Monday, February 27, 2006

Want to be a narrator

The Hindu Love Gods started out as a side band consisting of the instrument playing contingent from R.E.M. with Bryan Cook (from Time Toy) singing. If I remember correctly, the idea was to play parties and the clubs that R.E.M. had grown too big to play. In 1984, Warren Zevon achieved godhood when he moved to Athens GA to do some recording. The band went into the studio with John Keane in 1984 and recorded some songs. That’s where this 45 comes from. IRS Records finally got around to releasing it in 1986. The songs are a good cover of an Easybeats song and an unreleased R.E.M. song about a guy with a Jacques Cousteau fixation. Dig the watery guitars! Warren Zevon is playing guitar, I guess. Otherwise, I don’t hear him it all.

In 1987, R.E.M. backed up Zevon on his pretty good SENTIMENTAL HYGIENE album. The Hindu Love Gods had been playing some of the songs since way back in 1984. The band (minus Cook) recorded some songs, mostly blues standards with a couple of notable exceptions, live in the studio during the SENTIMENTAL sessions. That batch of songs was released in 1990. If I remember correctly, R.E.M. did not know the songs were going to be released and wasn’t happy when the record came out. Some people think it’s great, I don’t. The band doesn’t sound like they’re having much fun and that’s not good thing for a bunch that started out as a party band.

The original Hindu Love Gods 45 was included with some copies of the vinyl version of HINDU LOVE GODS, I guess to remind people about what they missed the first time around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe "Narrator" (the song itself, not this recording) dates back to R.E.M.'s very earliest live shows, circa 1980 and 1981. For a R.E.M. diehard like me, it was a serious revelation to listen to live recordings of the band in those first two years and hear them as a funky party band with little of the "nonlinear mystery" of the IRS albums.

-- James

28/2/06 6:45 PM  
Blogger KS said...

It does. "Narrator" was played at the very first R.E.M. show on April 5, 1980. They also played "One Nation Under A Groove" that night!

June 7, 1980 is my favorite entry:

1/3/06 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhhh, I don't get it. Why is that your favorite entry?


2/3/06 11:28 AM  
Blogger KS said...

There are two entries for the seventh. The second one is the winner. The thought of R.E.M. (esp. the early R.E.M. that played Monkees, Dolls & Velvets covers) opening for Stillwater is funny to me. Stillwater was still riding on their one hit, I remember them playing skating rinks in Cleveland TN right around that same time. Maybe it's a southern thing.

2/3/06 11:51 AM  
Blogger Rinjo Njori said...

this is sweet.There are so mnay lost gems from the early 80's. Side projects that rarely see the light of day. I really enjoyed finding this.

"Gonna Hava Good Time Tonight"

6/3/06 7:06 PM  
Blogger Hazy Dave said...

I learned of the existence of the Hindu Love Gods 45 from that big yellow looseleaf catalog they used to have in record stores (Phonolog?), but never succeeded in getting a copy... (Now Googling furiously.) If you could re-post the tunes, I'd be most appreciative!

20/2/07 10:47 AM  

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