By R.E.M. I have as mp3 – Reckoning (1984)/ Life’s Rich Pageant (1986)/ Document (1987) as stand alone Green (1988), Out of Time (1991), Automatic for the People (1992), Monster (1994), New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1998), Up (1998), Accelerate (2008). Before they hit big a friend have me a cassette (remember those?) of Reckoning which didn’t impress me. It had a sort of Byrds like sound I liked but I was no fan as a result.
I picked up a 2nd hand Document cassette & I guess the sound quality was better & I did enjoy it but when they hit their stride with Green I followed their releases for awhile. Their engineering & production improved. I liked the way their music changed from release to release. Lots of keyboards, then almost acoustic, then more guitar, then a touch of mandolin. It must be odd when an alternative band becomes so mainstream. They turned out to be neo-hippies with their strong ecological, political stance.
To round out the mp3 collection I added: Stories: About Us (1973) – an excellent album by a great US band that didn’t survive their fame. Simply Red: Men & Women (1987); A New Flame (1989): two fine adult pop romantic lps by a band that sort of faded away. Huey Lewis & The News: Sports (1983); Fore! (1986) – read hit parade rock pop by a band that was inescapable from in the mid 80’s.
Joe Simon: Get Down – great soulful sexy r’n’b dance music worth searching out. David Bowie: Let’s Dance: obscure lp by an obscure British musician (just joking). Bowie does disco with intelligence & a bit of grit. Finally The Dream Academy – one of the bands that propelled emo into chamber rock – dreamy & sonically rich.