Out of Time (Remastered) R.E.M.

Album Info

Album Veröffentlichung:


Label: Concord Records

Genre: Rock

Subgenre: Classic Rock

Interpret: R.E.M.

Komponist: Bill Berry, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe, Peter Buck

Das Album enthält Albumcover

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  • 1Radio Song04:15
  • 2Losing My Religion04:28
  • 3Low04:56
  • 4Near Wild Heaven03:19
  • 5Endgame03:51
  • 6Shiny Happy People03:46
  • 7Belong04:06
  • 8Half A World Away03:29
  • 9Texarkana03:39
  • 10Country Feedback04:09
  • 11Me In Honey04:09
  • Total Runtime44:07

Info zu Out of Time (Remastered)

After putting Athens, GA, on the musical map in the early '80s, R.E.M. went on to become one of the world's biggest bands. Fusing folk, garage rock, pop sensibilities, and insightful lyrics delivered with Michael Stipe's inimitable lead vocals, these alt-rock forefathers built a massive indie following, and in 1988 unleashed their major-label debut, Warner Bros. Green. This roots rock tour de force was followed in '91 by the Grammy-winning #1 blockbuster Out of Time, which led to an ongoing stream of masterpieces.

'Yes, it's a departure, but no, it's not so radical a departure that it is unrecognizable as R.E.M. Out of Time moves this unconventional band another step forward; a discernible connection to past records remains, but it is not constricting. The point is that R.E.M. has done it again: defied and fulfilled the conflicting expectation of a broad, mainstream audience and a smaller, more demanding — and possessive — cult. This may well be America's best rock & roll band, as this magazine's cover once proclaimed, but the group would probably wave off that honorific. Surely, however, R.E.M. is America's most resourceful rock & roll band.

R.E.M.'s greatest resource is its four members — not their musicianship, in technical terms, so much as the ideas and personalities that they express through their music — and they've remained unerringly true to their instincts. Such fidelity is difficult to maintain amid critical acclaim and climbing sales figures, which you'd expect might lead them self-consciously to break with or replicate a successful formula. But R.E.M., unpredictable and self-invented, has always operated more on intuition than formulas. This band does not carry a map, and not knowing what lies around the next curve is part of the fascination and fun of following R.E.M.

Musically, Out of Time is R.E.M.'s most baroque album; it breaks out of the guitar-bass-drums-voice format to make room for everything from harpsichord and strings, on 'Half a World Away,' to funky, Jimmy Smith-style organ and a cameo rap by KRS-One of Boogie Down Productions, on 'Radio Song.' The songs are enriched, not cluttered, by these embellishments. Kate Pierson of the B-52's sings on three numbers, shining on the roistering folk-country duet 'Me in Honey,' and Peter Holsapple, the former dB's leader who accompanied the band on its last tour, lends a hand here and there on guitar and bass.

All of this indicates that R.E.M. is no longer a closed circle, and the outreach allows the group to broaden its scope without diluting its essential character. As on Document and Green, the band and Scott Litt share the production credit on Out of Time, and despite the added flourishes the album is certainly not overproduced. There's no superficial glazing, and the raw, unvarnished content of the songs cuts through. The strings convey emotion, whether they are as sepulchral as doomsday ('Low') or as lithe as springtime ('Near Wild Heaven'). Even when instruments are layered upon one another, as in the subtle swell of strings, guitars and mandolins on the existentially despondent 'Losing My Religion,' they make a point. That point is 'Life gets bigger,' and R.E.M. deals with life's billowing complexities throughout Out of Time.

The band members, especially bassist Mike Mills, move outside of their prescribed roles to experiment a little. Mills, for instance, pumps up the jam on 'Radio Song,' ripping into its prickly innards on organ, while guitarist Peter Buck creates sparks with his serrated 'Fame'-style attack and drummer Bill Berry syncopates like an honorary Funkadelic. Mills's organ also sets the funereal mood of 'Low,' on which Berry can be heard tapping congas, and Buck's stinging sustain drenches 'Country Feedback' in plaintive, rippling waves of sound.

