R.E.M. – Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011

And so here it is. The end of the road for one of the great bands, all wrapped up in 40 tracks.

I have, of course, got most of these on the actual albums, but sometimes a nicely sequenced compilation is what you need to get the feel of what a band’s about, or to remind you what you loved about them in the first place. All the usual suspects are present and correct – Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts, the much maligned Shiny Happy People, which I still enjoy for its exuberant daftness, and early favourites like Fall on Me.

But what I’ve been enjoying the most are those early tracks that I first heard on a cassette compilation[1] a couple of decades ago – Driver 8, and the nicely bracketed (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville sound better than I recall thanks to some remastering – I’m sure Michael Stipe’s vocals were never that distinct way back then. Or maybe it was just a bad cassette. And Talk About the Passion is still lovely with its haunting line

Not everyone can carry the weight of the world

It’s not all perfect – there was a bit of a quality dip along the way, but overall, this is a very good collection, whether as an addition to your collection, or as the only R.E.M. recording in it. Though you really should have Automatic for the People. That one’s compulsory.

[1] Note to younger readers. Cassettes were nasty fragile things containing spools of plastic tape coated with some magnetic substance. Their main activity was wrapping that tape around a horribly complicated mechanism and becoming scrunched up in such a way that the sound quality became intolerably bad. Not that it was all that good to start with in many cases.

2 thoughts on “R.E.M. – Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011

  1. alf stone

    Having looked at your previous musical contributions I never thought we would have anything in common musically but now this. I have loved REM since first hearing The One I Love on a radio programme and the first album I spent my hard earned cash on was Green. It is a shame that they are splitting after 31 years but it is perhaps better than doing a Rolling Stones and carrying on beyond bus pass age. I think compilations are great because they tell us what the band thinks is important but now I have a difficult decision do I visit a record shop or go on Amazon? I think a visit to Windows in the Arcade is long overdue.

    1. Les Post author

      My musical tastes are, err, varied. I got this one as a download from Amazon partly because they’re giving £2 vouchers for MP3s with any purchase over £10. But yes, Windows is a good place to go.

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