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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a touch
Good album - but the reason i'm writing is to give the PROPER order of the tracks. As far as i'm aware, all formats have always infamously had the above listing which also omits a couple of tracks - this still confuses me. Below is the correct one (including bonus tracks on the IRS Years special edition)

1. Begin the begin
2. These Days
3. Fall on...
Published on 10 Nov 2007 by TheMoistener

versus
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars REM move towards the mainstream....
1985's 'Fables of the Reconstruction' was viewed as a failure by REM at the time- this follow-up album notes a change in gear and the point where REM moved towards the mainstream. The production from someone associated with the then popular John Couger Mellencamp is more robust and noticeably more rock - while Stipe's vocals are clearer & there is less of that...
Published on 24 May 2005 by Jason Parkes


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a touch, 10 Nov 2007
This review is from: Life's Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
Good album - but the reason i'm writing is to give the PROPER order of the tracks. As far as i'm aware, all formats have always infamously had the above listing which also omits a couple of tracks - this still confuses me. Below is the correct one (including bonus tracks on the IRS Years special edition)

1. Begin the begin
2. These Days
3. Fall on me
4. Cuyahoga
5. Hyena
6. Underneath the bunker
7. Flowers of Guatemala
8. I believe
9. What if we give it away
10.Just a touch
11.Swan swan H
12.Superman
13.Tired of singing trouble
14.Rotary ten
15.Toys in the attic
16.Just a touch (live)
17.Dream (all I have to do)
18.Swan swan H (acoustic)

Anal retentive? Me?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably their best album., 23 Jun 2002
This review is from: LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT (Audio CD)
Having previously only owned Out Of Time, Automatic For The People, and Best Of, I was thinking "REM don't do rock". But I was wrong! People who like Monster or New Adventures will probably also like this. Ranging from medium-pace ("Begin the Begin") to frantic ("Just a touch"), the rock tracks have a vibrancy and freshness somehow lacking in the later works. But there is so much more to this album. "Cuyahoga" is arguably REM's best ever track. Simple, understandable lyrics, which make a political statement (like John Lennon) but are at the same time poetic (like Bob Dylan or early Paul Simon). Wonderful! Other highlights include the dreamy "Flowers of Guatemala", upbeat "I believe" and more political anthems - "Fall on me", "What if we give it away?" and the acoustic "Swan Swan H". All the tracks gel together really well, and there is not a duff track on here, with the possible exception of the strange instrumental. But even that fits onto this album better than the funny lumpy ones they put on Automatic and New Adventures. This is a much more musically diverse and interesting album to listen to than Document, which followed; and if, after having listened to Out of Time and Automatic, you're feeling depressed, this album is the perfect antidote. Oh, I also forgot to mention, the distinctive Stipe/Mills vocal harmonies are superb too. It's a must-have album, and 16 years after its release, I think it is still one of the best, if not the best, REM album.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best just got better, 13 Oct 2011
By 
robotfish "robotfish" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lifes Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
Well, here we have my favourite of the "indie" REM albums, beefed up with a sparkling new remaster and an excellent additional CD of outtakes.

Great to hear some of the great REM songs reduced to a guide vocal line (see "I Believe"), and a really nice alternate take on Fall On Me.

