Songlines Across New Zealand
  Remembering Excellent Music

1980 the year Huey Lewis and the News debut selftitled album was released The Cures album boys dont cry was released and in a town called Athens located in Georgia a band of four friends perform their first ever gig for a friends birthday at an abandoned church, 2 weeks later that band became known as R.E.M.

My musical journey started with the band in 1992 while watching a music video show when this black and white video came on singing about a guy called Andy Kauffman and a man on the moon from that moment I was hooked. At the time I got my recorded music from tv in the form of a cassette player recording songs from the tv my encounters were far and few that way but of course during those times we got Drive, Everybody Hurts along with flashback of Losing My Religion and One I love one of my later encounters with REM was on Sesame Street with their song Furry Happy Monsters which later found out was Shiny Happy People after that there was a pretty big gap of my following the music of REM as other bands came and went and returned again. In 2001 the band started reappearing for me first was thanks to an appearance in the Simpsons where they performed It’s The End Of The World in Homer’s garage and then two years later  a 2 disc best of came out which I grabbed (but being a person who only listened to the songs he knew the disc remained relatively unexplored until later that year when an episode of the tv series smallville (entitled slumber) had a handful of their songs play during the ep which were also on the best of this is when I started to focus on attempting to explore their hits catalogue. A little bit later I remember Around The Sun being released but never picked it up at the time as I did not really know any of the songs (I usually bought an album if I knew two or more tracks)a few years passed and I discovered an REM forum that shared bootlegs of live performances and in 2010 is when my REM obsession started to really rear its head, live tracks from their album collapse into now were being shared by music media and snippets were being shared on the bands youtube channel then finally the release day hit and I had the album on repeat for a long time. A few months pass and while researching for an article I was writing on U2 the news came through REM had split when I heard this I pulled up my media player and put the best of album on a little while later a 2 cd best of album was announced with 3 new songs included entitled Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage. This is where I started chasing down other releases such as the 25th anniversary releases, Live albums and special editions.

My closing thought on this subject is REMs music is all encompassing, the wisdom and feelings in these songs they helped discover thoughts and feelings we have inside us but had not found a way to unlock, they didn't care about what people would think about their music they only cared about the music that they were making that mattered to themselves.


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