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  • Green
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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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All roads lead to this...the career defining album.The road paved by the band up to this album , has been an extraordinary one. The self confidence in their songwriting shown right from the getgo will remain one of greatest hallmarks in Rock and Roll history. Personally, I thought that Document No:5 would never be bettered, so when this was released I was totally blown away. IMHO EVERY song on this masterclass of an album stand up as a stone-cold classics and will always remain one of the album's in my Top Ten of all time. I guess it also helps if you are of a certain age and, like me, aware of the band from the beginning , so that the full impact of this albums arrival was more keenly felt. Overlook and underestimate this magnificent album at your peril. ENJOY!!!
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VINE VOICEon 21 November 2006
REM played their first concert in Athens, Georgia in April 1980. Their line-up consisted of two Californians (guitarist Peter Buck and basist Mike Mills), a Minnesota native (drummer Bill Berry) and a single Georgian (singer Mike Mills) who had met at the University of Georgia. In the finest traditions of rock 'n' roll, all four dropped out and have since been labelled in some equarters the Godfathers of US 'alt-rock'.

Released in 1988, "Green" was the band's sixth full-length album, but their first to be released on a major label. Although they continued to work with Scott Litt, who had produced their previous album "Document", the two albums sound quite different to my ears. "Turn You Inside Out" is probably the one song on "Green" that wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Document" . It's also one of the better songs on this album - though, in contrast to the album's other highlighs, it's totally plugged in and features a guitar riff that grinds in a good way. "You Are The Everything" and "Hairshirt" are the two other tracks that stand out for me - gentle acoustic numbers that feature Peter Buck on mandolin rather than electric guitar. "World Leader Pretend" is another excellent track - a touch less acoustic, though it manages to keep an introspective feel while Bucky Baxter's pedal steel guitar adds a slight country feel to it. The band also saw some chart success wih singles lifted from this album - "Stand" reached the US Top Ten in early 1989 (it also features Peter Buck's first solo with a newly acquired wah-wah pedal), while "Orange Crush" made the UK's Top Thirty later that same year. However, I don't really think the years have been kind to either song - while I liked them both well enough at the time, I'd now consider them easily the weakest tracks on the album.

Overall, "Green" is a decent album. It some great tracks and is well worth four stars - but, on the whole, REM have done better.
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VINE VOICEon 25 October 2008
REM,s first album for a major label ( Warner Bros for who they signed a five album deal worth $10 million) was their sixth album and arguably the first that saw the band fall from the general standards of excellence they revelled in for their previous five albums on the IRS label. Coincidence? , probably, as under the terms if their contract with W.B. they were allowed complete artistic autonomy . Having pointed that out Green is still worth having in any collection as it does contain some tremendous tracks .
Released on the 7th November in 1988 , one day before the 88 presidential election , the recording of Green marked a significant shift in the groups recording methods. This was a conscious decision by the group ( no doubt with the compliance of producer Scott Litt) to avoid making an album similar to their previous . The band swapped instruments for some of the songs. Bill Berry played bass on "You Are The Everything ", "The Wrong Child" and Hairshirt" while Peter Buck contributed drums on the last untitled track ( copyrighted under the moniker "11" as it was the eleventh track appropriately enough) . Mike Mills played keyboards on many tracks , a role he would adopt for future recordings , and even learnt the accordion. They most notable addition however was Bucks use of the mandolin which he utilised on the three tracks on which Berry played bass.
The album , as had their previous albums Document (Remastered) and Life's Rich Pageant (Remastered) , kicks off in imperious affirmative style with "Pop Song 89" and "Get Up" which confirm with their sense of mischievous fun and gleaming pop hooks that here is a band truly embracing the transition from indie band to stadium hugging major players. "Stand" a big hit i find rather annoying with it,s big dumb arrangement and clunking chords but either side of that are the gorgeous "You Are The Everything " and the albums pinnacle "World Leader Pretend" ( with cello from Jane Scarpantoni and pedal steel from Bucky Baxter) a brilliant acerbic diatribe against the men who run things . A song that manages to sound both both mournful and angry.
The twisted slightly awkward "Turn You Inside Out" is preceded by the trademark harmonies of Mike Mills on "Orange Crush " where Michael Stipe , further moving towards mainstream acceptability with his more clarified vocals ( augmented by a megaphone on this track) perverts this with his oblique lyrics. From track nine -"Hairshirt" i feel the album rather runs out of steam though "I Remember California" is a pleasant wistful number.
REM were to move even emphatically towards the mainstream with their next album Out of Time which despite including one of their finest songs "Losing My Religion" is by far their weakest album , though many ( usually those who embrace what ever is most popular at the time) fee it,s their strongest. Green can be seen as the moment when the band stepped confidently into the commercial spotlight something they were to embrace fully ( and brilliantly with Automatic for the People) before the sonic experimentation ofNew Adventures in Hi-Fiand Up. So sometimes it seems the only way is indeed up.
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on 28 February 2016
Perhaps REMs best record of all, Gree matched politicaly engaged stadium rovk with a cluthch of mandolin led cuts which predated their commerical high of the early 1990s. A second disc recorded live in Nort Carolina makes forqa cool package on thi 25th anniversary edition.
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on 8 April 2010
This is REMs best and it is one of those rare albums with not one weak track/album fillers on it, and if you are new to REM (where the hell have you been) then this is the album to buy to see what all the fuss is about. It is just great song after great song.
There is beauty in the songs; You are the everything and Hairshirt.
There is sadness in the songs; World leader Pretend and I remenber Cailfornia.
and Raw power in the Songs I will turn You Inside Out and Orang Crush.
Also there is fun in the songs; Pop Song 69 and Stand.
This album has got it all a song for ever mood. sSo get in the mood and buy it.
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on 5 June 2013
I would assume that anyone reading this review already owns the album or has heard it and is wondering if it worth buying for the re-mastered sound and the live disc. On both counts it is a very big yes, the re-mastering of the original album is great adding improved depth to the sound, it sounds so much more powerful, a great job. The live disc is very enjoyable as well, a perfect companion to the original album infact it so good it would stand alone as a release in it's own right making for a good value for money package. Highly recomended.
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on 26 January 2001
Green is the album that, excuse the pun, gave the cult Georgia rockers, the "green" light as they moved to Warner records and released some irresistible and very catchy pop (the fabulous "Pop Song 89") while retaining their odd cult status with some folky material involving mandolins (the best of which is "The Wrong Child") while "Orange Crush" has become one of their most recognizable songs, being absolutely brilliant! A harder edged album than their 1990s work, it is also very important to any R.E.M. fan.
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on 29 May 2013
Time passes so quickly. A 25th anniversary edition of this landmark album has now been released, the band itself has disbanded, and the pivotal role of "Green' in their story can be seen more clearly than ever.

