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R.E.M. — Can't Get There From Here
Album: Eponymous
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 970









Released: 1988
Length: 3:37
Plays (last 30 days): 1
When the world is a monster bad to swallow you whole
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in, throw your trolls out the door
If you're needing inspiration, Philomath is where I go by dawn
Lawyer Jeff, he knows the lowdown, he's mighty bad to visit home

(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here

When your hands are feeling empty, stick head jumpin' off the ground round
Tris is sure to shirr the deer out, Brother Ray can sing my song

(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here

Hands down, Calechee bound, landlocked, kiss the ground
Dirt of seven continents going round and round
Go on ahead, Mr. Citywide, hypnotized, suit-and-tied
Gentlemen, testify

If your world is a monster bad to swallow you whole
Philomath, they know the lowdown, throw your trolls out the door

(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
(I've been there I know the way) Can't get there from here
Comments (130)add comment
 cely wrote:
I don't know whether this is from the Chronic Town era, but it sounds like it, and it sounds just as good as those songs.
 
Close--came out in '85 on their 3rd album.  It was the first single off  Fables of the Reconstruction.
I don't know whether this is from the Chronic Town era, but it sounds like it, and it sounds just as good as those songs.
Reminds me of King
Old skool REM!
                                     Big Farm
          
             Someone has tried to sell me some snake oil
               He said it was safe, and waved a scan tag
                 So, I said to him 'physician, heal thyself.'
        And my secretary kept taking minutes all the time
  She was several pages deep, and digging for the next one
                     And, this is how she got famous
                         Luckily, it's all over now
Wow!  Decent early-eighties mini-run here with The Pretenders and this song.  

Can you finish a nice trilogy with a cut from The Jam?
 jmkate wrote:
dance break!

 
Yup--this is probably their "FUNNEST" song.
Top tune.  I would love to meet the guys again from my days back then.  Miss them all so much.
dance break!
{#Dancingbanana}  man I loved these guys
IMHO, probably the best expression of a trio + voice of all their early work. Yes, the horns are evident early on, but only in the background. From Fables of the Reconstruction, a sorely neglected album.
How about "Begin The Begin"?   {#Bananajam}
"REM, meet Duran Duran"
One of the Billions, magical emanations via the  tunnel of  transition portals  -the  time of endless Youth and Hope.,
Not aging well, sadly.
When REM were legitimately cool...

fantastic tune...
 NeuroGeek wrote:
AWESOME
 

I agree...  this song is marvelous...

and I agree with asilbuch...  love it...

 
LOVE!!!!
 
AWESOME
what a truly great REM song!  That makes two on RP in the last 2 weeks!  Maybe REM is due for a revival (after being played to death 20-odd years ago.....................)

This song is soooo good it puts a spring in my step this winter day...
 

This song is soooo good it puts a spring in my step this autumn night...

 


love this groovy song and this whole "greatest hits" type of album...  we be dancing...


 
 andrewimft wrote:
Funny, Fables of the Reconstruction used to be the definitive alt rock CD. It had weird, dissonant songs and extremely pretty songs on it, all with dense rich poetic lyrics about archeology, politics, techtonic plates, traditional folk music, ancient old gizzards, and other unusual subjects. It was art and not too commercial, yet they scored on the charts with Driver 8. Stipe's singing, lyrics and songwriting, and Buck's guitar styles on this CD were subsequently imitated by scores and scores of new bands. I think it's one of their best. It's funny how now some people think it's talentless, especially considering this very CD influenced just about every alt and indie rock band thereafter.
 
Sorry, but I take issue with this.  It is one of their few mediocre CDs, especially when they were at the height of their creative powers.  Murmur is the second best, then following up by their third best, Reckoning, and skip this lame CD before their best Life's Rich Pageant.  Document and Green were 4 and 5, before they slid off a cliff.
Was reading this yesterday.  Made me laugh.
 sirdroseph wrote:


Oooooo, gotta disagree with you there, basically everything they have done sans a few good tunes for the past 15 plus years has sucked ass, straight up!{#Yes}
 

I admit.... I have not heard everything they have done in the past 15 years.  And since it seems like you like to disagree.....I think you should win.
There was a feature article yesterday on The A.V. Club web-site stating "Fables of the Reconstruction" is their best album.  I beg to differ, but this song from the beginning of Reagan's 2nd term is still awesome.


