Thursday, 22 September 2011

It's The End Of REM as We Know It (And I Don't Feel Fine)

So, REM. has broken up after 31 years. While it's always sad when a band breaks up,especially one as influential and great as REM, the band's output HAS been kinda stale lately, with only a few flashes of brilliance in their last two or three albums, but not enough to really make an impact.

Like it or not, Michael Stipe and co. will always be best known for being the early pioneers of alternative rock and their earlier music, which included some of the greatest songs ever in Rock and Roll.

Anyway, in tribute to the band, here's a list of my top five favorite REM songs. EVER:

1) Losing My Religion
Because life is bigger than you, and you are not me. This was just a song that I fell in love with the SECOND I heard that first sentence, and the way the lyrics just rolled off your tongue meant it was great to singalong to. Unfortunately, the radio stations back then BANNED the song (for obvious reasons), but I think BFM has been playing it lately. You wouldn't believe the lengths that I will go to to play this song (I considered playing it at my wedding hehehe). Oh no, I've said too much. Ok, I've said enough.

2) Everybody Hurts
For me, this is the ultimate break-up-recovery song. Everybody hurts, sometimes. It acknowledges your sadness, but tells you to stay hopeful and hang on. Everybody hurts, you are not alone. take comfort in your friends. And hold on. No matter how sad you feel, that rising 'Hold on, hold on' crescendo at the end of the song is guaranteed to lift you up and will give you the will to hold on no matter what. Fuck all those so called 'emo bands' today and their fake sadness. THIS was and still is the saddest yet most uplifting song ever written.

3) It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
That's great, this starts with an earthquake and then proceeds on to shudder and vibrate through some of the most awesome motormouth verses to sing ever. I used to be obsessed with motormouthed songs like this (others include Billy Joel's We Didn't Start The Fire, Barenaked Ladies' One Week, and Savage Garden's I Want You), and would spend days memorising the lyrics and singing along to the songs. I can still remember every single lyrics in these songs. Heh heh.

4) At My Most Beautiful
This is just a beautifully written love song. That's all.

5) What's The Frequency Kenneth?
This was the first song I'd heard after the greatness of Losing My Religion, and it instantly struck me how different it was from that other song (this was pre-Internet/torrents, so I could only rely on the radio to listen to their songs). I remember thinking, "who the fuck is Kenneth and what the hell is Benzedrine?". Again, this was pre-Google, so I couldn't just google the answers. But the lyrics stuck with me for years until I finally found out what they meant. Heh.


Sharon said...

Oh well. At least we'll always have their music to hold on to :).

KY said...

i would slot in "the one I love" somewhere in the list, but maybe it's just the Guitar Hero influence.

eyeris said...

The One I Love, Orange Crush, Imitation Of Life... there are are lot more, but these are my favorite five haha.

jeevs said...

The Imitation of Life video was big when MTV Asia kicked off in Malaysia in the mid 90s, what a visual feast!

For some weird reason I thought they were British till not too long ago...