Google+ Followers

Search This Blog

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Rewind: 1996 New Adventures in Hi-Fi - R.E.M.

New Adventures in Hi-Fi - R.E.M.
Warner Bros. Records
Produced by Scott Litt and R.E.M.
Released 9th September (Europe)/10th September 1996 (US)
US Chart #2
UK Chart #1 (their 4th in a row)


I can remember hearing R.E.M. back when they begun getting noticed in between 1983-86 and never being too fussed with them. Maybe they just caught me at a bad time or maybe I just heard tracks that didn't move me but when they signed with Warner Bros. and released Green I sat up and took notice (and bought a ticket for Wembley Arena).

Three number one albums followed Green (which for me is still their best album..."But what about Murmer, Reckoning, Fables, Pageant and Document?" I hear you say!...maybe it's just because it was the first one that I really heard and loved to bits)...Out of Time, Automatic For The People and Monster. And then there was this album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi. It was their tenth album and it's one that has always left me scratching my head wondering what on earth to make of it. It doesn't have the same grasp on me that previous four did.

It was also the final album to feature drummer Bill Berry. He left the band in October 1997. Berry told the press, "I'm just not as enthusiastic as I have been in the past about doing this anymore . . . I have the best job in the world. But I'm kind of ready to sit back and reflect and maybe not be a pop star anymore." Stipe admitted that the band would be different without a major contributor: "For me, Mike, and Peter, as R.E.M., are we still R.E.M.? I guess a three-legged dog is still a dog. It just has to learn to run differently." Not sure how big a factor it was but his leaving I felt R.E.M. began slipping a bit. Their following albums were all Top Ten in the UK but musically I thought they seemed to have lost their way a bit. I can't fully explain what I'm getting at but then again maybe it's just me.

The Hi Side
    "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us" – 4:31
    "The Wake-Up Bomb" – 5:08
    "New Test Leper" – 5:26
    "Undertow" – 5:09
    "E-Bow the Letter" – 5:23
    "Leave" – 7:18

The Fi Side
    "Departure" – 3:28
    "Bittersweet Me" – 4:06
    "Be Mine" – 5:32
    "Binky the Doormat" – 5:01
    "Zither" – 2:33
    "So Fast, So Numb" – 4:12
    "Low Desert" – 3:30
    "Electrolite" – 4:05

Personnel
"How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us"
    Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States

    Bill Berry – drums, percussion, "ennio whistle"
    Peter Buck – guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, bass guitar
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, piano, backing vocals, synthesizer
    Michael Stipe – vocals, synthesizer

"The Wake-Up Bomb"
    Recorded live at the North Charleston Coliseum, in Charleston, United States on November 16, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – guitar
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, backing vocals, organ
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"New Test Leper"
    Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States

    Bill Berry – drums, percussion
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, backing vocals, organ
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Undertow"
    Recorded live at the Fleet Center in Boston, United States on October 3, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – guitar
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, backing vocals
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"E-Bow the Letter"
    Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States

    Bill Berry – drums, percussion
    Peter Buck – e-bow guitar, electric sitar
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, backing vocals, organ, Moog synthesizer, Mellotron
    Patti Smith – vocals
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Leave"
    Recorded at a soundcheck at the Omni Theater in Atlanta, United States on November 18, 19, or 21, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums, acoustic guitar, synthesizer
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – guitar
    Scott McCaughey – ARP Odyssey
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, keyboards
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Departure"
    Recorded live at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, United States on June 6 or 7, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – guitar
    Mike Mills – fuzz bass, backing vocals, Farfisa organ
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Bittersweet Me"
    Recorded at a soundcheck at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, United States on November 7, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Scott McCaughey – piano
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, organ, Mellotron
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Be Mine"
    Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – bass guitar
    Mike Mills – guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Binky the Doormat"
    Recorded live at the Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix, United States on November 4, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums, backing vocals
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – guitar
    Scott McCaughey – Farfisa organ
    Mike Mills – fuzz bass, backing vocals, keyboards
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Zither"
    Recorded in the dressing room of The Spectrum in Philadelphia, United States on October 12, 13, or 14, 1995

    Bill Berry – bass guitar
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – tambourine
    Scott McCaughey – autoharp
    Mike Mills – organ
    Michael Stipe – count in

"So Fast, So Numb"
    Recorded at a soundcheck at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, United States on November 15, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Scott McCaughey – piano
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, backing vocals, organ
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Low Desert"
    Recorded at a soundcheck at the Omni Theater in Atlanta, United States on November 18, 19, or 21, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – guitar
    Nathan December – slide guitar
    Scott McCaughey – piano
    Mike Mills – bass guitar, organ
    Michael Stipe – vocals

"Electrolite"
    Recorded at a soundcheck the Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix, United States on November 4, 1995

    Bill Berry – drums
    Peter Buck – banjo
    Andy Carlson – violin
    Nathan December – guiro
    Mike Mills – piano
    Michael Stipe – vocals

Singles from the Album
  1. "E-Bow the Letter"
    Released: August 27, 1996 US #49, UK #4
  2. "Bittersweet Me"
    Released: November 5, 1996 US #46, UK #19
  3. "Electrolite"
    Released: December 1996 US #96, UK #29
  4. "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us"
    Released: April 1997 Released in Germany only (where it didn't chart!)
  5. "The Wake-Up Bomb"
    Released: 1997 (promo only)
  6. "New Test Leper"
    Released: 1997 (promo only)
Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Popular Posts