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Fables of the Reconstruction
Fables of the Reconstruction
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Mid-priced reissue of the foreign edition of their 1985 top 30 album with five bonus tracks added, their cover of Pylon's 'Crazy', 'Burning Hell', 'Bandwagon', 'Driver 8' (Live) and 'Maps And Legends' (Live). 16 tracks tot...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: R.E.M.
Title: Fables of the Reconstruction
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Emd Int'l
Release Date: 8/6/1992
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, American Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 077771316029


Album Description
Mid-priced reissue of the foreign edition of their 1985 top 30 album with five bonus tracks added, their cover of Pylon's 'Crazy', 'Burning Hell', 'Bandwagon', 'Driver 8' (Live) and 'Maps And Legends' (Live). 16 tracks total, also featuring the college radio staples 'Can't Get There From Here', 'Driver 8', 'Feeling Gravity's Pull' & 'Maps And Legends'. 1992 release.

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CD Reviews

In the View Of A Pylon
(4 out of 5 stars)

"By 1985, I had already lived a few years absorbing this being called: R.E.M. The only reason that I was ahead of the pack was due to my move to Virginia two years prior. The Music scene in the South was very fertile {New Bands had a chance of Radio play} and the Club/Bar circuit was rich with Veterans such as Gregg Allman and Robin Trower, but was also generous to new Bands such as: The Georgia Satelites and Red Ryder, that were playing throughout the Southlands. The early 1980's DID show promise, away from the constant deluge of: "Thriller."

R.E.M. had been through my town already, and my Concert memories of the show in Virginia Beach with The Dream Syndicate as the opener in the hot summer of 1984, had already passed into the stuff of Legends. This was my Band, and the Kings of Music, below the Mason/Dixon Line. About half the Music I played was R.E.M. {some liked this, others ran in horror!} This was for me, was as if I had been there in 1965, in LA when The Byrds broke through. I had a chance to be there for this new Band. I was convinced that R.E.M. was going to conquer the World.

As: "Reckoning" was so different from: "Murmur" so is: "Reconstruction Of The Fables" a twist and a turn away from the second LP: "Reckoning", was the Band's all-out Rock 'N' Roll Album. This third one is a run away from Rock, the band was ready to get off the Interstate and head for the Ditch.
They went to London, enlisted veteran producer: Joe Boyd {Fairport Convention, Nick Drake, Sandy Denny} and explored a more reflective take on the music. With folk elements mixed with swirling guitars that invoke strange new soundscapes, the Band was looking back at the past five years in reflection, as if they had just survived a War.

This is a: "Guitar Album" as the vocal work of Michael Stipe is mixed slightly below the thousands of guitars played by Peter Buck. "Feeling Gravity's Pull" starts the show with a guitar lick, and the games are indeed..."On". This Record has a certain: 'Feel' about it. What that would mean to you, is much different of what it means to me, and as I listen to this Wonderful Weirdness over the decades, the meaning has changed more than once or twice. This is an evolving process, this is like an incurable disease, "Fables" will not leave your life.

These songs: "Maps & Legends", "Driver 8", "Old Man Kensey", "Auctioneer" and "Kohoutek" are as strange and magical as their titles would suggest. They are also about the infectious pieces of Music you will ever hear. The music of R.E.M. is very different from others that share this World. The lyrics? I have no clue about the lyrics, they barely break through the surface anyway, they are another component to the sound of this music that is of no more important to me, than the drums. The words are another ingredient here to shape and scope of this...SOUND.

The production of this record is as large or small to each selection as needed. "Can't Get There from Here" features a very strange brass section. String sections and Orchestrations are employed throughout this disc as well. My favorite song here is the beautiful: "Green Grow The Rushes", that was adapted from a Scottish Folk Song of several centuries ago. But, I can not find fault with a single track on this great album. I never listen to; "Fables" unless I have the time to play the entire record through from start to finish, it is the proper way to enjoy this music for me, to hear it in it's complete form.

This: "Expanded Edition" contains some extra material. Three Tracks: "Crazy", "Burning Hell" and "Bandwagon", are from the "Dead Letter Office" Collection CD. There are also live versions of: "Driver 8" and "Maps and Legends". I would purchase this CD in any form, Original or Expanded, but that is your choice. For me, this record shows the promise that existed in the 1980's, of Music that still dared to take chances, and went somewhere completly different from the Mainstream. This is not for everyone, many folks do not like this record even one little bit. I have played this for many, and few have come onboard, in agreement with my opinion of it. So be it.
"Fables" one of the Best of the Eighties.
4.5 Stars !!!"
A great collection of songs!
Dan Stanley | Australia | 08/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One thing before I continue: If you own the original copy of Fables, there is no need to purchase this album; they're all included on Dead Letter Office. But for those of you who don't own the album, this is certainly the one to get.

