Google Play Free Song of The Day 9/17/2013

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R.E.M.

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It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

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R.E.M.

R.E.M. began to move toward mainstream record production on Lifes Rich Pageant, but they didn’t have a commercial breakthrough until the following year’s Document. Ironically, Document is a stranger, more varied album than its predecessor, but co-producer Scott Litt — who would go on to produce every R.E.M. album in the following decade — is a better conduit for the band than Don Gehman, giving the group a clean sound without sacrificing their enigmatic tendencies. “Finest Worksong,” the stream-of-conscious rant “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” and the surprise Top Ten single “The One I Love” all crackle with muscular rhythms and guitar riffs, but the real surprise is how political the midtempo jangle pop of “Welcome to the Occupation,” “Disturbance at the Heron House,” and “King of Birds” is. Where Lifes Rich Pageant sounded a bit like a party record, Document is a fiery statement, and its memorable melodies and riffs are made all the more indelible by its righteous anger. In other words, it’s not only a commercial breakthrough, but a creative breakthrough as well, offering evidence of R.E.M.’s growing depth and maturity, and helping usher in the P.C. era in the process. [EMI’s deluxe 25th Anniversary Edition of R.E.M.’s 1987 commercial breakthrough Document is housed in a flipbox similar to the previous deluxe reissues of Fables of the Reconstruction and Lifes Rich Pageant, and contains a remastered — and possibly remixed, as it sounds considerably bigger and brighter, with more prominent vocals, than before — version of Document paired with a full concert given in Utrecht, Holland on September 14, 1987, just as the supporting “Work” tour for Document was beginning. Apart from a roaring “Little America” — a song not often played in concert — the live show doesn’t have much in the way of surprises, but it’s a very entertaining set, heavy on selections from Pageant and Document and an effective portrait of how muscular, forceful, and good R.E.M. were at their late-’80s peak.

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