For a lot of band­s, there’s one song that’s spe­cial be­cause it’s the first one you heard on the ra­dio and you thought Who’s that?! I don’t know if Can’t Get There From Here is my ab­so­lute fa­vorite R.E.M. song; Man on the Moon has great surge-and-flow, Los­ing My Reli­gion is the great­est car sin­ga­long ev­er. But any­how, it’s a fine piece of work.

Fables cover Fables cover

Side-note: The ti­tle of the song is in­con­sis­ten­t, some­times ap­pear­ing with the apos­tro­phe, some­times with­out.

This was in the ear­ly eight­ies, I had a long com­mute to work and at that point there was a Van­cou­ver ra­dio sta­tion that played in­ter­est­ing new stuff, and I heard a lot of later-famous bands there be­fore most peo­ple did. Can’t Get There ex­plod­ed out from be­tween the oth­er songs, some­how loud­er and brighter, even though I know pop mu­sic has its dy­nam­ic range com­pressed like hell so it al­ways sounds loud.

I read in Wikipedia that Fables of the Re­con­struc­tion (Can’t Get There‘s al­bum) was a pain to pro­duce, was poor­ly re­viewed, and didn’t sell that well, and R.E.M. re­mained cult-only for a few more years. Peo­ple are crazy, I think al­most ev­ery song is bril­liant; in par­tic­u­lar, Driv­er 8.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on iTunes, Spo­ti­fy, Ama­zon. There’s quite a bit of live video, but this Ger­man show from when the song was brand-new, al­beit with fuzzy video, is a re­mark­ably good per­for­mance, a re­minder how ac­com­plished a band R.E.M. was, com­bin­ing pre­ci­sion and Dionysian ma­ni­a. A treat. Al­so, Michael Stipe has hair.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Matěj Cepl (Feb 28 2018, at 01:55)

Don’t be such rock-only philistine and admit that you like “Shiny Happy People” and “Everybody hurts” as any normal person does!

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From: Matěj Cepl (Feb 28 2018, at 12:02)

Oh well, so I wanted to use fancy word and I have screwed up. s/philistine/snob/

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