13 February 2011
Hello friends! It’s been a while since I last filmed some R.E.M. piano covers, so I thought it would be cool to pair up a really old song with a brand new one. Shall we start with the new one first? Okay! To celebrate the fact that Collapse Into Now hits the racks in less than a month, I tackled the new album’s leading track, the smashing “Discoverer”! This song was a bit tricky to transcribe for piano, because Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey use lots of chiming power chords (i.e. chords without thirds) and Michael Stipe often sings “blue” notes. Since piano is a tempered instrument, these are impossible to reproduce, so I had to constantly make decisions where to use major and minor chords. Oh, and I transposed the song from B major to B flat major, because it was easier to play.
And here’s the oldie goldie. As y’all probably know, “Pretty Persuasion” is actually one of R.E.M.’s oldest surviving songs, however it only made it onto their second full-length album Reckoning (1984). I don’t particularly like the album version though – in my humble opinion, it sounds pretty tame (compared to how exuberant this song can be when played live), so I tried to capture the spirit of a kickass live performance.
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UPDATE: Apologies to all, I was having problems with embed links last night, so some of you could not see the videos. I’ve just updated the links, hopefully they’ll work now.