29 August 2010

Where is "When I Was Young"?

On June 5th, I posted about the expanded 25th Anniversary 2CD and digital edition of R.E.M.'s 1985 album, Fables Of The Reconstruction.  I was excited about the bonus disc containing an unreleased demo titled "Throw Those Trolls Away."  To the best of my knowledge, I had never heard that song before and was looking froward to hearing a 'new' song from one of my favorite periods of the band.

As it turns out, I had heard the song before.  It was performed live on April 28, 1985 and I have a copy of that recording.  I suppose hearing a new R.E.M. song from 1985 was too good to be true, but it was fun to hear the demo of the song.  There was also a bit of confusion.

Included in the artwork for the Fables Of The Reconstruction album was a track list that included a song titled "When I Was Young."  Years ago, when I first saw this track list, I was intrigued about what happened to the song.  Why didn't R.E.M. decide to include it on the album?  Years later, when I was amassing my collection of concerts, I was thrilled to see "When I Was Young" listed on one of the set lists.  When I first heard it, it sounded an awful lot like the song "I Believe" from R.E.M.'s next album Lifes Rich Pageant in 1986.  I figured it was just retitled and reworked for the Lifes Rich Pageant.

Granted, titles for new songs listed on a bootleg concert should be taken with a grain of salt, but "When I Was Young" sure sounded like the correct title.  It seemds to me that "Throw Those Trolls Away" was not the name of that song back then, especially since a song by the name of "When I Was Young" is listed on the album artwork and "When I was young" are the first words to the song itself.  I guess it will just remain a mystery.  Perhaps the "When I Was Young" listed on the album artwork is a different song entirely.  Though, I doubt it.

I do believe that "When I Was Young" became "I Believe."  Maybe this was common knowledge and the band decided to change the name to "Throw Those Trolls Away" to drive album sales.  Maybe it just sounded cooler to have a song with 'trolls' in the title.  I have posted "Throw Those Trolls Away" and "I Believe" for comparisons sake.  The picture for "Throw Those Trolls Away" is from the Fables of the Reconstruction artwork and "When I Was Young" is listed on the second line.

I'm sure I have put way too much thought into this...

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