This Week in Music, May 14, 2013: Vampire Weekend’s sonic getaway Page 3
R.E.M.: Green — 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Remember the naysaying that dogged this album in some quarters after it was released in 1988? Well, today (to paraphrase E.E. Cummings), what I want to know is: How do you like your orange-covered Green now, Mister Dyed-in-the-Wool R.E.M. Fan?
I always loved it, and in hindsight (make that “hind-sound”), it’s even trimmer and tougher. The band brings a variety of sonics, including an acoustic/electric jangle (“World Leader Pretend”), three mandolin-breezy ballads (“You Are the Everything,” “The Wrong Child,” “Hairshirt”), a bubblegum crack (“Stand”), and a blend of the lot (the untitled Track 11). Mostly, though, R.E.M. brings the rock, in “Pop Song 89,” “Get Up,” “Orange Crush,” “Turn You Inside-Out,” and even the ramped-down “I Remember California,” all with the deep, rich sound that co-producer Scott Litt was helping the band to master.
The bonus CD in this two-disc edition has live performances from Greensboro, North Carolina, on November 10, 1989, the penultimate stop on the Green world tour. Very well recorded, it’s a punchy set taken at a fast clip, with 21 tracks in 80 minutes. (Yet there was still more: Five additional tracks were released on Record Store Day as the Live in Greensboro EP.) Somehow, amidst all the electricity, I most appreciate the moving versions of “Low” (a song that would appear on the next album, Out of Time) and “Perfect Circle” (from the band’s debut, Murmur).
You also get new liner notes by Allan Jones, individual photo cards of the band members, and a fold-out poster. You don’t get Elliot Scheiner’s 6-channel mix (or the various video extras) from the DVD-Audio edition of Green that was released by Warner Bros. in 2005. Unfortunately, that version is now deleted.
Other reissues and archival releases
Kings of Leon: The Collection Box (RCA/Legacy; shown above)
All five studio albums: Youth & Young Manhood, Aha Shake Heartbreak, Because of the Times, Only by the Night, and Come Around Sundown, each with bonus tracks previously available only on international editions. Plus the band’s 2009 concert DVD: Live at the O2, London, England.
Nick Drake: Bryter Layter (Universal Motown)
A box devoted to his 1970 album, here on audiophile vinyl. According to the sell sheet, it has been “remastered from near-original master tapes by the album’s original engineer, John Wood. For although the original tapes were unusable, Wood had made a safety copy of the album in 1970, and it is from this that the new reissue has been struck.” Also inside: the original shop poster, a smaller poster/brochure, and a reprint of a handwritten set list.
Gotye: Like Drawing Blood (Universal Republic)
American release of second album, originally issued in Australia in 2006.
The Breeders: LSXX (4AD)
In other words, the band’s 1993 album, Last Splash, in a 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition on three CDs.
Huey Lewis and the News: Sports (Capitol/UMe)
The 1983 smash in a 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Disc 2 has live versions of all nine songs.
Eleventh Dream Day: New Moodio (Comedy Minus One)
“Lost” album, recorded with Brad Wood in 1991 — a “parallel-world version” of 1993’s El Moodio.
Swamp Dogg: Gag a Maggott (Alive Naturalsound)
Irma Thomas: In Between Tears (Alive Naturalsound)
Diggin’ those Swamp Dogg reissues I told you about a while back? Here’s another one, from 1973. Song titles include “Choking to Death (from the Ties that Bind)” and “I Couldn’t Pay for What I Got Last Night.” The Thomas album, also from 1973, was produced by Swamp Dogg and features Duane Allman on two songs.