus track (I’ve posted a rip of the terrible sounding original 7″ already – this pressing is much better).

The rest are dodgy album out-takes and rejected singles.  Mostly it’s not hard to see why they were rejected, although if there are any bands here you particularly like, they’re worth having.  The Jazz Butcher track is rather good, but this Peel session version is inferior to the officially released one which I’ll post at some point.  Of interest is the Nikki Sudden track which was recorded with Peter Buck of REM – and anyway you can never have too much Nikki Sudden.

R.E.M.: Begin The Begin

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On Stage 1993 (Bootleg).  CD12033

Discogs

I uploaded this as a favour for someone, so thought I might as well put it in my blog too. It’s a bootleg of a 1989 gig in Florida which I bought years ago in the supermarket at the end of my road. An odd place to find a bootleg I thought.

To be brutally frank, I’ve never liked it much. The performance isn’t the best and neither is the sound quality. I think the studio albums are much better, and if you want a bootleg, there are better ones than this. However if you’re a fan it’s good to have.

Better stuff tomorrow I promise. Or maybe the day after – I’ll be at a film festival all day tomorrow.