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
Remember dancing to this song in late 80s. Brings back a whole other time. Almost another life.
Awesome old R.E.M.  Nice!
Of course this is from Fables...

Cover (Fables of the Reconstruction:R.E.M.)
 blueice7 wrote:
Take me back to that time of my life!!{#Bananajam}Don't make em like this anymore!!

 


I hear ya...  this is a great classic...



Take me back to that time of my life!!{#Bananajam}Don't make em like this anymore!!

 sirdroseph wrote:


Oooooo, gotta disagree with you there, basically everything they have done sans a few good tunes for the past 15 plus years has sucked ass, straight up!{#Yes}
  Yeah.


Love that bass!  {#Dancingbanana_2}

 musickat wrote:
REM could NEVER be suck ass even if they tried.

 sirdroseph wrote:

Again, another example of when they used to be, like good and not, like suck ass!


 
 

Oooooo, gotta disagree with you there, basically everything they have done sans a few good tunes for the past 15 plus years has sucked ass, straight up!{#Yes}


great song...  still love it...

 
A new appproach on R.E.M. for me. Nice.
I've always had a soft spot for Mike Mills's bass work, showcased to fine effect on this song. They sound simple enough, but you should try playing one or two. Yeeesh. This one and "The One I Love" are bona fide tests of dexterity.
 Cynaera wrote:
Can't get hair from weird... Actually, I love this song. R.E.M. has an all-over-the-map style, but when they nail it, they nail it so it'll never come loose in a twister.

I have NO idea what that means. Guh. I need sleep.  Love R.E.M.
 

"..they nail it so it'll never come loose in a twister.."

Not R.E.M specific, but the moment I read it, I understood immediately what it meant.

R.E.M. specific, you're right, this is one of the ones from their post-indie period where they show that they've still got it.


 Cynaera wrote:
Can't get hair from weird... Actually, I love this song. R.E.M. has an all-over-the-map style, but when they nail it, they nail it so it'll never come loose in a twister.

I have NO idea what that means. Guh. I need sleep.  Love R.E.M.
 


"Can't Get There from Here" is about Philomath, Georgia... this was their first single released from their third studio album Fables of the Reconstruction in 1985... it was their first song with a horn section... this song's title does not maintain a consistent punctuation... on the album, it is spelled without an apostrophe, but on the CD the title has the apostrophe... the title of the song is something of a sliding signifier...

 
They nailed it on this one.  
Can't get hair from weird... Actually, I love this song. R.E.M. has an all-over-the-map style, but when they nail it, they nail it so it'll never come loose in a twister.

I have NO idea what that means. Guh. I need sleep.  Love R.E.M.


excellent...


{#Dancingbanana_2} Yeh! This song gets you there.

they 're taking themselfs too serious ;-(
r.e.m. no fun
 Darlington wrote:
 
 
Can't disagree with you more...
 
If you can't disagree with him/her more, let me try.......................................

 gjr wrote:
these guys were/are the most grossly overrated band in the last 30 years - bar none.  they SUCK.  80's college radio tripe

 
I'm going to put you down in the "Definitely lost his religion" column then...

 gjr wrote:
these guys were/are the most grossly overrated band in the last 30 years - bar none.  they SUCK.  80's college radio tripe

  
 
Can't disagree with you more...


love it...  we be dancing...




these guys were/are the most grossly overrated band in the last 30 years - bar none.  they SUCK.  80's college radio tripe

REM could NEVER be suck ass even if they tried.

 sirdroseph wrote:

Again, another example of when they used to be, like good and not, like suck ass!


 




This song is soooo good...  love it...




 ziggytrix wrote:

It's so good for the feet!
 

Yes, it is!  Love it...


Again, another example of when they used to be, like good and not, like suck ass!


 romeotuma wrote:

Everything...  we be dancing...  love it...

 
It's so good for the feet!
 DaMoGan wrote:

Really? What do you like about it?

 


Everything...  we be dancing...  love it...



 romeotuma wrote:


This song be cool...
 
Really? What do you like about it?



This song be cool...


Hmm , Thank You Ray!
 cohifi wrote:

1985 R.E.M......Nice. 

 

Yeah, this is great stuff...


 romeotuma wrote:


love it...
 
