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R.E.M.: Murmur (33 1/3 Series)

by

R.E.M.: Murmur (33 1/3 Series) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

R.E.M.'s debut album, released in 1983, was so far removed from the prevailing trends of American popular music that it still sounds miraculous and out of time today. J. Niimi tells the story of the album's genesis — with fascinating input from Don Dixon and Mitch Easter. He also investigates Michael Stipe's hypnotic, mysterious lyrics, and makes the case for Murmur as a work of Southern Gothic art.

In the course of an interview that took place some twenty years ago, Michael Stipe made passing reference to an essay that had a deep impact on him. It's what came to his mind when, after having been harangued by fans and journalists alike about Murmur's lyrics, already grown weary from having to continually entertain their broad speculations, he finally threw up his hands. "Anyone who really wants to figure out the words to our songs should probably read this essay, then go back and listen," Stipe told the interviewer. "It talks about how people misinterpret something that's being said, and come up with a little phrase or word that actually defines the essence of what the original was better than the original did." What Stipe was trying to say is that if you want answers to R.E.M., you're not only looking in the wrong place, you're also asking the wrong questions.

Review:

"It was only a matter of time before a clever publisher realized that there is an audience for whom Exile on Main Street or Electric Ladyland are as significant and worthy of study as The Catcher in the Rye or Middlemarch. The series... is freewheeling and eclectic, ranging from minute rock-geek analysis to idiosyncratic personal celebration." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Ideal for the rock geek who thinks liner notes just aren't enough." Rolling Stone

Review:

"One of the coolest publishing imprints on the planet." Bookslut

Review:

"These are for the insane collectors out there who appreciate fantastic design, well-executed thinking, and things that make your house look cool. Each volume in this series takes a seminal album and breaks it down in startling minutiae. We love these. We are huge nerds." Vice

Review:

"A brilliant series... each one a word of real love." NME

Review:

"Passionate, obsessive, and smart." Nylon

Review:

"Religious tracts for the rock 'n' roll faithful." Uncut

Review:

"We... aren't naive enough to think that we're your only source for reading about music (but if we had our way... watch out). For those of you who really like to know everything there is to know about an album, you'd do well to check out Continuum's 33 1/3 series of books." Pitchfork

Book News Annotation:

In this book about rock group REM's debut album Murmur, music writer Niimi discusses the early history of the band, the studio environment in relation to the making of the album, a song-by-song description of the album, his own experience with the record and its relationship to 1980s culture and Southern Gothic, and an analysis of vocals and language.
Annotation 2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

33 1/3 is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains over 50 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike.

Synopsis:

R.E.M.'s debut album, released in 1983, was so far removed from the prevailing trends of American popular music that it still sounds miraculous and out of time today. J. Niimi tells the story of the album's genesis - with fascinating input from Don Dixon and Mitch Easter. He also investigates Michael Stipe's hypnotic, mysterious lyrics, and makes the case for Murmur as a work of Southern Gothic art.EXCEPRT:In the course of an interview that took place some twenty years ago, Michael Stipe made passing reference to an essay that had a deep impact on him. It's what came to his mind when, after having been harangued by fans and journalists alike about Murmur's lyrics, already grown weary from having to continually entertain their broad speculations, he finally threw up his hands. "Anyone who really wants to figure out the words to our songs should probably read this essay, then go back and listen," Stipe told the interviewer. "It talks about how people misinterpret something that's being said, and come up with a little phrase or word that actually defines the essence of what the original was better than the original did." What Stipe was trying to say is that if you want answers to R.E.M., you're not only looking in the wrong place, you're also asking the wrong questions.

About the Author

Justin Niimi writes about rock music for a number of publications including the Chicago Reader and Seattle Weekly, and is a regular contributor to City Pages. He worked as a studio engineer and record producer, and toured and recorded five albums with his band Ashtray Boy. He lives in Chicago, where he hosts Radio Zero, a weekly rock show.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780826416728
Author:
Niimi, J.
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Author:
Niimi, Justin
Subject:
Alternative
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Rock
Subject:
Alternative & Indie
Subject:
Music-Rock History
Subject:
Rock
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
33 1/3
Publication Date:
20050431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
6.51 x 4.76 x 0.44 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » 33 1/3 Series
Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » Biographies
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism

R.E.M.: Murmur (33 1/3 Series) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 160 pages Continuum International Publishing Group - English 9780826416728 Reviews:
"Review" by , "It was only a matter of time before a clever publisher realized that there is an audience for whom Exile on Main Street or Electric Ladyland are as significant and worthy of study as The Catcher in the Rye or Middlemarch. The series... is freewheeling and eclectic, ranging from minute rock-geek analysis to idiosyncratic personal celebration."
"Review" by , "Ideal for the rock geek who thinks liner notes just aren't enough."
"Review" by , "One of the coolest publishing imprints on the planet."
"Review" by , "These are for the insane collectors out there who appreciate fantastic design, well-executed thinking, and things that make your house look cool. Each volume in this series takes a seminal album and breaks it down in startling minutiae. We love these. We are huge nerds."
"Review" by , "A brilliant series... each one a word of real love."
"Review" by , "Passionate, obsessive, and smart."
"Review" by , "Religious tracts for the rock 'n' roll faithful."
"Review" by , "We... aren't naive enough to think that we're your only source for reading about music (but if we had our way... watch out). For those of you who really like to know everything there is to know about an album, you'd do well to check out Continuum's 33 1/3 series of books."
"Synopsis" by , 33 1/3 is a series of short books about a wide variety of albums, by artists ranging from James Brown to the Beastie Boys. Launched in September 2003, the series now contains over 50 titles and is acclaimed and loved by fans, musicians and scholars alike.
"Synopsis" by ,
R.E.M.'s debut album, released in 1983, was so far removed from the prevailing trends of American popular music that it still sounds miraculous and out of time today. J. Niimi tells the story of the album's genesis - with fascinating input from Don Dixon and Mitch Easter. He also investigates Michael Stipe's hypnotic, mysterious lyrics, and makes the case for Murmur as a work of Southern Gothic art.EXCEPRT:In the course of an interview that took place some twenty years ago, Michael Stipe made passing reference to an essay that had a deep impact on him. It's what came to his mind when, after having been harangued by fans and journalists alike about Murmur's lyrics, already grown weary from having to continually entertain their broad speculations, he finally threw up his hands. "Anyone who really wants to figure out the words to our songs should probably read this essay, then go back and listen," Stipe told the interviewer. "It talks about how people misinterpret something that's being said, and come up with a little phrase or word that actually defines the essence of what the original was better than the original did." What Stipe was trying to say is that if you want answers to R.E.M., you're not only looking in the wrong place, you're also asking the wrong questions.
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