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I didn't get the buried mumbled vocals of REM when I first heard them, but now like their early albums much more than their later ones

Were you ever into REM or have a favorite album?

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by Anonymousreply 80November 26, 2021 4:57 PM

Life's Rich Pageant is a great album

by Anonymousreply 1November 7, 2021 8:44 PM


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by Anonymousreply 2November 7, 2021 8:46 PM

I love early to mid-career REM. Murmur is their best album by far. Document is a close second.

They started to sell out with Green (the first album where you could understand all the words, not coincidentally) and went all the way over the line with Out of Time. Hated Automatic for the People and Monster with the fire of a thousand suns.

I don’t even count the stuff they released after Bill Berry quit.

by Anonymousreply 3November 7, 2021 8:48 PM

I agree with OP. 80’s REM was my favorite band. Then they signed mega bucks record deal, Stipe shaved his head, his ego inflated, Bill Berry quit, and the band ended the 90’s on downward spiral. I still listen to the early albums often. And I hope all 4 band members are proud of the amazing songs they created.

by Anonymousreply 4November 7, 2021 8:52 PM

Harborcoat from Reckoning

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by Anonymousreply 5November 7, 2021 8:57 PM

King of Birds doesn’t get played a lot, but it is beautiful.

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by Anonymousreply 6November 7, 2021 8:59 PM

New Adventures in Hi Fi

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by Anonymousreply 7November 7, 2021 9:00 PM

Fables of the Reconstruction / Reconstruction of the Fables is my favorite.

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by Anonymousreply 8November 7, 2021 9:05 PM

Favourite REM songs.

1. Imitation Of Life

2, Near Wild Heaven

3, Find The River

4. Orange Crush

5. Half A World Away

6. It's The End Of The World As We Know It

7. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite

by Anonymousreply 9November 7, 2021 9:06 PM

Their most interesting music was before they hit big (Fables of the Reconstruction is maybe my favorite, especially "Feeling Gravity's Pull"), but they still managed some good songs after that. "Half A World Away" from Out of Time is beautiful. And "Me in Honey" was great and a much better duet with Kate Pierson than the stupid "Shiny Happy People." Automatic for the People had 4 just flat out gorgeous songs about death and loss: "Try Not to Breathe," "Sweetness Follows," "Nightswimming," and "Find the River." And while New Adventures in Hi-Fi is pretty average, I think "Leave" is one of their best songs.

by Anonymousreply 10November 7, 2021 9:07 PM

I listened to them all the time in the 80s and 90s but not anymore. I'm not sure why, because I still listen to The Smiths and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

by Anonymousreply 11November 7, 2021 9:07 PM

This is the song that turned me on to REM yrs ago...I had the album on vinyl

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by Anonymousreply 12November 7, 2021 9:07 PM

I’ll never forget hearing “So. Central Rain” for the first time in high school but don’t have a favorite album - I think they’re all really incredibly in their own way.

by Anonymousreply 13November 7, 2021 9:09 PM

Near Wild Heaven and Texarkana are the only songs from Out of Time that I really liked.

by Anonymousreply 14November 7, 2021 9:12 PM

R14 Mike Mills, nice to see you here on DL.

by Anonymousreply 15November 7, 2021 9:13 PM

The 1982 EP Chronic Town that came out before the first LP remains my favorite, partially out of sheer nostalgia for getting high with my friends and losing myself in the music and the moment. Wisely wasted youth.

Murmur, Reckoning, and Fables of the Reconstruction rank near the top for me. I also really love New Adventures in Hi-Fi. In a later era of my life, I’d listen to that over and over on a DiscMan (!) while walking the dogs.

I miss REM.

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by Anonymousreply 16November 7, 2021 9:16 PM

The album version of "Radio Song" has unnecessary added rap lyrics which belong in a different song

This version is better

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by Anonymousreply 17November 7, 2021 9:17 PM

Perfect Circle is hauntingly lovely.

I went to school in Athens, Georgia, and REM is still revered by a lot of people there. There’s a little plaque by the old train trestle pictured on the back of the Murmur album cover, which is right near downtown.

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by Anonymousreply 18November 7, 2021 9:19 PM

Like "Drive" by The Cars, "Near Wild Heaven" is one of the best songs by a non-lead singer

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by Anonymousreply 19November 7, 2021 9:19 PM

I can't understand a word he says, but I like the original single version of Radio Free Europe

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by Anonymousreply 20November 7, 2021 9:21 PM

R20 Michael Stipe always said he preferred that one too. I like the album version better. To each his own.

by Anonymousreply 21November 7, 2021 9:24 PM

I always wanted to like them but their music is mediocre imho

by Anonymousreply 22November 7, 2021 9:31 PM

I loved the earlier albums, up to Green.

