Thursday, April 16, 2015

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

This is what I'm talkin' 'bout.

R.E.M., like the Replacements, covers an artist of roughly equal stature—not that they were really Creedence Clearwater Revival's equals...yet...but time would prove that eventually they would both be two serious contenders for the title of Greatest American Rock Band Ever—putting their own stamp on the original material largely through dint of their innately unique sound, without taking major liberties, yet making it clearly their own.

Like the 'Mats, R.E.M. had a great, nimble rhythm section and a guitarist of considerable distinction, as well as a vocalist capable of greatness who treated lyrics as though they were of no enormous import.

The result is a wonderful cover that could have been even greater if Michael Stipe had bothered to actual learn the words. (Given that this is how he treated his own material, of course, it's somewhat understandable, if still a little disappointing.) Still, more than worth it for how the band, largely although by no means entirely due to Peter Buck's guitar, transforms this Vietnam lament from the Bay Area swamp band into a gentle American Gothic air so southern you can practically smell the kudzu.

No comments:

Post a Comment