1985 R.E.M......Nice. 



Ahhhh....the good 'ol days
Now this is when REM was gooood!!{#Dancingbanana_2}


AthFest 2009


This song is soooo good for the ears...




very cool...




love it...




Absolutely fantastic...


What he said  {#Arrowd} {#Yes}

 
andrewimft wrote:
Funny, Fables of the Reconstruction used to be the definitive alt rock CD. It had weird, dissonant songs and extremely pretty songs on it, all with dense rich poetic lyrics about archeology, politics, techtonic plates, traditional folk music, ancient old gizzards, and other unusual subjects. It was art and not too commercial, yet they scored on the charts with Driver 8. Stipe's singing, lyrics and songwriting, and Buck's guitar styles on this CD were subsequently imitated by scores and scores of new bands. I think it's one of their best. It's funny how now some people think it's talentless, especially considering this very CD influenced just about every alt and indie rock band thereafter.
 


takes me back.
 diazo wrote:


I would argue there were more than a few great bands in the 1980's; but none of them were as commercially successful as REM.
 
Yeah, I heard a programmer (music director) from Atlanta talking about the mid-80's music scene around Athens, and how he couldn't decide which of the two bands would be bigger. I listened for a minute to see who he was talking about.

R.E.M. and Driving n' Crying. Funny, huh?

BTW, how the mighty have fallen. R.E.M. could have made a record of Tibetan folk chanting in 1986, and it would have been #1 in "Rolling Stone". Their latest album didn't even make the year end Top 10, in the Stone!

My, that made me feel old. For some reason.{#Rolleyes}
I've been revisiting a lot of old R.E.M. lately. Another track from Fables that really strikes me is "Life and How to Live It" – looks like it's never been on RP!
 Welly wrote:
One of the few great bands to emerge from the musical pap that was the 1980s.
 

I would argue there were more than a few great bands in the 1980's; but none of them were as commercially successful as REM.
Luckily I can get anywhere from here.
One of the few great bands to emerge from the musical pap that was the 1980s.
I've never been to Georgia, but if I can get there from here, Philomath will be on the itinerary.


 andrewimft wrote:
Funny, Fables of the Reconstruction used to be the definitive alt rock CD. It had weird, dissonant songs and extremely pretty songs on it, all with dense rich poetic lyrics about archeology, politics, techtonic plates, traditional folk music, ancient old gizzards, and other unusual subjects. It was art and not too commercial, yet they scored on the charts with Driver 8. Stipe's singing, lyrics and songwriting, and Buck's guitar styles on this CD were subsequently imitated by scores and scores of new bands. I think it's one of their best.

It's funny how now some people think it's talentless, especially considering this very CD influenced just about every alt and indie rock band thereafter.
 
Nicely put. Then again...remember how much we wanted them to publish the lyrics so we could understand what the hell Stipe was mumbling about? Then came Fables, and you were aware of the wish that came true...{#Propeller} What I love about this song, besides "bad to swallow you whole," is the emergence of the horn section at the coda. Sheer brilliance.


Ok, so Michael Stipe might be a songwriting genius ... but I can't help finding REM a little ... doleful ... for my taste! The punchy guitar riffs lift this tune a  little, but ... that voice ... just ... y'know ... wipes the smile right off my face.

Yay old skool R.E.M.!!!  {#Dancingbanana}


 andrewimft wrote:
Funny, Fables of the Reconstruction used to be the definitive alt rock CD. It had weird, dissonant songs and extremely pretty songs on it, all with dense rich poetic lyrics about archeology, politics, techtonic plates, traditional folk music, ancient old gizzards, and other unusual subjects. It was art and not too commercial, yet they scored on the charts with Driver 8. Stipe's singing, lyrics and songwriting, and Buck's guitar styles on this CD were subsequently imitated by scores and scores of new bands. I think it's one of their best.

It's funny how now some people think it's talentless, especially considering this very CD influenced just about every alt and indie rock band thereafter.
 

Yes, you are absolutely correct...


