Earlier in the week, I was trying to decide which John Coltrane cut I was going to post tonight, given that this would have been the saxophonist’s 85th birthday. Then, well, news happened. R.E.M. announced it was disbanding, which means Trane got pushed aside.
Sorry John (although the guys at R.E.M. are big fans of yours, I hear).
I came to R.E.M. relatively late, at least compared to a lot of folks here in Georgia. But from my first exposure I marveled at their distinctive sound and the fact that somehow, they could come off both lush and economical in their music. Their lyrics were special as well, often funny if absurdly opaque, reaching for and sometimes attaining poetry.
More than any band I can think of, you always wanted to know what their next album would sound like, because it was bound to head off in a new and interesting direction. Following their career was a musical adventure, and after 31 years it has now come to an end.
Thanks, guys. Here’s one of my favorites, as much because of the memories it inspires as much as the music itself:
– Jay Bookman