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Live at the Olympia Live

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R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, USA, in 1980 by Michael Stipe (lead vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Bill Berry (drums and percussion). R.E.M. was one of the first popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's unclear vocals. R.E.M. released ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Live at the Olympia + Collapse Into Now: Special Edition Digipack
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Oct. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,677 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Living Well Is The Best Revenge [Live At The Olympia] 4:07£0.89  Buy MP3 
  2. Second Guessing [Live At The Olympia] 2:58£0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. Letter Never Sent [Live At The Olympia] 3:52£0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Staring Down The Barrel Of The Middle Distance [Live At The Olympia] 4:11£0.89  Buy MP3 
  5. Disturbance At The Heron House [Live At The Olympia] 3:41£0.89  Buy MP3 
  6. Mr. Richards [Live At The Olympia] 4:17£0.89  Buy MP3 
  7. Houston [Live At The Olympia] 1:54£0.89  Buy MP3 
  8. New Test Leper [Live At The Olympia] 5:26£0.89  Buy MP3 
  9. Cuyahoga [Live At The Olympia] 4:22£0.89  Buy MP3 
10. Electrolite [Live At The Olympia] 4:03£0.89  Buy MP3 
11. Man-Sized Wreath [Live At The Olympia] 3:09£0.89  Buy MP3 
12. So. Central Rain [Live At The Olympia] 3:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
13. On The Fly [Live At The Olympia] 5:01£0.89  Buy MP3 
14. Maps And Legends [Live At The Olympia] 3:10£0.89  Buy MP3 
15. Sitting Still [Live At The Olympia] 3:42£0.89  Buy MP3 
16. Driver 8 [Live At The Olympia] 3:44£0.89  Buy MP3 
17. Horse To Water [Live At The Olympia] 2:45£0.89  Buy MP3 
18. I'm Gonna DJ [Live At The Olympia] 2:16£0.89  Buy MP3 
19. Circus Envy [Live At The Olympia] 4:27£0.89  Buy MP3 
20. These Days [Live At The Olympia] 4:53£0.89  Buy MP3 
21. Drive [Live At The Olympia] 4:49£0.89  Buy MP3 
22. Feeling Gravitys Pull [Live At The Olympia] 5:10£0.89  Buy MP3 
23. Until The Day Is Done [Live At The Olympia] 4:07£0.89  Buy MP3 
24. Accelerate [Live At The Olympia] 3:35£0.89  Buy MP3 
25. Auctioneer [Live At The Olympia] 3:38£0.89  Buy MP3 
26. Little America [Live At The Olympia] 3:11£0.89  Buy MP3 
27. 1,000,000 [Live At The Olympia] 3:28£0.89  Buy MP3 
28. Disguised [Live At The Olympia] 3:20£0.89  Buy MP3 
29. The Worst Joke Ever [Live At The Olympia] 3:42£0.89  Buy MP3 
30. Welcome To The Occupation [Live At The Olympia] 2:48£0.89  Buy MP3 
31. Carnival Of Sorts [Box Cars] [Live At The Olympia] 4:09£0.89  Buy MP3 
32. Harborcoat [Live At The Olympia] 4:16£0.89  Buy MP3 
33. Wolves, Lower [Live At The Olympia] 4:33£0.89  Buy MP3 
34. I've Been High [Live At The Olympia] 3:40£0.89  Buy MP3 
35. Kohoutek [Live At The Olympia] 4:12£0.89  Buy MP3 
36. West Of The Fields [Live At The Olympia] 4:13£0.89  Buy MP3 
37. Pretty Persuasion [Live At The Olympia] 4:23£0.89  Buy MP3 
38. Romance [Live At The Olympia] 3:31£0.89  Buy MP3 
39. Gardening At Night [Live At The Olympia] 4:16£0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

REM Live At The Olympia (2009 UK 2-CD album set featuring 39 songs from their acclaimed 2007 working rehearsals in Dublin Ireland. R.E.M. set up camp at the venerable Olympia Theatre in Irelands capital city and tested new material over fivenights before passionate capacity crowds. Live At The Olympia gives fans an opportunity to hear those songs at their earliest stages of development. In addition to the new material the band also served up twenty-nine other songs spanningtheir entire career all of which can be found on this album picture booklet containing extensive liner notes written by Andy Gill)

BBC Review

Two years ago REM released REM Live, featuring recordings from their performance at Dublin’s Point Theatre in 2005. It was a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin affair: REM, live, on CD (and DVD). Live at the Olympia is more of the same, essentially, even down to the country in question: like its predecessor, this was recorded in Ireland, albeit at the capital’s Olympia Theatre. Again: it’s exactly what it promises to be.

So why bother with another live album, released so soon after the last, and most likely captured before the same crowd? The reason here is purely down to the tracklisting – while REM Live focused on the Athens, Georgia band’s hit singles and best-selling albums, this collection is a partial exhumation of early material, the band delving back as far as their 1982 EP Chronic Town. As such this will serve as an entry point into REM’s expansive pre-Automatic for the People catalogue for many fans – there is only one song from Automatic…, out of 39, but an intentions-signalling five from both second album Reckoning and third Fables of the Reconstruction. There’s even a brace from 83’s debut long-player, Murmur.

