Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Peter Buck's 5 Catchiest Guitar Hooks

Compiled to celebrate R.E.M.'s apparent return to form with their new album:

   #5: R.E.M. "Talk About the Passion" from Murmer

Every mid-80's college student with a guitar tried to figure out this lick. On revisiting these albums it surprises me how many of the memorable riffs actually came from Mike Mills on bass.

 #4 The Replacements "I Will Dare" from Let It Be

The R.E.M connection helped sell the Mats to college radio stations who were still taking their cues from MTV. It's a great song but can you imagine "I Will Dare" without Buck's searching lead lines?

#3 R.E.M."Wolves, Lower" from the Chronic Town EP

Here's where we first heard the jangle and arpeggios ( as well as the mumbled lyrics) that inspired a hundred really sincere bands to form.

#2 Full Time Men "I Got Wheels" from Fast is My Name EP

Had to throw a curve. This is from Buck's 1985 EP with Keith Streng of the Fleshtones.Honestly the whole thing is one great guitar hook. Can't find it anymore so here's an mp3.

#1 R.E.M. "The One I Love" from Document

Buck used every trick in his arsenal, added a touch of distortion, and helped make "The One I Love" R.E. M.'s first major hit. Inescapable on Friday nights driving to football games in South Carolina's Low Country in 1987.

R.E.M. "Driver 8", "Shiny Happy People" ( hate the song but this is about "catchiest" riffs) and "Losing My Religion"
Decemberists "Down By the Water"


  1. Hey man. I just discovered your blog as a result of a comment you left on the Haggard post over at the Adios Lounge. I once ran one of the blogs that inspired Lance to start the Adios Lounge. It was called Setting The Woods On Fire (and it's dead now). But if you don't mind, I'm going to consider your new blog as kind of a "grandson" of mine.

    I LOVE that Full Time Men track. I bought the album when it came out. So good.

  2. Very cool Paul. I was a big fan of Setting the Woods On Fire. If you have any advice or warnings or encouragement, lay them on me.

    Hope people will check out "Singing In the Wire". The Link's on the right side of the page

  3. Hey - Thanks for the link but you don't have to do that. It's just a tumblr blog where I post all kinds of junk. Plus I have a bad habit of changing the URL on a fairly regular basis.

    I've subscribed to your blog and I'm looking forward to following along.

    My only advice is this: Post like crazy when you're having fun and feeling inspired, but don't force yourself to post when it starts to feel like work. "Dead air" isn't really an issue with mp3 blogs. Don't turn this into a job (unless you figure out how to get paid for doing it.)