Walk Unafraid
Up | 1998
Listen Original Listen Final Mix

More Sequencing Woes

To expound on the sequence issues on the Up album, it really feels like they were overconfident on how far fans would follow them in 1998. It feels wierd to attribute the word “overconfident” to them, but in this case, Up is sequenced to turn people away from tha album.

The idea behind opening with a very long, slow track like “Airportman” is to show the listener that they are going in a defiantly differnt direction than previous albums. This type of decision continues throughout the album. Also notably odd is leading with Lotus as the first single and representative song from the album. That and “Daysleeper” wew the singles. Neither of which are bad songs by any meands. But neither one are whatr I think of as the standouts from the album.

Without a doubt, Up should have started with “Walk Unafraid” as the first track and single. It’s the best bridge song on this album from the older electric/acoustic REM to the new synth-focused. There are many effects on this track, but mostly from guitar. Plus it’s a conplete banger.

For hours on this subject, I refer you to the R U Talking REM 2 Me podcast’s Up episode.

Acoustic Tracks Again

I got a chance to record acoustic one-take verions of Living Well, Shaking Through and Sitting Still. It’s nice to be able to come back to these songs and perform them in one take. For each one, I didn;t let myself stop recording once started. This is one take, warts and all. No EQ or effects.

This way, I can see how these sound raw in case I ever want a bunch of songs to play on guitar anywhere. Plus, several of these are candidates for covers with my band. It’s nice to hear a raw, stripped back version to figure out what we can do with it.