Thursday, January 11, 2007

RIB's Reading List: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Crock

Jen's parents bought me The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, edited by a blind man named Michael Heatley. After a cursory search, I couldn't find it on Amazon, so no link.

Her folks have done a great job of getting me rock books - I am currently reading another one they got me, the Neil Young bio Shakey by Jimmy McDonough, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Jonathan Cott-edited Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews. I like TDIEoR well enough, too, but I have to take everything it says with a grain of salt after reading the following in the bio of much-blogged-about-by-me-lately R.E.M.:

Reveal (2001) was a return to the Automatic harmony formula, yielding strong singles like 'Daysleeper'. Around The Sun (2004) sounded like a bad painting by numbers for the first time with 'Bad Day' literally repainting 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It'.

Um. Not quite.

For those of you who aren't R.E.M. nerds, Daysleeper was the first single from Up (1998), not Reveal (the book makes this mistake twice, actually listing "Reveal, 'Daysleeper'" among R.E.M.'s "CLASSIC RECORDINGS" on the opposite page). And Around The Sun, while indeed like a bad painting by numbers, does not include Bad Day, a non-album track that was originally a demo from the Lifes Rich Pageant (1986) sessions and was later re-recorded for their Best Of album, In Time. (Additional note: Known for years as (PSA) Bad Day, the unfinished song actually was re-worked into It's The End Of The World As We Know It, making it a precursor, not a rehash.)

Yes, I am a music geek and a longtime R.E.M. fanatic. But this is just plain lazy, if not wholly negligent. And not very definitive.


Anonymous said...

That's why Document is the most successfull album.. it has Losing my religion on it!

(Btw.... you can put Daysleeper wherever you want.. it will always be the worst REM song ever....)

Ciao Matty!


Matthew said...

karma for silvy ;)

(aerdnA) said...

The best song in reveal is that one Michael sings with that singer Patti LaBelle, I think the name is Shiny Happy People, right?

That's one of a kick ass song.

Mary said...

I liked it when they put out "The Superbowl Shuffle." That's the one with Patti Smith, right? Yeah, that one.

Unknown said...

Daysleeper is a great song I says. And I am so totally right and you are all so totally wrong if you say something else.

Scott said...

Also I dont see Reveal as being a return to the Automatic for the People sound. If anything, Around the Sun is closer to that.