In short, this is a celebration of the career of one of the greatest rock groups America has ever produced. It showcases their quality control wonderfully, picking selections from various eras which never seem out of place. While Drive is very much from the well-known camp, as it shakes to a close – via a Michael Stipe lyrical misstep: “Oh whoops!” – and leads to “very old song” Feeling Gravitys Pull, from Fables…, it doesn’t feel like the band has just rewound several years. They’re having too much fun, and there’s never the sense that they’re exposing their roots purely for the sake of it, as the crowd’s enthusiastic reception to relative unknowns is audible evidence of.

The sound quality is, as you’d expect given the band in question, exceptionally crisp, with post-production work coming from Jacknife Lee, on board for REM’s last studio album, 2008’s Accelerate. Eight songs from said collection make the Live at the Olympia cut, performed prior to their release of course, but such is the abundance of 1980s material that this has to be seen as a valuable reminder of REM’s impressive past as much as a document of their present. Think of it as an apposite companion to both their Eponymous and In Time best-of collections. --Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D.Joyce on 17 Jun. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Many, including the band themselves, felt R.E.M. had lost their mojo after 2004's Around The Sun. This was the beginning of their quest to get it back: a five day residency of "rehearsals" at the Dublin Olympia to roadtest new material and, as a reward for the audience (and a test of the band's mettle), a return to old classics rarely played in their typical live sets.

This set features every song played over the residency. It proves an intriguing insite into songs that would end up on Accelerate: the likes of Houston, Living Well Is The Best Revenge and Mr Richards seemed very complete. The merits of Man-Sized Wreath were debated on stage by Stipe and Mills (Stipe: This next new song will not be on the next record. - Ironic as I've heard it's now one of his favourites), Disguised was a very embrionic version of what would become Supernatural Superserious, whereas On The Fly and Staring Down The Barrel Of The Middle Distance never made it to the record (though I thought the latter sounded like it had a lot to offer).

The rest of the set reads like an alternative Best Of collection: Kohoutek (Peter Buck whispers to Stipe beforehand "We should apologise before this, this is going to be a mess"), So. Central Rain , Electrolite and Gardening At Night to name but a few, all sounded excellent. Long forgotten IRS era cutting Romance even got a play. Heck, they did a version of The Worst Joke Ever and even that sounded brilliant (on Around The Sun it just sounded dull).

The real little gems that make this album are the little errors the band make on occasion (hey they warn you from the off "This is not a show!") and the audience interaction.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. McAusland on 6 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Let's start with the double CD collection. 39 songs... it says so on the album cover. These are songs spanning R.E.M.'s entire career, but not ones that casual listeners will be interested in (there's no "The One I Love", "Losing My Religion" or "Everybody Hurts" on here). A large majority of the songs are from the band's I.R.S. career from 1982-1987, back before they were considered mainstream, and many of the other songs are from the band's latest album, the rocky Accelerate, performed as "works in progress" before the record was released. The songs are performed well and sound great, and some are disputably superior to their studio equivalents ("Houston"?). Between songs feature talk by mostly Stipe to the audience explaining the songs and also explaining how "this is not a show... this is a live rehearsal". So the songs on the live rehearsal album are ones only dedicated R.E.M. fans will be familiar with or interested in, which is good for those wanting to hear the band play their oldest songs over 20 years later, but not for casual listeners. Less devoted fans will rather go for 2007's R.E.M. Live, featuring the "hits", which also demonstrates how R.E.M.'s two live albums contain completely different songs, so it's not a case of "if you have one, you have the other".

Secondly, the DVD I thought was going to be basically a live video of the performances, but it's more of an art film and features only a selection of the songs performed; some not in full and others together in a medley. The cameras show little of the band performing and more of the entire venue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jcmacc VINE VOICE on 31 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In many ways this live set fills out REM's first live album from 2007 and the two together form a complete picture of the band, past and present. While the 2007 release was pretty much a standard live album of the type that most groups put out i.e. with the most familiar and over-familiar greatest hits, this new one is far more interesting for the REM completists. It has the earliest REM songs (including tracks from their Chronic Town EP released before their first album) as well as tracks from their latest, Accelerate, in an interesting state of flux given the live shows on the CDs happened prior to final recording of the album.

While the idea of live versions of obscure early songs and incomplete versions of tracks prior to their final versions being recorded sounds like the kind of filler on Disc 5 of a dodgy box-set, this is far, far better. This is the sound of a band rediscovering their sense of fun and realising what they do best.

The older tracks are much more muscular than the original studio cuts without losing their personality, there's more stagecraft involved as you'd expect from a band with 20-odd years of live experience over the band that originally recorded them, and it's clear that Stipe and Co were having fun rediscovering their own history. Likewise the new, in some ways incomplete, songs that would appear on Accelerate buzz along: basically REM were having fun playing a bunch of fast, immediate and fresh songs after the somewhat over-produced mid-tempo experience that was "Around The Sun".

So, utterly recommended for the REM completist for the tracks from the early albums (who have it already probably) but also recommended to anyone else who likes good songs played with skill and energy.
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