From the excellent opener, Feeling Gravitys Pull, the listener is drawn into the albums generally gloomy mood... but who said there's anything wrong with gloomy? There are the radio hits Driver 8 (my personal favourite of this cd), Life And How To Live It, and the somewhat upbeat Can't Get There From Here, all great songs. Maps and Legends is my personal favourite, very nice track indeed :P

We also have the calm, though catchy melodys of Green Grow the Rushes, Old Man Kensey, Good Advices and Wendell Gee (a very good album closer, one of the best I've ever heard!) No track on this cd is really that bad, so there's no track skipping here!

Then we have the bonus tracks, that are good but certainly not enough to entice those who own the original. Crazy and Bandwagon are great little covers, the former always urgeing me to start dancing! Burning Hell is probably the worst of the bonus tracks, but it's not that bad.

The two live recordings of two of the better albums on the songs are great, and the live version of Maps is actually superior to the original! Definatly worth hearing for new R.E.M. listeners!

Verdict? Well, I gave the original 4 stars because it still pales in comparison to R.E.M.s other albums, and a few bonus tracks won't change that. But this cd is definatly worth picking up, it's the sort of atmospheric music you won't find on any other cd!"
A Fabled Journey
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 09/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'Reconstruction of the Fables' showcases the uncompromising dedication R.E.M. has to reinvent their sound wheel on every outing. Every album is consistently great quality with the moxy even the Beatles lacked. (For them superstardom garnered nearly limitless resources at their disposal.) '...Fables' is a brilliant album that is only slightly tarnished by a production that reminds one of the sixties. The folk-rock sensibility is certainly updated, however, and the concept presented is consistent in a lyrically and musically varied fashion.

Sojourn is the keyword here. They start this adventure with the shivery instrumentation of "Feel Gravity's Pull." With Peter Buck's sharp guitar patterns, Michael Stipe sings of an inward journey, presented with a landscape of "...a Man Ray* kind of sky...". The invocation of "Step up..., step up...the light is mine" sets up a (possibly or other spiritual symbolism) Dante-esque journey, as in the 'Purgatorio,' to a higher spiritual realm. Then, if the destination is decided, "Maps and Legends" gives the listener a guide. Instrumentally, it is a sweeping and addictive tune at that. Every destination deserves stops along the way, so "Driver 8," with its fast-forward folk-rock appeal, encourages us weary pilgrims with refreshment. One of the best pair of songs from the album are "Life and How to Live It" and "I Can't Get There from Here". Both remind one of riveting punk-rock, not unlike the pace of the Ramones. Still, the first one is punchy; the latter is jazzy. Both have some sage thoughts in the mix. And, they don't stop their advice there, either. "Green Grow the Rushes" illustrates that the splendour of the earth make the journey worthy like its destinations. It contains not only more intricate folk-rock but more textured harmonies as well. (It also shows R.E.M.'s environmental proclivities.) However, not all the stops along the way are pleasant. "Old Man Kensey" is a shivery and startling portrait of a murderer or mobster (or both). The concise images of "wanting to be a goalie..." and "going far" are chillingly provided for a creepy character who seems to slip through the safety net for someone to find--like on a highway. The ending "Wendell Gee" provides a sad portrait of someone who has developmentally not reached his destination. The Southern accents and Stipe's lamenting refrain create a portrait of an innocent youth whose perpetrator of abuse will suffer the consequences. Before the C.D. ends, there is still good will provided. "Good Advices" is languorous, but not an overtime appeal to use gentility with heart in relationships. "Kahoutek" lingers even longer, but it illustrates well that there are key, but fleeting moments when brief relationships and discoveries make life exceptional. "The Auctioneer" provides a new twist thematically and musically to the train songs. More progressive, its admonition is to improve on time, talent, and relationships, but the sound simulates a train to good effect.

'Reconstruction of the Fables' is a thoroughly consistent outing by R.E.M. It may seem like a slight update of sixties' folkie albums, but it delivers a solid set of songs that seldom stray from its theme and without losing the sojourners' interest.

*a painter, photographer."