Top positive review
Out of Time, Out of Luck
on 4 August 2017
Out of Time – 25th Anniversary Edition
The Out of Time album is of course a classic and one of the bands best, but the 25th Anniversary Edition is a bit of a disappointment.
The actual 1991 album is as great as it ever was, but the scant bonus material that they have chosen to release alongside it is frankly criminal.
Unless you have already purchased the Complete Rarities (1988-2011) you are going to be missing some of the finest songs the band ever recorded.
Okay, the demo tracks included on the 25th Anniversary are pretty decent, if slim pickings. It’s great being able to hear Michael Stipe on lead vocals for “Near Wild Heaven” and “Texarkana” (letting Mike Mills sing on the final versions though was inspired). The acoustic version of “Radio Song” is a stand out (and is that Bill Berry singing with Stipey?), as is the “Fretless” demo (with completely different lyrics than the finished version). Really though, this deserved to have a much wider collection of songs adding to the 25th Anniversary Edition.
Sadly missing in action here are tracks like: “First We Take Manhattan”, “Organ Song” (both instrumental and vocal versions), “Fretless” (goes without saying), “Mandolin Strum”, “40 Second Song”, “It’s a Free World Baby”, and their amazing renditions of “Summertime”, and “I Walked with a Zombie”. I could go on.
I just hope that the 25th Anniversary of “Automatic for the People” fairs better than this anorexic selection of songs.