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  • The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of R.E.M.
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The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of R.E.M.


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Audio CD, September 21, 1999
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Music Club
  • ASIN: B00000K53G
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The One I Love
2. Losing My Religion
3. Stand
4. Man On The Moon
5. Nightswimming
6. Everybody Hurts
7. Strange Currencies
8. Near Wild Heaven
9. Drive
10. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
11. What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
12. Shiny Happy People

Editorial Reviews

R.E.M. ~ The Royal Philharmonic Orchestr

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lee (nghtswimr@aol.com) on November 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Not at all the level of quality I would have expected from the Royal Philharmonic!
REM Is an incredibly talented band with a rich body of work from which to draw from. Not only did the producers of this album miss the proverbial boat by picking (with a few exceptions) the least classically interperative songs, they also failed to interperet them 'classically'. Why did they use electronic instrumentation? It was ineffective to say the least. Why didnt they get more creative with the arrangements? Where are the horns, the timpani, the truly heart stopping noises you can make with an orchestra? It isnt like the Royal P doesnt have a wealth of talent to create something more powerful and rich. The opportunities should have been endless. I kept hoping there would be a place somewhere on this CD that would take me to the musical shiver, a la Gershwin or Beethoven or Puccini or REM in its real form, but it never happened. Even Nightswimming seemed less orchestrative than it is on the original REM CD.
Stipe, et al, are very talented writers that can weave a complex melody. Whoever rearranged this music failed to see it's potential on an orchestral level, and clearly had no understanding or love of the music itself. I have to agree with the others...this is a travesty on the elevator level.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fretless5@aol.com (fretless5@aol.com) on November 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is a terrible interpretation of R.E.M.'s fine catalog. If you are looking for some instrumental R.E.M. check out "The String Quartet Tribute To R.E.M.", released in 1999 also, but a much better tribute.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "jag2ftc" on November 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This album is really just dissapointing. There are a few moments when the Orchestra does come across the way that it should, but I can count those on one hand. The major problem with the Orchestral redition here is that it just doesn't flow the way it should. It's very choppy and sounds more like a middle school band then a Royal Philharmonic. You would think that, after playing the work of classical geniuses for all these years, some of that would come across in the reinterpretation of REM. But this simply does not happen. The part that bugged me most about the the whole thing is how Stipe's voice is often done by a solo tuba or something obscure like that and it sounds very hokey.
To sum this album up, it's REM's best put to elevator music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Like in "Departure": 'Here it comes, bad' All R.E.M. songs are solid unities of pure listening enjoyment and I am a very big R.E.M.-fan. But this is a R.E.M. CD not made by R.E.M. And that's what is wrong. Even as only-instrumental music, it isn't as good as the originals. But I guess that in the end, it's nice to hear the nice tunes of these classic songs. But it's lacking Stipe and Mills beautiful voices, Buck's superb guitar technique's and Berry's drums. Only for die-hard R.E.M.-fans who want everything that's R.E.M.-related. Maybe it can be used in the elevator of the R.E.M.-clubhouse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Tom TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Listening to this CD just makes me long for the real thing-the real R.E.M. songs. There something about R.E.M. songs that don't seem to translate very well into classical. Maybe it's the lack of Michael Stipe's vocals and lyrics. Sure, with this CD the tunes are there, but where is the substance? It kinda sounds like elevator music to me. So I guess if you like elevator music, than you may enjoy this CD, otherwise buy the real R.E.M. instead.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
And my cat hides under my bed with her little paws covering her ears
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Format: Audio CD
"It is true that REM's music matured and developed new layers in the '90s, but it never truly became sophisticated -- at its heart, it was still folk and pop-based pop-rock, following three and four-chord patterns. What was remarkable is how REM continued to find ways to make it sound fresh, especially on their brooding masterpiece 'Automatic for the People.' This was due to the band's unique chemistry and arranging skills, along with their sharp songwriting. No matter how good these songs were -- and some of them were extraordinary -- they were never the kind that would benefit from puffed-up semi-orchestral easy listening arrangements, which is exactly what they're subjected to on 'The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of REM.' With the exception of the opening track 'The One I Love' and 'Stand,' the album consists of '90s REM material, with the majority of the songs derived from 'Out of Time' or 'Automatic.' These albums were somewhat more appropriate for easy listening arrangements than, say, 'Reckoning,' but the end results are awkward -- the sax melody of 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight,' the bombastic 'The One I Love,' the overwrought 'Everybody Hurts.' It's not good easy listening, nor is amusing kitsch -- it's just poorly done, near-muzak. The only good thing about the record is the cover -- a clever play on 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi,' an album that isn't represented at all on 'Plays the Music of REM.' ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide" [refers to 1999 Music Club release]
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By Earl R. Sutton on November 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"It is true that REM's music matured and developed new layers in the '90s, but it never truly became sophisticated -- at its heart, it was still folk and pop-based pop-rock, following three and four-chord patterns. What was remarkable is how REM continued to find ways to make it sound fresh, especially on their brooding masterpiece 'Automatic for the People.' This was due to the band's unique chemistry and arranging skills, along with their sharp songwriting. No matter how good these songs were -- and some of them were extraordinary -- they were never the kind that would benefit from puffed-up semi-orchestral easy listening arrangements, which is exactly what they're subjected to on 'The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays the Music of REM.' With the exception of the opening track 'The One I Love' and 'Stand,' the album consists of '90s REM material, with the majority of the songs derived from 'Out of Time' or 'Automatic.' These albums were somewhat more appropriate for easy listening arrangements than, say, 'Reckoning,' but the end results are awkward -- the sax melody of 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight,' the bombastic 'The One I Love,' the overwrought 'Everybody Hurts.' It's not good easy listening, nor is amusing kitsch -- it's just poorly done, near-muzak. The only good thing about the record is the cover -- a clever play on 'New Adventures in Hi-Fi,' an album that isn't represented at all on 'Plays the Music of REM.' ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide" [refers to 1999 Music Club release]
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