Nestled right between Chronic Town and Murmur were the legacy-forming North American gigs….
By Uncle Blurt
So it’s been three years since R.E.M. formally disbanded, and while the members have all gone on to other projects, old memories die hard among fans—and memories of the early years, for some us, die the hardest. 1982, prior to the recording of the band’s first full length, in particular is remembered fondly. For example, this YouTube video of a professionally-filmed show in ’82 at Raleigh, NC, venue The Pier continues to amass views; your ol’ Uncle was actually at that concert, so it’s become must-viewing around the BLURT bunker.
Now the good folks at Big O Zine have kindly posted another gem from ’82, recorded at the Opera House in Lawrence, Kansas:
It is a smokingly fine soundboard recording of, as Big O sagely points out, “a young R.E.M., right before they were going into the studio to lay down the tracks on Murmur. The audience was treated to seven of the tracks that would end up on the album, along with both sides of the first single, three tracks off Chronic Tow”, two songs that would end up on Reckoning (!) and one that was a perennial live favourite of the band but was still a few years away from its final studio version.” Check out the above link for the tracks, and there’s also downloadable artwork should you be inclined to transfer the MP3s to disc.