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Green [2 CD][25th Anniversary Deluxe Ed.]
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Vinyl, Original recording remastered, September 2, 2016
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R.E.M. achieved global success with the 1988 release of Green, the Athens, Georgia quartet s sixth studio album and first for Warner Bros. Records, which would be the band s label home for the rest of their recording career. While R.E.M. was fast becoming one of the most acclaimed and revered acts in the U.S., Green was their first album to gain the attention of a worldwide audience. Packed with tracks destined to be definitive additions to the band s canon, including "Orange Crush, " "Pop Song 89, " and "Stand, " Green was certified double platinum and doubled the domestic sales of the band s previous release. Green continued R.E.M. s dedication to the message of social consciousness, as evidenced by the album s title, which would go on to became a ubiquitous buzzword for environmentally friendly initiatives.
To celebrate the landmark album s 25-year anniversary, Rhino presents a two-disc deluxe edition that features the remastered original album accompanied by a disc of live performances taken from the penultimate show of R.E.M. s 130-date Green World Tour. All 21 songs were recorded in Greensboro, North Carolina on November 10, 1989, just miles from where Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry had their very first recording session at Mitch Easter s Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem.
The concert captures a fiery set from R.E.M., which had been forged in the crucible of nearly one year of shows. R.E.M. performed most of Green ("Get Up, " "World Leader Pretend" and "You Are The Everything"), while mixing in early favorites like "Fall On Me, " "Finest Worksong, " "The One I Love" and "Perfect Circle" from the band s 1983 debut Murmur. The show also finds the band testing out new songs ("Low" and "Belong") that would appear two years later on Green s follow-up, Out Of Time.
The anniversary set is packaged in a hard clamshell box (similar to previous R.E.M. reissues) and comes with four postcards and a foldout poster, plus insightful liner notes by Uncut editor, Allan Jones. Green: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will be available as a 2-disc set and digitally. The remastered album with original art and packaging will also be available on 180-gram vinyl.
Top customer reviews
All of that said, if you're not a big fan of a band or of a particular album, then the Deluxe Edition of that album probably isn't for you. It's a remastered album and some bonus material; in this case a recording of the Greensboro, NC (fitting) show from the Green tour.
This is an interesting album to me because they still maintained their college rock, underground creativity while embracing their ever growing mainstream audience, YET they hadn't morphed into their superstar (a la U2) status just yet. The next album, OUT OF TIME, solidified their world domination status.
GREEN: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is just as revealing and satisfying as all the other anniversary editions that came before it. The live concert CD is maybe even better than the others in that R.E.M. were true concert veterans at this point and the set list is just as tight as it gets. Also, GREEN was my favorite tour because my fascination with them was at its peak. I saw the show twice in a one week period in two major cities (Philadelphia and Washington, DC), AND I got to meet the band after the DC show. (Side note: the only bad part of this experience is that Michael Stipe was the only band member who refused to give me his autograph. I think he was feeling his oats at this point (arrogance? scared?).
Whatever, I remain a fan to this day and I am in love with this edition of GREEN.
Although some longtime fans might've considered the chirpier, conventionally-arranged "Stand", "Orange Crush", and "Pop Song `89" to be material included because it had the potential to mine universal commercial appeal, it's my belief that these are actually pop songs with a subversive edge to them; this CD was recorded during the last year President Reagan held office, after a number of decisions that were dubious in legality at best drove the highly aggressive foreign policy he chose to pursue during the course of his last term. "Stand" in this context sounds like a call to become politically engaged; "Orange Crush" , ostensibly about the negative, carcinogenic impact of the Viet Nam era defoliant upon the veterans returning from that war, can be interpreted in the context of preparing a new generation of young males for selective service in response to a foreseen militarization of American society (which thankfully has not yet come to pass); " Pop Song `89" obliquely refers to the trivialities that keep the public from becoming aware of the environment or political climate. Savagely indicting President Reagan for his unsanctioned interference in the sovereign affairs of other countries, "World Leader Pretend" examines the hubris of leadership that refuses to acknowledge the checks and balances of legitimate government.
REM chose once again to work with Scott Litt, and he tightens the polish on the level of production (though it isn't as glossy as "Out Of Time"), bringing a punchy sense of aggressiveness to "Get Up" , "Orange Crush", "Turn You Inside Out", and "I Remember Califorinia". "You Are The Everything", "The Wrong Child", and "Hairshirt", however, are somewhat of a return to the band's acoustic roots, songs driven primarily through a heavily dominant mandolin line (marking this instrument's first appearance on an REM release) and sparse instrumental accompaniment, with "You Are The Everything" and "Hairshirt" given Micheal Stipe's plaintive, husky vocal treatment, and while there is a universally wistful feel to the music and Stipe's delivery, the lyrical content is largely affirmative.
My suggestion is that "Green" is worth getting on its own merits, not simply because it contains several tracks that were in heavy rotation on the modern rock charts and two ("Stand" and "Orange Crush") that still receive airplay, nor because "You Are The Everything" is a perfect invocation and distillation of their timeless acoustic sound, but due to the sense of urgency and vitality that drive many of these tracks. Don't get it simply to cross it off of the kind of checklist maintained by a rabid completist; grab it because it shows that the band could evolve while still remaining true to its older musical roots, yet simultaneously recording songs with infectious hooks and more complex melodic arrangement.