A band with a substantial back catalogue dating back a long way. You will notice that all of my selections come from the period ending in the early 90s. Earlier material is far superior in my opinion. Here goes with the picks:
(1) Man On The Moon – Most recent song in this list. From the superb “Automatic for the People” album, which is my favourite. Loads of brilliant tunes and great acoustic guitar sounds on there.
(2) Ages of You – From the unreleased and B-sides collection “Dead Letter Office”, this is a song I have loved since the first time I heard it, longer ago than I care to contemplate. In actual fact, some of the songs on this album are better than those on the studio albums up to that point in my opinion.
(3) The Flowers of Guatemala – OK, so it’s not one of their better known tracks! But it’s another one that I have always found superb, especially the guitar solo.
(4) Losing My Religion – This is one of their more famous songs, but for me that doesn’t detract from its quality at all. Always good to hear a mandolin used effectively in rock music.
(5) Don’t Go Back To Rockville – Great song from the “Reckoning” album, which I think is second only to “Automatic for the People”. Hard to choose one from this album, but Rockville just about shades it, simply a superb tune.
Now I have seven days to work out how I am going to deal with most challenging letter in the alphabet!
I love the mandolin at the beginning/end as well of Losing My Religion – however it kinda depresses me so I have to be in the right mood for the rest of the song so sometimes I listen to the intro and then flick lol. Nightswimming is one of my other favourites
Nightswimming was one of the songs hovering just outside the list. That album is my favourite so could easily have included one or two more (Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight, Drive…), but I generally try to represent a few albums in the list if I can.
For mandolin playing I prefer You Are The Everything. I’d have put The Wrong Child in there as well. They’ve not really done that’s worth writing home about since New Adventures in Hi-Fi but that really is excellent particularly Leave. They used to be a brilliant live act – you’ve not really lived until you’ve seen Michael Stipe beating out a rhythm to World Leader Pretend on a metal chair.
At least you didn’t inclue Everybody Hurts.