are directly expressing romantic sentiments for the first time.
They sign with a major label, Warner Brothers, but only after securing an ‘assurance of total creative freedom.’ ‘Green’ (1988) (US no.
78), ‘Murmur’ boasts tracks like ‘Perfect Circle’ and ‘Talk About The Passion’. The rollicking country twang of ‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville’ is reputedly primarily a Mike Mills composition. ‘Cuyahoga’ obliquely addresses the slaughter of Native Americans in the U. A.’s past (“This land is the land of arrows / This river runs red over it”). 60) in spring is a collection of ‘B sides and rarities’ which includes the contents of the ‘Chronic Town’ EP. It captures them at the crucial point at which they transition ‘from cult band status to mass popularity.’ As such, it has the best of both worlds. “The work ethic is really intrinsic to American thought and that has a lot to do with this LP,” Stipe says and this is articulated in the thudding inevitability of ‘Finest Worksong’ (UK no. Michael Stipe babbles the lyrics with great urgency, his ravings including references to comedian Lenny Bruce, music critic Lester Bangs, Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev and orchestra conductor Leonard Bernstein.
94) is folk rock that blends together the experiments of the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) (“Bargain buildings, weights and pulleys / Feathers hit the ground before the weight can leave the air”) and environmental concerns (“Buy the sky and sell the sky”). A powerful, focussed rock song, it also seems like R. However, on closer examination, the object of the narrator’s affections is disdainfully brushed off as “A simple prop to occupy my time.” This is probably lost to the new listeners the song’s accessible arrangement attracts; they are still attempting to make sense of the chorus in which Michael Stipe repeats the word “fire” in a distended manner.
songs as “minor key, mid-tempo, enigmatic, semi-folk rock balladish things. A follow-up EP, ‘Chronic Town’, is recorded with Mitch Easter in October 1981.
plan to release this effort on a different independent record label, Dasht Hopes, but it comes out instead on I.
Although the chorus directly states, “Box cars / Are pulling out of town” (a reference to a type of railway carriage) the song’s more official title is perhaps borrowed from an odd, unsettling, low budget horror film, ‘Carnival of Souls’ (1962). In this song, Michael Stipe vows, “We can reach our destination / But it’s still a ways away.” “It’s the most tense record we’ve ever made,” Buck says of this album.
on 24 August 1982, ‘Chronic Town’ is a five-track EP consisting of ‘Wolves, Lower’, ‘Gardening At Night’, ‘Carnival Of Souls (Box Cars)’, ‘1,000,000’ and ‘Stumble’. The EP’s title comes from its best track, ‘Carnival Of Souls (Box Cars)’: “Chronic town / Poster torn / Reaping wheel.” Michael Stipe’s cryptic lyrics bear out “a secret stigma” that he also refers to in the same piece. are “confident enough to be quietly arrogant about our talents.” Mike Mills has a relationship with Nadine Aldrich from 1982 to 1984. Peter Buck’s incisive guitar colours the dense psychodrama of ‘Driver 8’.
Beneath the eyelids, the eyeballs seem to move about, taking in some internal projection of images that are vaguely recalled as dreams after consciousness returns.
Michael Stipe warns, “You all know there aren’t words, per se, to a lot of the early stuff. proves quite pliable and the jangling guitars and chewed vocals are not always defining characteristics. However, it seems an open secret that all, or most, of the lyrics are the product of Michael Stipe’s thoughts. So, perhaps, it is best just to accept the group composition credits at face value.
This only serves to endear the band to their college fans who pore over the words in search of their meaning. M.’s compositions are the collective work of the band as a whole.
Then I was bulimic, then I was having a nervous breakdown…I’d just reached the point when I could be a sexual adult, and AIDS happened.” On 22 March 1986 R.
The bee-in-a-bottle rhythm of this track elevates it above its nearest rival, the more sedate ‘Gardening At Night’. Michael Stipe expands on the reasons why: “A really terrible personal time for me…I was questioning whether I could be a public figure, whether I wanted to be in a band.