As the instrumentalists open themselves up, singer Michael Stipe bares his soul. He's long since stopped concealing his identity in an artful murmur, of course, but the extent to which, on Out of Time, he unburdens himself of doubt, disappointment and bile — and suggest maybe just a faint ray of cock-eyed hope — is nothing short of revelatory. Except for 'Endgame' and a strange, fable-like ramble entitled 'Belong,' all of the album is sung in the first person. Every song has an 'I,' 'me,' 'my' or 'mine' in it, and there's often a 'you' as well. Even 'Radio Song,' an in-your-face number that makes an objective statement about the world outside the self, springs from a subjective reaction: 'I tried to sing along, but damn that radio's song!' Most of the time, Stipe waxes downbeat, sounding 'low low low' and outcast. He sings, 'This could be the saddest dusk I've ever seen,' on 'Half a World Away,' and 'It's all the same, the same, a shame, for me,' on 'Me in Honey.' Technically, he has never sounded better, singing with surety, power and control. He dissects interpersonal relationships with a resigned sense of inevitability, filling songs with concrete details and unsparing analysis: 'It's crazy what you could have had/I mean it, I need this,' he sings with mounting emotion in 'Country Feedback.' The effect is arresting; his verisimilitude can't be denied, because his voice insists on it.

In contrast, there's the heavenly pop chorale of 'Near Wild Heaven' (recalling nothing quite so much as 'Good Vibration'-era Beach Boys) and the breezy, evocative 'Endgame,' the former largely sung by Mills and the latter mostly played by Buck. Stipe himself gets joyful, or appears to, on 'Shiny Happy People,' which commences with a sprightly waltz figure, then is yoked by a spunky riff from Buck before Stipe chimes in: 'Meet me in the crowd/ People, people/Throw your love around/ Love me, love me/ Take it into town/Happy, happy/Put it in the ground where the flowers grow.' These are either the most absurdly sunny or bitingly cynical lyrics he's ever written, and your guess is as good as mine or maybe even Stipe's. More characteristic of 'Out of Time ' is 'Half a World Away,' in which urgent, minor-key music is married to doleful words as the singer steels himself 'to go it alone and hold it alone, haul it along and hold it.'

The songs on Out of Time are seemingly small scale in their first-person obsessions, but their meanings spread out to encompass shared feelings of dread, loneliness, anomie and a growing loss of faith. There are no treatises on ecology or foreign policy, no oblique strategies or hidden agendas. There doesn't have to be; all of that is implicit in the atmosphere of entropy, of things falling apart, that's evoked and detailed candidly, with glimmering beauty and unsurpassable sadness, on Out of Time.' (Parke Puterbaugh, Rolling Stone Magazine)

Bill Berry, drums, piano, vocals
Peter Buck, guitars, mandolin
Mike Mills, bass, organ, piano, harpsichord, vocals (lead vocal on 'Near Wild Heaven' and 'Texarkana')
Michael Stipe, lead vocals, bass melodica

Additional musicians:
KRS-One, vocals on 'Radio Song
Kate Pierson, vocals on 'Shiny Happy People' and (tracks 10, 11)
Peter Holsapple, bass (tracks 1, 3) acoustic guitar (tracks 2, 6, 9) electric guitar (track 7)
Scott Litt, echo-loop feed (track 1)
John Keane, pedal steel guitar (track 9, 10)
Kidd Jordan, baritone saxophone (tracks 1, 4), tenor saxophone (tracks 1, 5), alto saxophone track 1), bass clarinet (tracks 3, 5)
Cecil Welch, flugelhorn (track 5)
Mark Bingham, string arrangements (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)
Dave Kempers, violin
David Braitberg, violin
David Arenz, violin
Ellie Arenz, violin
Paul Murphy, lead viola
Reid Harris, viola
Andrew Cox, cello
Elizabeth Murphy, cello
Ralph Jones, double bass

Produced by: Scott Litt & R.E.M.
Engineer: Scott Litt, John Keane
Masterd by: Stephen Marcussen, Precision Mastering, California
Mixed at Paisley Park Studios, Minnesota
Recorded: Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, NY, Sep-Oct 1990

Was wurde noch nicht gesagt über eine Band, die eine mittlerweile 30-jährige, geschichtenreiche Karriere hinter sich hat? Auf fast alles wurde eingegangen: Aufstieg von College-Indie-Lieblingen zu Mainstream-Superstars? Check. Ein Original-Bandmitglied, das sich entscheidet, zu gehen und einen eigenen Weg einzuschlagen? Check. Auflösungsgerüchte und dann das hart rockende Comeback? Check. Wirklich, was bleibt da noch übrig? Vielleicht etwas so Simples wie dies: R.E.M. haben ihr bestes Album seit 20 Jahren gemacht.

