24 January 2010

End of Reckoning

I have all the R.E.M. albums on vinyl even though I don't have a record player. I also have a nice collection of 12" and 7" singles hanging on the wall in my den, though that's another post. I procured most of the albums through eBay. I remember when bidding on the Reckoning album, the item description mentioned additional music at the end of the album that was left off the CD. This piece of information was intriguing; yet, after I got the album, I never found a record player to listen to it.

R.E.M. released a 2 disc 25th anniversary edition of the album last year, and being such an avid R.E.M. fan, I dutifully added it to my collection. Even though my primary music distribution method for my music id through my iPod, I still like to buy the physical CD when it comes to R.E.M.; don't ask me why. I put the album on my iPod, but I also put the CD in the Civic to see just how much better it sounded now that it has been digitally remastered.

To my delight, it did sound better than the old CD I had. I was driving along one day and a piece of music came on that I had never heard before. I started the track from the beginning and it was "Little America". I was a bit confused, but I listened to the song the whole way through and after the song was over, there was a pause and then this:

It was the hidden music that I had read about several year ago. I completely forgot about it, but was tickled to finally be able to listen to it. I'm glad R.E.M. decided to put it on the remastered CD. It was fun hearing an some old R.E.M. music I had never heard before. It got me thinking, though, is this all they intended this song to be? Just 40 seconds at the end of the record? An unfinished track perhaps? I may never know, but it's good to hear it, nonetheless.

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