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R.E.M. - Monster
(Warner Bros 9362-45763-2 Ger-94 125:-)

MONSTER is indeed R.E.M.'s long-promised "rock" album; it just doesn't rock in the way one might expect. Instead of R.E.M.'s trademark anthemic bashers, MONSTER offers a set of murky sludge, powered by the heavily distorted and delayed guitar of Peter Buck.

Deleted special limited edition release 12-track CD presented in a 6" x 9" deluxe 52-page hardback book featuring exclusive artwork and photographs
R.E.M. - Music between Tours
Warner PRO-986 Ger-95 225:-)

R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional and modern.

German 12-track promo-only CD of tracks from "Green", "Out Of Time", "Automatic" & "Monster", custom picture sleeve.
R.E.M. - Up
(Warner 2-47151 US-98 200:-)

The departure of drummer Bill Berry in 1997 no doubt unsettled his former R.E.M. -mates, who found themselves straddling not only creative, but personal crossroads. Rather than giving up, the remaining members of R.E.M. reinvented themselves and released UP, a stunning, eloquent album of dark vulnerability and experimentalism. The emotional disquiet Stipe evokes is nearly shocking in its plainspoken lyricism.

Scarce 1998 US limited edition box set which includes a spiral bound book, exclusive photograph/postcards and complete lyrics. All housed in a 6" x 10½" box which is still in the original 'REM UP' printed shrink.
Ramones - Leave Home
(Warner WPCR-12723 Jap-07 200:-)

Released only months after RAMONES, the Ramones' second album pales slightly in comparison to its stone-classic predecessor--but only slightly. LEAVE HOME contains enough all-time Ramones anthems--"Commando," "Pinhead" (which introduces the legendary "Gabba Gabba Hey" chant), and "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment," to name only three--that it's still an essential document of the New York punk scene. More importantly, this reissue appends a whopping 16 bonus tracks, the entirety of the Ramones' August 1976 Hollywood live debut.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve with 16 bonus tracks - Remastered.
Ramones - Pleasant Dreams
(Warner WPCR-12727 Jap-07 200:-)

END OF THE CENTURY didn't make the Ramones into the stars they so wanted to be, so they hooked up with another '60s icon, Graham Gouldman, for its follow-up, PLEASANT DREAMS. Oddly, Gouldman directs the band away from their bubblegum, British Invasion, and surf fetishes toward acid rock and heavy metal. They still manage to squeak out a couple of irresistibly catchy songs, but the production is too clean to qualify as punk.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve with 7 bonus tracks - Remastered.
Ramones - Subterranean Jungle
(Warner WPCR-12728 Jap-07 200:-)

Tentatively returning toward punk, or at least new wave, the Ramones turned in their most enjoyable record since ROCKET TO RUSSIA with SUBTERRANEAN JUNGLE. Producers Ritchie Cordell and Glen Kolotkin were the heads of the edgy power pop and punk label Bomp!, so they steered the Ramones back toward the '60s pop infatuation that provided the foundation for their early records. It's a strategy that pays off well — for the most part, the group's originals are so punchy and catchy that they make the pair of covers superfluous.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve with 7 bonus tracks - Remastered.
Ramones - Too Tough to Die
(Warner WPCR-12729 Jap-07 200:-)

With the Ramones' original drummer, Tommy Erdelyi, producing, the group returns to simple, scathing punk rock on TOO TOUGH TO DIE. The group takes the big guitar riffs of SUBTERRANEAN JUNGLE and makes them shorter and heavier. The Ramones' rhythms are back up to jackhammer speed and the songs are down to short, terse statements. The results read like a reaction to hardcore punk, but the Ramones are more melodic than any hardcore band, as well as smarter than most.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve with 10 bonus tracks - Remastered.
Raspberries - Live at Sunset Strip
(Raspberries LLC RASP-101770 UK-07 300:-)

Quick: what undersung band has been cited as a crucial influence by Springsteen, Kurt, Courtney, KISS, Joan Jett, Mötley Crüe and at least two Sex Pistols? It's the Raspberries, arguably the most influential power-pop group ever to emerge from west of the Atlantic...

LIVE ON SUNSET STRIP marks the triumphant return after 30 years of the Raspberries' original line-up of Eric Carmen, Wally Bryson, Dave Smalley and Jim Bonfanti, recorded at Los Angeles' House of Blues during the band's sold-out 2005 reunion tour.

The Deluxe Version contains the entire 21-song concert on 2 CDs, plus a bonus 5 track DVD in a special digipak.
Reed, Lou - The Bells
(BMG/Arista BVCM-37748 Jap-06 200:-)

Intriguing even by Reed's own standards, THE BELLS is an experimental album, recorded in so-called binaural sound, a process which he became enamored with in the late '70s. Theoretically, it was supposed to simulate a 360 degree soundfield, although Reed himself has since admitted it didn't work. Reed's usually plainspoken vocals are somewhat affected here, and the overall sound--courtesy of Marty Fogel's overdubbed saxophone section--verges on early '70s glam rock.

Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve.
REO Speedwagon - You can Tune a Piano
(Sony EICP-1488 Jap-11 175:-)

YOU CAN TUNE A PIANO, BUT YOU CAN'T TUNA FISH was a breakthrough album for REO Speedwagon in a sense, gelling the guitar craft of Gary Richrath and the vocals of Kevin Cronin with songs that rambled and rolled and never stopped for air. Richrath's style finally formed some catchy hooks, and Cronin's songwriting is solid, while his voice sounds rejuvenated and downright fiery.

