|Jacknife must've had a field day with this.|
Listening to a load of instruments you didn't know existed, and then actually picking them out on the studio record has to be one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced. If you had told me there was a mandolin on the track I would have been surprised, but two? I would have just laughed. But they're definitely there, and together they add new levels of complexity to an already awesome song.
What I'd like to do now is put together a list of all the instruments and tracks you can hear if you download the multitrack of It Happened Today. If you haven't got it, head on over to R.E.M. HQ and get either the AIFF or Garageband files. While you're waiting, here's what's in store for you:
- Michael's Vocals (of course)
- Mike's Vocals (seems to be two tracks placed into one during the bridge)
- Eddie's Vocals (a joy to listen to!)
- Joel's Vocals (strange voice, but an interesting layer)
- Acoustic Guitar
- Electric Guitar (plays the same as the acoustic)
- Drone Guitar (the sound you hear at the beginning)
- Third Electric (like the drone, but higher)
- Bass Guitar (doesn't appear as often as expected)
- Bass Synth
- Second Bass Synth (mono - having one is not enough)
- Bass Synth Sustain (notes held longer than original)
- Hansa Stairwell Snare (presumably recorded in the same place they shot Mine Smell Like Honey)
- Bass Drum
- Upright Piano
- Piano (like the upright, but higher)
- Mandolins (two tracks put together, panned left and right respectively)
- Third Mandolin (mono)
- Celeste and Vibraphone (two tracks put together)
- Brass Band (really funny to listen to - the group is called Bonerama)
- Percussion (mixed into one track, and includes hi hats and clapping)
- Kick Snare
And if that hasn't left you dumbstruck, check your pulse. You might be dead. :)
Windows users can listen to the AIFF files, but if you'd like to have a go at mixing them then I recommend installing Audacity. Audacity is a free, open-source program that allows people to record, import and mix their own tracks. It can be installed here. Mac and Unix users can get Audacity too, but if you've bought Garageband on your Mac, then that software works just as well.
One final thing - the first word-and-a-half is missing from Mike's vocals during the chorus. Another user suggested that those words can be taken from the second line of the chorus, and that works flawlessly. Other than that, everything else is intact.
I'll leave you to your remixes. Don't forget that they can be posted on Soundcloud, to share with other R.E.M. fans. Happy mixing!