After that, I still liked some of their songs, and some albums, especially Out of Time and Reveal. But not every one.

[quote] Murmur, Reckoning, and Fables of the Reconstruction rank near the top for me.


by Anonymousreply 23November 7, 2021 9:35 PM
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by Anonymousreply 24November 7, 2021 9:42 PM

I will say their songs have aged better for me that most of U2's music.

I can really only tolerate a few of their earlier tracks vs REM.

by Anonymousreply 25November 7, 2021 9:54 PM

Michael Stipe did a lot of duets in the 90s

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by Anonymousreply 26November 7, 2021 9:57 PM

Hello in There with Natalie Merchant

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by Anonymousreply 27November 7, 2021 9:58 PM

I love REM. Their music cuts right to my emotions in a way not many other songs do, even ones that I love.

by Anonymousreply 28November 7, 2021 10:01 PM


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by Anonymousreply 29November 7, 2021 10:02 PM

Embarrassingly, I was in the grocery store once when Losing My Religion came on and those opening jangles brought tears to my eyes (Mary!). How do they do that?!

by Anonymousreply 30November 7, 2021 10:03 PM

REM was like the background music to my college years. I remember going to parties & every other song was REM. REM still reminds me of that college/angsty/no one gets me feeling - until you realize you need to get over yourself and stop caring.

That said, I don' think their music has aged well, though I do still love S. Central Rain.

by Anonymousreply 31November 7, 2021 10:29 PM

Monster is their only album I can listen to. Anyone who's ever had an addict or suicide in their life will know about 'Let Me In.' It's a brilliant song, with brilliant lyrics. The lyrics seem to dissect the experience of watching someone you love self-destruct, and the attendant helplessness that sears the soul.

by Anonymousreply 32November 7, 2021 10:36 PM

Bill Berry is the Kim Cattrall/Yoko Ono of the group

by Anonymousreply 33November 7, 2021 10:38 PM

They had 2 good songs, Radio Free Europe and It's the End of The Wold. Otherwise they and their fans are so boring. Yes, you are all so in tune with all things in the wold, so perfect, so perfectly understanding, and anyone who doesn't agree is an idiot. I've heard it all before, you're all so achingly wonderful.

by Anonymousreply 34November 7, 2021 10:44 PM

I really liked early REM. "Wolves, Lower" from Chronic Town is my favorite track, although my favorite album is Fables of the Reconstruction--"Feeling Gravity's Pull," "Life and How to Live It," "Can't Get There From Here," etc--supposedly Stipe was coming out (alas...not *coming out,* as we've discussed on DL) of a bad depression, and it adds some real depth to those songs, which also marked my first introduction to American Outsider Art.

I always had a thing for 80s era Peter Buck--he was simply very sexy. He was like what I imagine Young Caravaggio to have looked like. His look and overall studied approach to guitar music was quite rare at the time for the American indie rock scene, which was filled largely with aimless, dweeby or strung-out man-child types. He wasn't a fame-whore or a sanctimonious blowhard like Michael Stipe was.

by Anonymousreply 35November 7, 2021 10:51 PM

R33 No he isn’t, you idiot. He recovered from a brain aneurysm and decided he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life in the pressure cooker of the music industry. He left on good terms with the rest of the band.

by Anonymousreply 36November 7, 2021 10:58 PM

Yeah, Buck was doing air rage way before it was cool. And I think he advocated for the murder of George W. Bush in an interview, but immediately realized that Quayle would have taken over and recanted.

by Anonymousreply 37November 7, 2021 10:59 PM

George HW I mean

by Anonymousreply 38November 7, 2021 10:59 PM

R36 yes he is

by Anonymousreply 39November 7, 2021 11:22 PM

'Perfect Circle' from Murmur

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by Anonymousreply 40November 7, 2021 11:27 PM

[quote]Were you ever into REM or have a favorite album?

No. Of course not.

Do we look stupid?

by Anonymousreply 41November 7, 2021 11:38 PM

R41 you definitely seem stupid referring to yourself as "we" and commenting on something you claim not to be interested in, so yes

by Anonymousreply 42November 7, 2021 11:40 PM

R41 you know you can't be seen on DataLounge, right?

by Anonymousreply 43November 7, 2021 11:41 PM

Won't somebody, for the love of all that is holy, please SHIT IN MY MOUTH???!!!!????

by Anonymousreply 44November 8, 2021 12:10 AM

R26 YES!