Das ist nicht an den Haaren herbeigezogen. 'Collapse Into Now' ist R.E.M. in Hochform, eine Sammlung von strammen Rockern, ruhigen Melancholie-Momenten und Midtempo-Schrammlern, die Bassist Mike Mills 'unsere beste Platte seit 'Out Of Time'' nennt. Anhänger des 1992er-Meisterwerks 'Automatic For The People' mögen mit so einer Aussage ihre Probleme haben, aber wisst ihr was? Ihr seid nicht in der Band.

Aufgenommen über zwölf Wochen hinweg in Studios in New Orleans, Nashville und Berlin, prescht 'Collapse Into Now' mit Peter Bucks schriller Fuzz-Gitarre ins Bild, doch dann blüht der Song auf und zeigt plötzlich Elemente – megafonartige Vocals, pulsierende Backbeats und einen angecrunchten Mittelteil –, die wirken, als wären hier die Rosinen aus allen Songs der Band-Karriere herausgepickt worden. Sofort wirkt das alles vertraut, und trotzdem frisch. Es wirkt wie eine Band, die es immer noch versteht, ihre kreativen Kräfte zu kanalisieren, dabei aber keine bewährten Muster abspult oder die Vergangenheit als Gehhilfe missbraucht.

In Jacknife Lee, der das aufbrausende 2008er-Album 'Accelerate' betreute, fanden die großen drei (Mills, Buck und Michael Stipe) einen Partner mit beruhigender Aura; der irische Produzent gab ihnen die Möglichkeit, ihre Vision zur Gänze in die Realität umzusetzen. 'Mit Accelerate verfolgten wir ein Ziel: Wir wollten alles schneller machen', sagt Mills. 'Für dieses Album wollten wir nur die besten Songs auswählen.'

Und der Trog ist tief. 'All The Best' und 'Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter' (Letzterer mit Backing-Vocals von Peaches und einem Gitarrensolo von Lenny Kaye) sind schieres Feuer und Raserei, 'Überlin' ist ein wunderbarer Akustik-Track, der auch gut auf 'Automatic For The People' oder 'New Adventures In Hi-Fi' aufgehoben wäre. Ein weiteres frühes Highlight ist das sich steigernde 'It Happened Today' – mit Backing-Vocals von Joel Gibb (Hidden Cameras) und dem Markenzeichen-Brummen von Eddie Vedder, der auf Tour mit Pearl Jam einen Abstecher in die berühmten Berliner Hansa-Studios machte, wo auch schon U2 und David Bowie Platten schufen. 'Das ist mein Lieblingssong des Albums', sagt Mills. 'Mir gefällt die schiere Freude und Hingabe des Sing-Alongs am Ende. Ich würde mir wünschen, dass jeder ihn so schreien möchte. Er ist erlösend.'

Für Jacknife Lee bot 'Collapse Into Now' einen erneuten Blick darauf, wie drei sehr individuelle Persönlichkeiten zusammentreffen, um eine einzelne harmonische Wesenheit zu bilden. 'Es ist selten heutzutage, aber bei ihnen gibt es keine Ego-Grabenkämpfe', sagt Lee. 'Sie gehen sehr respektvoll miteinander um. Das Schwierigste war, sie zu einer Entscheidung zu bringen, wo aufgenommen werden sollte. Ich habe mir Studios angeschaut, die über den ganzen Erdball verteilt sind.'

Orte machen einen Unterschied, und sie beeinflussen die Band. 'Tolle Restaurants sind ein Muss', gibt Mills zu. Aber auch abseits der gastronomischen Anforderungen sickerten die Umgebungen in den Sound von 'Collapse Into Now'. Das sehnsüchtige 'Oh My Heart' präsentiert die Blaskapelle Bonerama aus New Orleans, das epische, schaurige 'Blue' kam unter dem grauen Himmel Berlins zur Welt. Das elegische Lied besitzt Kayes Gitarre und Stipes Spoken-Word-Gesang, ergänzt durch einen rhythmischen Choral der langjährigen Band-Vertrauten Patti Smith.

'Es ist ein trauriges, leidvolles Lied, aber zum Ende wird es hoffnungsvoll', sagt Mills. Und wenn 'Collapse Into Now' ein Leitmotiv besitzt, dann dies: Auch wenn man durch Dunkelheit watet, findet man am Ende zum Licht. Für R.E.M. strahlt dieses kreative Leuchtfeuer mit 'Collapse Into Now' heller denn je. (Quelle: Warner Music)

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