Reckoning and Native Sons
As mentioned in the last post, 1983/1984 was the next significant move for me musically. I was at a loss, metal was clearly not going in the same direction as I was, and I needed direction. My dad helped out regularly at the local St John's Ambulance book sales in Cobham, the book sales were huge and very popular but a table or two was put aside for records, a bunch of which appeared to have been passed on by someone in the music industry as there were always lots of, clearly unplayed, DJ promo singles and LPs. A sale in 1983 provided the very thing I needed.
A promo 7" single of REM's Talk About The Passion turned up, this was followed at a sale in 1984 when a copy of REM's second album Reckoning turned up (along with a promo 7" of Don't Go Back to Rockville). I didn't know REM but the I was ready to try anything.
From the opening of Harborcoat I knew that I had found exactly what I needed. The album set me up for the next couple of years, I bought anything that I could that might have been related, anything jangly and american, I went back and listened to The Byrds. I went to gigs, although bizarrely never got to see REM for a mix of reasons.
Reckoning is still the album I return to most often when I need to listen to REM, I carried on buying the records but after 1989 I'd moved on to another and greater love and the later LPs barely got played.
Talk About The Passion
I nearly chose Native Sons by The Long Ryders for 1984. The Long Ryders I loved as much, but for different reasons, they never had the slight aura of precious that surrounded REM, I have fond memories of hilarious and brilliant Long Ryders gigs at The Mean Fiddler and one time at the Guildford Civic Hall. Listening to Native Sons however it clearly didn't have the same effect on me, it was an album I knew rather than an album I loved.