The 25th anniversary edition of Lifes Rich Pageant is out today, and for devotees of the band’s fourth record, you won’t want to miss the newly remastered version and the awesome extra disc, the Athens Demos (see full tracklisting at the bottom of this article).
The commemorative release also has all-new liner notes by music journalist and author Parke Puterbaugh, (download them here) with the 2CD package presented in a lift-top box with a poster and four postcards. The original album is also available on 180-gram vinyl in faithfully replicated LP packaging.
Produced by Don Gehman, Pageant includes the singles “Fall On Me” and “Superman.” The album was R.E.M.’s first to achieve Gold certification status, and it reached #21 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart, the band’s then-highest chart position.
“The Athens Demos,” as the band has dubbed them, comprise the new edition’s second disc of 19 previously unreleased recordings, including drafts of Pageant’s 12 songs, plus additional demos of songs that were later recorded for other releases. Among them are early versions of “Bad Day,” “Rotary Ten,” “Two Steps Onward,” “Mystery To Me,” “All The Right Friends,” and “March Song (King Of Birds),” an early instrumental version of “King Of Birds” from Document. One track, “Wait,” has never before been officially released by R.E.M. in any form, but it has shown up on bootlegs over the years.
LISTEN TO I BELIEVE [THE ATHENS DEMOS]
Check out the full version of I BELIEVE here.
SPINNER STREAMS THE ENTIRE ALBUM
You can check out Spinner.com’s listening party as they stream the entire record here.
POPMATTERS.COM TOP FIVE VIDEOS
To commemorate the release of Pageant, Popmatters.com has compiled their picks for the top five videos from the band’s I.R.S. tenure. You can see what made the list here.
PAGEANT VIDEOS AND INTERVIEW
Check out the videos for “Fall On Me” and “Swan Swan H” below as well as a vintage promotional interview with Peter and Mike from 1986:
Pageant Videos and Interviews
UNCUT AND MOJO GIVE PAGEANT ANNIVERSARY EDITION 5 STARS
Read UNCUT’s review of the deluxe edition and see why they name it their “Reissue of the Month” for August. Mojo says Lifes Rich Pageant “sounds not even slightly wearied by the quarter century that has elapsed since its release” in their review of the reissue.
LIFES RICH PAGEANT 25TH ANNIVERSARY DELUXE EDITION TRACKLISTING
Disc One: digitally remastered original album
1. Begin The Begin
2. These Days
3. Fall on Me
5. Hyena (Album Version)
6. Underneath The Bunker
7. The Flowers of Guatemala
8. I Believe
9. What If We Give It Away?
10. Just a Touch
11. Swan Swan H
Disc Two: The Athens Demos — all previously unreleased
(Recorded March 1986 at John Keane’s Studio, Athens GA)
1. Fall On Me
3. March Song (King Of Birds)
4. These Days
5. Bad Day
6. Salsa (Underneath The Bunker)
7. Swan Swan H
8. Flowers Of Guatemala
9. Begin The Begin
11. I Believe
12. Out Of Tune
13. Rotary Ten
14. Two Steps Onward
15. Just A Touch
16. Mystery To Me
18. All The Right Friends
19. Get On Their Way (What If We Give It Away)