"I know the barricades..."

I bought this cassette in late November of 1988 somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina, at a winter-frozen strip mall. I associate some of these songs with the mountains in that far western part of North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Mountains shimmering green during the winter. I love the machine-beat of "Pop Song 89" and the earnest words in "World Leader Pretend." The liner notes to the 2005 re-release of the amplified CD mention this album as the one where Michael Stipe made his lyrical pursuits (& politics) explicit, finally acknowledging pop and radio moments. The hidden 11th track addresses us listeners, dedicated to peace & bliss.

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