It's no accident that "Green" is sandwiched in time between R.E.M.'s most demanding album, "Document", and their most accessible "Out of Time". In every sense it is a transitional product, marking the band's movement from parochial to global perspectives and from rock to pop.

The last word of the preceding paragraph may enrage some of the band's fans. But let me clarify. I'm not comparing R.E.M. with the here-today-and-thankfully-gone-tomorrow pop that fills the singles charts, but rather with the thankfully-here-for-ever classic pop of the Beatles and Phil Spector (in other words the universal riverbed of pop, of which rock is only a sub-set). R.E.M. were actually stretching the unyielding envelope of rock from 'Radio Free Europe' onwards, but by the time of "Green" such narrow genre boundaries were no more than a plaything in their inquisitive hands.

The transition is appropriately marked by several traits that are now considered to the quintessential hallmarks of R.E.M.'s career, but which really made their first substantive appearance here. All of these traits have their roots in a new found artistic self-confidence that expresses itself in a quantum leap of both vision and technique:

1) Experimentation with new sonic textures.
2) Willingness to risk alienating the established fan-base.
3) A typically post-modern playfulness with musical genres that simultaneously honours and subverts the band's own influences.

Some commentators of course claim to see these traits in the band's earlier work, but very few of these could offer conclusive evidence that they were interpreting the earlier stuff that way at the time it first appeared. It is an easy and excusable mistake to read back into an artist's earlier work insights that emerged at a later date, and I believe that to be the case here. In other words, however good the early albums were (and for me, they include some of the band's best work), they have been largely reinterpreted by critics and established fans in the light of more recent statements.

This leaves "Green", in historical terms, in a rather similar position to "Murmur": A ground-breaking album, not universally appreciated but with a massive cult following, that acted as the springboard for an entire phase in the band's history. Indeed, the best parts of the later albums came when the band successfully opened up to deeper exploration some of the musical motifs that had their genesis in the "Green" sessions.

Of course that sort of historical significance doesn't necessarily make an album rewarding to listen to on its own terms, and when I first got my copy home I wondered if I'd made a mistake buying it. However it grew on me by leaps and bounds, and of all R.E.M.'s classic cuts it is now the one I return to most often. The anniversary edition's bonus disc of live performances is just icing on a very substantial cake.
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on 15 May 2010
A gem of an album! If you love REM then you won't be disappointed with this . Just starting to hit the big time. A must buy for all die-hard fans. 5*
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on 1 July 2013
Had this main album on recorded cassette but the live version brings back good memories of the 4 times I have seen them play live.
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