Song of the Day #2,011: ‘West of the Fields’ – R.E.M.

murmurI don’t think there is any band or solo artist whose music can instantly put me in a specific emotional and mental zone the way R.E.M. can.

To be more specific, this is true for any R.E.M. album release between 1983 and 1996 (in other words, the Michael Mills years). Once Mills left, either because of his absence or by coincidence, the band lost that special alchemy for me.

What’s interesting is that those first 11 albums work on my in different ways.

The final three (Automatic For the People, Monster and New Adventures in Hi-Fi) all place me in the five-year period between when I met my future wife and when we got married.

1991’s Out of Time is a time machine to my first year of college at the University of Florida.

And the seven remarkable albums released between 1983 and 1988 are the soundtrack of my adolescence. I can’t think of any better band to have come of age right when I did. I got R.E.M…. what do today’s kids get?

Long gone, intuition to assume are gone when we try.
Dream of a living jungle in my way back home when we die.

West of the fields. West of the fields. West of the fields. West of the fields.
Long gone. Long gone. Long gone. Long gone. West of the fields.

Dreams of Elysian, to assume are gone when we try
Tell now what is dreaming
When we try to listen with your eyes oversimplify

The animals, how strange. Try, try to stick it in.
The animals, how strange. Try, try to stick it in.

Dreams of Elysian, to assume are gone when we try
Tell now what is dreaming when we try.
Listen through your eyes when we die.

West of the fields. West of the fields. West of the fields. West of the fields.
Long gone. Long gone. Long gone. Long gone. West of the fields.

One thought on “Song of the Day #2,011: ‘West of the Fields’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana says:

    Well, to your question, the band that comes immediately to mind as the REM for this generation is Vampire Weekend.

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