40th Anniversary; Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Richman, Jonathan - Not so Much to be Loved
(Sanctuary SANCD290 EU-04 175:-)

NOT SO MUCH TO BE LOVED AS TO LOVE documents the thoughts and feelings of Jonathan Richman at the age of 53, which finds him as playful as ever but exploring some unexpected avenues -- confronting political matters as he sings to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, embracing the French and Spanish tongues, celebrating the art of Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali (both with greater sophistication than he displayed in his famous tune about Picasso), and in his own subtle way confronting the specter of age and the weight of his past.

Original European pressing - Still Sealed!
Robertson, Robbie - same
(Geffen MER-0046 UK-87 150:-)

Rare 1987 UK promotional-only box set includes a full 9-track cassette album, 'Fallen Angel' 2-track promotional CD, 11-pages of media cuttings, custom fold-out lyric booklet and 10" x 8" publicity photograh.

All housed in a custom glossy picture box, which shows a little wear and tear along the edges - still, a stunning item!
Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street
(Universal UICY-40001 Jap-13 400:-)

Still inspired by their STICKY FINGERS recording sessions in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, EXILE ON MAIN STREET found the Rolling Stones sounding more like a Southern fried juke-joint band than ever before. That EXILE was recorded in a basement is no surprise, either--much of it sounds as if it was recorded live at a gospel revival, with a final mix that gives no hierarchy to specific instruments. The result is a swampy, most exhilarating chunk of rock & roll euphoria.

This Limited Edition, Platinum SHM-CD release features a mini replica of the original gatefold picture sleeve with inner sleeves and the set of postcards and obi-strip. It comes in a special 5½" x 5½" white box with pasted artwork on the front and the full back obi-strip. A booklet is included containing liner notes in Japanese and the lyrics in English and Japanese.
Rolling Stones - Flowers
(Universal UICY-93792 Jap-08 225:-)

Dismissed as a rip-off of sorts by some critics as it took the patchwork bastardization of British releases for the American audience to extremes, gathering stray tracks from the U.K. versions of Aftermath and Between the Buttons, 1966-1967 singles (some of which had already been used on the U.S. editions), and a few outtakes. Judged solely by the music, though, it's rather great.

SHM-CD Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve.
Rolling Stones - It's only Rock n Roll
(Universal UICY-94574 Jap-10 250:-)

After years of building off their rhythm and blues credentials, the title IT'S ONLY ROCK & ROLL insinuates a lowbrow rock aesthetic, but on this album the Rolling Stones mixed rock's aggression with an unparalleled appreciation for soul music.

SHM-CD Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve. Comes with two obi-strips, printed inner-sleeve, numbered photo of original vinyl labels.
Rolling Stones - Remastered Series
(ABKCO 9215-2 EU-02 500:-)

A promotional press pack comprising a 31 page press release featuring introduction and project credit, biography, colour discography and tracklistings for twenty-two albums [one per page], all housed in custom fold-out picture folder featuring colour discography on inside cover - stunning!
Rolling Stones - The London Years
(ABKCO ‎1218-2 US-89 250:-)

The Rolling Stones made genuine albums -- even their early R&B/blues albums were impeccably paced -- but their singles had a power all their own, which is quite clearly illustrated by the "Singles Collection". By presenting the singles in chronological order, the set takes on a relentless, exhilarating pace with each hit and neglected B-side piling on top of each other, adding a new dimension to the group; it has a power it wouldn't have had if it tried to sample from the albums.

3CD Box Set. Digitally remastered from original master recordings. Released in a 12" recordsized box including a 72 pagebook with pictures, sleeves and lyrics.
Rundgren, Todd - Something/Anything
(Victor VICP-75036/7 Jap-12 350:-)

After two albums, Todd Rundgren had one hit and a burgeoning cult following, plus growing respect as a hitmaking record producer. There's no question he was busy, but as it turns out, all this work only scratched the surface of his ambition.

He had decided to abandon the Runt pretense and recorded a full double album by himself (save for one side). Others had recorded one-man albums before, most notably Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, but Rundgren -- without borrowing musically from either artist -- captured the homemade ambience of McCartney with the visionary feel of "Music of My Mind", adding an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music from Gilbert & Sullivan through Jimi Hendrix, plus the crazed zeal of a pioneer.

Listening to "Something/Anything?", is a mind-altering trip in itself, no matter how many instantly memorable, shamelessly accessible pop songs are scattered throughout the album.

K2 HD Mastering; Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve
Rush - 2112
(Universal 02557-20269 EU-16 225:-)

"2112" is archetypal high-concept heavy/art-rock, featuring an interconnected suite of songs and a futuristic science fiction-inspired lyrical theme (courtesy of drummer/sole lyricist Neil Peart). When it came to '70s sci fi rock epics these guys were capable of giving Hawkwind and Jefferson Starship a run for their money.

2CD + 1DVD 40th Anniversary Edition
Rush - Moving Pictures
(Atlantic WPCR-13479 Jap-09 200:-)

MOVING PICTURES is the intersection between Rush's '70s art-rock style and their sequencer-laced '80s efforts. An incredible stylistic leap for the band, the songs here incorporate reggae, percolating synth and even a new wave-tinged early '80s pop sensibility. The increased reliance on synthesizers and sequencers would later become irksome to old school Rush fans, but on MOVING PICTURES, electronics are tastefully applied to further the group's musical vision, making for what just might be their finest batch of songs.

SHM-CD Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve