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  • Bittersweet Me / Undertow / Wichita Lineman
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Bittersweet Me / Undertow / Wichita Lineman Single, Import


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Audio CD, Single, Import, November 5, 1996
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$37.66 $0.49

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R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 5, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single, Import
  • Label: Warner Bros UK
  • ASIN: B000002MDB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,320 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Bittersweet Me
2. Undertow
3. Wichita Lineman
4. New Test Leper

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
First off, since Amazon doesn't list the tracks that are on the CD I will do it for you...
1. Bittersweet Me 2. Undertow (live) 3. Wichita Lineman (live, previously unreleased) 4. New Test Leper (live in studio, acoustic)
Ok, now that we have that over with, I will get on to the review. The first track is obviously from the album New Adventures In Hi-Fi. The second song is from the video Roadmovie, so if you have that (like I do) you will know what it sounds like. It is a very good live version. The third song is a new song, and is a slow and somewhat soft. It's very good in my opinion. And the fourth track is, in my opinion, the highlight of the single. This is a wonderful version of New Test Leper, which has only vocals, acoustic guitar, and organ on it. It is an incredibly beautiful version of the song.
If you are an R.E.M. fan looking for more than just the albums, pick this single up. It is well worth it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Stuart on October 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine effort from R.E.M. They have long produced some of the best Singles of any real rock band, but U.S. buyers have been left out in the cold by Warner Bros. after the Up album. A shame, as this single certainly shows.
Bittersweet Me is a very underrated R.E.M. song. It really can appeal to both die-hard fans and casual fans, and I'm really surprised it didn't see more radio success. It is well-written and executed very well. One of the best tracks from "New Adventures..."
Undertow is a song which lends itself a live version, but it could have been executed a little better. Its a little listless, which I think is largely a result from undermixed guitar and drums and over-mixed vocals. The song is a great hard-rock effort, and I've heard it done better live. Still, it comes on very strong for the second half of the recording, which makes up a lot for the troubled start.
Wichita Lineman is an exquisite cover. Michael Stipe performs it with amazing depth of emotion, you would be surprised that he didn't write it if you weren't already acquainted with the popular Glen Campbell version. Nice guitar and organ, too, with typically strong drums from Bill Berry. The live recording detracts a bit from what this track could have been, but its a minor issue.
One of my all-time favorite R.E.M. tracks is New Test Leper, and the live acoustic treatment here brings a lot to the track, and giving it a noticably different feel from the album version. The poetics are some of R.E.M.'s best. Not subtle, but not blunt either, finding a perfect balance with a spiritual underpinning the average R.E.M. might not expect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Guttenberg on September 29, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just ordered and received this CD, but there are only 2 songs instead of the 4 most people are describing below. There are two different versions available, so you may need to confirm with the seller which one you are ordering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
this title song derives from new adventures in hi-fi. a solid tune on a very consistent cd but unfortunately had no mega-hits or tour support. as a lifelong rem fan and loyalist, i otherwise cannot submit an objective comment except to say its awesome.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip S. Wolf on September 12, 2008
Format: Audio CD
"Adventures in Hi-Fi" is one of those R.E.M. records that seems to have gotten away {Not so good critical reviews, low sales}.

Well, if I can remember properly, there were at least 4 of these EP/Single CD's issued overseas {Mine is from Japan} to promote some singles activity from: "Adventures". This is: "Bittersweet Me", it contains the title cut and three more gems. As an EP it is only 18 minutes in length, but it is a pretty cool 18 minutes. "Undertow" is a live version from Atlanta, that was used in the Band's film: "Road Movie" that was released in 1996. "New Test Leper" is from a Seattle Studio, and had a very limited life as a Radio promo CD, that is more than impossible to find today. "Leper" is even better than the original, in this acoustic version.
But, I may be a bit biased, as I have found almost all of R.E.M's material improves in greatness when performed acoustic.

Some have noted that: "Wichita Lineman" is the weakest thing on this Disc, well that is not the case for me. This Jimmy Webb classic was and will always be a Great Song. Glen Cambell, had some good luck with it, and R.E.M. do this wonderful tune justice as well. I do like to play "Lineman" for people to see their reaction. It has always been a good positive response. I am certain, when this was played on Tour, the reaction was shock! R.E.M. can play ANY cover song and make it their own, and they do that here with: "Wichita Lineman". This is a great treat, and always a great listening experience.

Until the day when the Band does release that Box Set {10 CD's} of all the Rare & Bootlegged material that is not on the regular CD's,{"I Walked with a Zombie"} you gotta search and find EP's and Singles and Imports and Boots that fill in the gaps. This is one of many, and it is very good.
'Bittersweet Me"
Four Stars !!!
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