R.E.M’s Reckoning was the second full length and third major release by R.E.M. In terms of their earlier material it was a much more direct album, not relying on the studio to create an atmospheric record but rather incorporate more of the band’s live sound rather than their studio talents on Murmur and Chronic Town.
As I have written before, it was the first of their albums that I had significantly appreciated and made me yearn for more.
That being said, reissues often have the task of trying to exemplify a purpose for the release. For example, is the reissue out of print or severely needing of remastering for it to limits of technology from years prior?
In the case of these deluxe editions, the point has always been to bring a sense to the world that R.E.M. existed 25 years ago. Reckoning, and it’s predecessor ‘Murmur’ were two of the most important contributions to the decade of the 80’s slowly changing Rock music from being defined by synths and to a guitar/bass/drums genre. Along the way, R.E.M. led the way for other acts, especially from America, inspired by the Punk Movement and using the tools it provided to provide a much more free reign atmosphere for what was allowed.
R.E.M. understood Rock and Roll. They knew what worked and what was cliché. The promotion for Reckoning was unique in itself. 1984, was during the heyday of the music video. We had just seen Michael Jackson moonwalk his way into history and at the same time it was R.E.M. despising the music format and expanding on the video realm.
I thought that as I was designing the information and forms for the Articles Archive, that I pull this juicy article from the past. This was written by Elizabeth Phillip for the Summer Northwestern. She interviewed the band the same date of the Aragon Ballroom show that will be included on the second disc of the Reckoning Deluxe Edition.
A great interview for some of the extra curricular happenings backstage regarding Buck's confrontation with Cynthia Plaster Caster.
I have posted another Article from the past that is also included, in the articles archive from 1984.
This is the first of what I hope will be a series of essays written on behalf of the album, Reckoning which will be rereleased to celebrate it's 25th Anniversary on June 23rd.
It started with an innocent enough phrase (or maybe not so much now that you think about it) in a pop song and turned my life into something completely different. Looking back at that moment it was not entirely special or spectacular. I did not see the an apparition of the Virgin Mary nor did I know of it at that time that 20 plus years later I would be writing this here.
But the song had resonated with me deeply as a prepubescent teenager. This was a challenge when dealing with early R.E.M., as anyone who was listening before Al Gore invented the Internet can attest to. Michael Stipe was not competing at the “Enunciating” World Championships because if that was the case, the East German judge would have quit on the spot in disgust.
The only reference I had to the song was the fact that 'The Five Chinese Brothers’ was a familiar fable that I had read/been read in my early youth about boys that each had a supernatural power.
Realize at this time I was just a silly suburban kid with bad acne and was not at this point involved with investigating the deeper meanings of songs. For example, there might be literary criticism existing somewhere of Van Halen’s “Jump”, however, at the time these types of songs were clearly more vested for me in terms of watching music videos or hearing them on the radio. My music world contained songs that didn't derive much more than what was on the surface.
As an R.E.M.-Centric shareholder in REMChronicle, the idea of Songkick is fascinating as it's use of data-driven methods attempt to find for you concerts that you would enjoy. If you are like me and wrap a couple of headphones around your ears and allow last.fm to do its thing, you will be provided with a slew of concert events as well as create an official site for every possible concert event in the history of music.
As if that is it's primary goal, Songkick has a long way to go, whether they will try to be the "Wiki" of concert data; if fans decide to flock in droves in order to do just that. My couple of moments were reviewing the concert data for R.E.M. It would seem that of course the busy workers at Songkick visited the Chronicle as well as remtimeline to acquire the full-fledged concert history of R.E.M., missing of course the most vital component, the songs! I could imagine that such an endeavor would take a long time, considering how much time I spent data-entering this information-most likely sitting in my boxers listening to music as I dutifully spent that time making sure that every setlist was entered.
I have to look at this from two different perspectives. As a music fan I find it fascinating. If the site gathers enough fans that find it's pages attractive then I would surely deem it as a source.
Testing this function in REMRing.
At this point, it would seem that we are functional to the point of being able to add news items/spreading the word of Stipe but obviously much more functionality is necessary before I feel compelled to state accurately that this site is once again up. For that reason you might see a story or ten here looking at some of the various methods at which are going to be necessary in order to see how things are looking, plus looking at menu design, etc.
To give you a quick update as to why the site was down, I was getting tired of Joomla, my content management system as it had reached an apex of frustration on top of being attacked every week or so by this or that person.
The site had run it's course in my head when trying to migrate to a new version of Joomla proved more frustrating than ever as it seemed some of the comments were going to be lost.
Once I figured out that Joomla had run it's course I started looking for alternatives and thus chose Drupal instead. Lately, inbetween living the hectic life and trying to plan a wedding I have been reading up on all the functionality of Drupal, essentially doing a little homework before the site came into existence.