For obsessives only I would have thought. That's me then.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R.E.M.'s early triumph, 27 Dec 2009
By 
Iva (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life's Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
Anyone interested in R.E.M. should own this album: it is both the creative peak of their early period and the manifesto of their evolution from indie darlings to the biggest band in the world. While R.E.M.'s previous albums were, to various degrees, hampered by deliberately low-key and obscure production, here the producer Don Gehrman finally captures the band's fantastic energy and makes an album that actually sounds like their live shows. The spacious and boisterous sound gives full justice to a succession of perfectly crafted anthems; and for the first time on an R.E.M. record, the vocals really stand out. Superb singing from Michael Stipe and Mike Mills gives boost to magnificent songs such as These Days, Hyena, Fall On Me, and the quirky Superman. Five stars well deserved.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it, but again with the box..., 22 July 2011
By 
Andy Barnard - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lifes Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
Among their finest moments, this album doesn't really need more praise for the songs. I would still recommend buying it for a couple of reasons:
The mastering is superb- the sound is clean and bright but not unnecessarily tinkered with. I'd say better than the IRS Years CD. Although i haven't actually measured, it doesn't seem to be obviously a victim of the 'loudness wars' (check wiki) style of mastering either.
The demo's disc is definitely worth it. Better than the one on Fables (which was good), the production is of surprisingly high quality and full of interesting curiosities and alternate versions.
The only fly in the ointment is the box packaging- just as big and clumsy as Fables was. What the hell am I supposed to do with a poster? What about a tin badge or maybe a snippet of the drummer's underwear? Use a little imagination next time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early work sets the pace, 23 July 2002
By 
c j lewis (Bridgnorth, Shropshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life's Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
Lifes Rich Pageant is a true work of musical art. Encompassing all that was great in REM during their early years and highlighting the great things that were to come. Each track gets better and better with none being below par, country melodies blend with both the acoustic sets of "swan swan humming" bird and the "thrash of just a touch". Now re released with the IRS vintage version the album offers great value with previosly unheard live and cover tracks. No REM fan would be complete without this vintage album, which in my opinion track for track is their best ever work, and although some recent tracks are true works of art the band has to replicate the magic of this album which was recorded over 18 years ago.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of their best early albums, 1 Aug 2010
This review is from: Life's Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
'Lifes Rich Pageant' for me is remarkable for two reasons. Firstly it sounds completely timeless, a classic American record which showcases the connection of the bands four personalities together to make intelligent, exciting rock music. Secondly it's a rare example of a hugely commercial, ambitious record that never even hints of selling out (think about how many have tried this and failed in the past). Respect must go to producer Don Gehman who gives the band a big stadium rock sound without ever losing their cutting edge. This was to be the start of a new era for the band who would use it as a springboard to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world and in turn open the door for future stadium alt.rock bands such as Coldplay, Radiohead, Muse etc. Five Stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grabs you by the collar and gives you a good shake, 24 Sep 2009
By 
J. Jenkins (Dudley Port, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Life's Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
Aside from the wholly revelatory Murmur, I would say Lifes Rich Pageant is the most consistently excellent of R.E.M.'s I.R.S. albums, as well as one of their most instantly accessible. Fuelled by a clutch of attention grabbing rockers; These Days, Hyena and Just a Touch are some of most straightforwardly punky things the band have recorded. The whole record has an exhilarating, stirring quality; I'm naturally more inclined to the political fatalism of Document, but it's hard to hear Stipe's affirmation that 'we are hope despite the times' and not be roused by it.

Eleswhere, the album's political and ecological concerns are addressed in gorgeous, socially-concious ballads Fall on Me, The Flowers of Guatemala and Swan Swan H. The only slight problem I have with Lifes Rich Pageant is that it indulges Mike Mills' apparent love of cheesy, overly-schmaltzy pop, with the covers Superman and (All I have to do is) Dream. Much more fun amongst the handful of bonus tracks are the stomping cover of Aerosmith's Toys in The Attic and blues (almost) a capella Tired of Singing Trouble.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the album that got me hooked, 18 April 2010
This review is from: Life's Rich Pageant (Audio CD)
While doing a stock take at night nearly 20 years ago and with the radio not being any good at that time in the morning, we would bring in tapes Remember them and play them to help while away the time. And one person brought in this one.,and I was blow away. And in the morning instead of going straight home I went into Nottingham city centre and went into Selecter Disc (which was the greatest record shop in the world) And not only brought this I also brought Mumur, Reckoning and Fables. That's how good I thought this was and I have never regreted it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars After this, the world would be theirs., 27 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: LIFE'S RICH PAGEANT (Audio CD)
Still on their political edge, R.E.M.'s third album is arguably their masterpiece. A complete, compentent work which bridges their early folk music influences, newly found rock structure's and punk themes. The album gleams with talent, Stipe's vocal skills, both auraly and lyricaly, blossom into the potential 'Murmur' and 'Reckoning' had promised. Buck, the king of the easy riff, joins Stipe in a musical partnership that would be almost unbeatable for the next ten years. This album, despite the missing apostraphe, is R.E.M's first great album. Some would say it owuld be their last.
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Life's Rich Pageant
Life's Rich Pageant by R.E.M. (Audio CD - 1997)
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