Funny, Fables of the Reconstruction used to be the definitive alt rock CD. It had weird, dissonant songs and extremely pretty songs on it, all with dense rich poetic lyrics about archeology, politics, techtonic plates, traditional folk music, ancient old gizzards, and other unusual subjects. It was art and not too commercial, yet they scored on the charts with Driver 8. Stipe's singing, lyrics and songwriting, and Buck's guitar styles on this CD were subsequently imitated by scores and scores of new bands. I think it's one of their best. It's funny how now some people think it's talentless, especially considering this very CD influenced just about every alt and indie rock band thereafter.
pushkinjim wrote:
:beat: :puke:
wow. pushkim jim doesn't like an REM song. Shocking.
LongGoneDaddy wrote:
when the world is a monster, bad to swallow you whole
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in Throw your troubles out the door
There is going to be a segment about R.E.M. on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend (March 30). Love this song - have seen the band in concert 4 times. First time was October 14, 1983 at the University of Maine. Got me hooked! :bananajam:
when the world is a monster, bad to swallow you whole
californiatwin wrote:
Possibly the worse I've heard from these lousy underacheivers. :puke:
Talk about underachievers.... Learn to spell before you criticize. :rolleyes: Awesome song. 9.
californiatwin wrote:
Possibly the worse I've heard from these lousy underacheivers. :puke:
Not a surprising assessment from someone who's highest rated songs are from the 70's. Your generational bias is showing.
gandalfbmg wrote:
I love the REM, new and old, but for all of you 'new REM' haters, I like to use Fables as the evidence that they could suck in the IRS days too... This is the strongest song on the album, and it's a 6 or 7 at best for me, and most of their other albums have at least one 8, 9, or 10.
Driver 8 is stronger than this in my opinion... and it has a guitar riff that is a classic on top of it!
Possibly the worse I've heard from these lousy underacheivers. :puke:
Martino wrote:
never thought of that, but you're right
"used to be" are the key words here...
I love the REM, new and old, but for all of you 'new REM' haters, I like to use Fables as the evidence that they could suck in the IRS days too... This is the strongest song on the album, and it's a 6 or 7 at best for me, and most of their other albums have at least one 8, 9, or 10.
I think this echoes (a little) the days when they used to rock.
Austin2Florida wrote:
REM used to be so groovy. :sunny:
never thought of that, but you're right
REM used to be so groovy. :sunny:
Must be played loud. An all-time great.
I love this snappy freakin' tune!
:beat: :puke:
love love love this! so much fun to hear this tune after so long...
ndad47 wrote:
Hearing REM is like seeing an old friend in a room of strangers.
I like that.
Total stamp on my life in about what 1985? Ahh, that was fun! Dancing around the flat before going out to drink at the German Oak in the Castro! Don't miss the hangovers though
LPCity wrote:
Back when REM were the precursors to the Pogues and Nirvana for lyrical clarity....
Too funny!!! :roflol:
Hearing REM is like seeing an old friend in a room of strangers. REM just got enough airplay on radio to keep them popular but not overplayed.
always loved this - one of my favorite REM tunes for sure. what a band...
kazuma wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AliGator wrote: That was an excellent segue from The Pretenders' "Back On The Chain Gang." Sure was!
Still is.
Awesome, makes me want to hop around.
most excellent early REM :dancingbanana:
It's cuz it's early REM. Krispian wrote:
This is so good, I can't believe it's REM!
Gives you an idea of how really, really good a bass player Mike Mills is.
dolfan wrote:
Anyone remember the video of this song that used to get played on Night Flight?
Wow. Night Flight. The early days of cable sure were fun!
This is so good, I can't believe it's REM!
thanks Bill, songs like this one reminds us that in spite of all REM were a great band in the past
AliGator wrote:
That was an excellent segue from The Pretenders' "Back On The Chain Gang."
Sure was!
That was an excellent segue from The Pretenders' "Back On The Chain Gang."
Now that got my blood moving! :bananajam:
:music: a good song to start off my long weekend. Thanks Bill!
redeyespy wrote:
I remember it, hazily. Pretty low budget deal. Lots of scurrying around, I think. Wow, Night Flight. That brings backs lots of memories. Always have loved this song.
NightFlight ruled! :propeller: :yes: :notworthy:
Yes...Definitly :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
Best time for REM--'83 to '87--and this song falls right in the middle, '85.
One of the few REM songs I like-Thanks!