As you probably know by now, The Analog Kid lives for b-sides and non-album cuts. In this continuing series, I will share some of my favorite EPs and 12″ singles from over the years in their entirety. And since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about correctly setting the turntable speed to or 33⅓ or 45!
Lifes Rich Pageant was my first R.E.M. CD– my way-too-hip mom gave it to me as a Christmas present in 1986. I spent the rest of my Christmas vacation blasting “These Days” and “Begin The Begin” from my brother’s killer stereo system, and I was a certified R.E.M. fanatic by the time I returned to Austin for the spring semester.
“Fall On Me” was the first single from Lifes Rich Pageant, and it was also the first R.E.M. video that I remember seeing on MTV. The U.K. 12″ came with two unreleased b-sides: a rather silly instrumental entitled “Rotary Ten,” and a shockingly faithful cover of the Aerosmith classic “Toys In The Attic.” In his liner notes to the 1987 b-sides compilation Dead Letter Office, Peter Buck had this to say about their cover of “Toys”:
If you grew up in the seventies, you liked Aerosmith.
If you grew up in the eighties, you liked R.E.M. Some of us went beyond like and more towards worship, and Lifes Rich Pageant sent me straight down the path of devotion.
R.E.M.: Fall On Me [U.K. 12″]
I.R.S. Records, 1986
1. “Fall On Me” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)
2. “Rotary Ten” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)
3. “Toys In The Attic” (Tyler/Perry)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
R.E.M.: “These Days” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)
R.E.M.: “Begin The Begin” (Berry/Buck/Mills Stipe)
Both taken from the album Lifes Rich Pageant
I.R.S. Records, 1986
Aerosmith: “Toys In The Attic” (Tyler/Perry)
From the album Toys In The Attic
Columbia Records, 1975
R.E.M.: “Fall On Me [Demo]” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)
R.E.M.: “Jazz (Rotary Ten) [Demo]” (Berry/Buck/Mills Stipe)
Both taken from the album Lifes Rich Pageant: The Athens Demos
I.R.S./Capitol Records, 2011
Lifes Rich Pageant is a very underrated record. It’s pretty much perfect from start to finish. Definitely my third or fourth favorite R.E.M. album. And “Fall on Me” is one of the most beautiful songs R.E.M. ever recorded.
I agree completely. I really like what Don Gehman did production-wise on the record, especially coming right after “Fables” (which I love, but can be a difficult listen sometimes).
Love “Fall on Me”, but damn, it sure is hard to understand what he’s saying. And then once you read the lyrics, it sure is hard to understand what he is trying to say. : )