That is such an amazing album.

by Anonymousreply 45November 8, 2021 12:11 AM

Very few of their songs have held up.

by Anonymousreply 46November 8, 2021 12:12 AM

Many of their songs have held up.

by Anonymousreply 47November 8, 2021 12:14 AM

Be Mine

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by Anonymousreply 48November 8, 2021 12:29 AM

"Crazy" B-side from Dead Letter Office

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by Anonymousreply 49November 8, 2021 3:38 AM

Gardening at Night

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by Anonymousreply 50November 8, 2021 3:48 PM

This brooding b/w portrait of 80s-era Peter Buck is why I think he was easily one of the sexiest musicians American rock has ever produced.

He really went downhill after moving to Seattle at the beginning of the REM slick/sellout era (the 90s)--he was so appealing as an eccentric Athens, Georgia townie--and, of course, now, he's had all this work done on his face and remarried again, and it's like his Jimmy Buffett/Margaritaville stage.

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by Anonymousreply 51November 8, 2021 4:35 PM

I had an Only in LA moment in the 90s standing next to Peter Buck at Book Soup while store manager Fawn Hall straightened up books a few feet away

by Anonymousreply 52November 8, 2021 5:36 PM

Fables of the Reconstruction and Life’s Rich Pageant are their best records in my opinion.

by Anonymousreply 53November 8, 2021 5:38 PM

R30 it’s nostalgia.

by Anonymousreply 54November 8, 2021 5:40 PM

R11 I’m the same as you. I stopped listening to them around the time that Automatic for the People came out. I still have a soft spot in my heart for them, but I am still ACTIVELY listening to the Smiths on a regular basis.

by Anonymousreply 55November 8, 2021 5:48 PM

[quote] while store manager Fawn Hall

I thought she was killed in a tragic kiln explosion.

by Anonymousreply 56November 8, 2021 11:00 PM

Bill Berry's departure took away their live band sound

by Anonymousreply 57November 9, 2021 3:18 AM

Michael Stipe sang on 10,000 Maniacs "A Campfire Song"

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by Anonymousreply 58November 9, 2021 4:54 AM

I first saw REM play a small club in Cincinnati with The Replacements as the opening act. This was just after Murmur had been released.

by Anonymousreply 59November 9, 2021 5:37 AM

Stipe is a creep

by Anonymousreply 60November 9, 2021 5:41 AM

R57 which is why they followed up with New Adventures in Hi-Fi with mostly computerized drums

by Anonymousreply 61November 9, 2021 5:45 AM

What happened at the end was ugly.

by Anonymousreply 62November 10, 2021 2:07 AM

R60, if you had had Michal Stipes luck, wouldn't you have become a creep too?

by Anonymousreply 63November 10, 2021 2:08 AM

I remember buying the Eponymous cd (their first best of album) and laughing out loud at this. They really were an peerlessly cool band for a long time:

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by Anonymousreply 64November 10, 2021 2:12 AM

R62 what? They got old and retired?

by Anonymousreply 65November 11, 2021 4:04 AM

OK, I have been re-listening to REM. I have to admit their are not as bad as I remember.

by Anonymousreply 66November 16, 2021 1:48 AM

On Bill Berry's leaving the band -

Michael Stipe: "We're very unsettled by this. It's the biggest change we've ever had. It's the most direct blow that we've had."

Mike Mills: "I was extremely sad and hurt and angry and upset and disappointed."

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by Anonymousreply 67November 17, 2021 5:19 PM

Michael Stipe once called my partner's band his favorite in a national magazine. We're still high over that.

by Anonymousreply 68November 17, 2021 5:23 PM

Michael Stipe on Madonna: "This was one of the first times ABBA allowed anyone to sample one of their songs - and it’s Madonna of all people, who I’ve always really admired as a lyricist and artist. It’s just an incredible pop song, and she’s provided us with some great pop music through the years. I think “Ray of Light” might be my favorite song of hers, and I really love that album too. I love pop music. It’s all the same thing: R.E.M. were very earnest and sincere, and Madonna was more surface and pop and bubble gummy. But I love a good pop song. It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from. Madonna also gave me advice when I was making Reveal, because I was really lost. So thank you for that, Madonna."

by Anonymousreply 69November 24, 2021 5:03 AM

I loved REM up through Monster. Fandom for new material faded out. I really haven't to listened to much of their post-Monster output and there was really no reason for it.

Anyway, REM was one of the major college rock/indie rock bands when I was growing up - but then crossed over a bit to mainstream audiences (starting with Document). I always liked their songcraft and variety.

Similar to OP, I like the earlier stuff the best - Life's Rich Pageant, Murmur. Fables - as complete albums. Though there's LOTs of songs I loved thereafter (Welcome to the Occupation, Nightswimming, Near Wild Heaven, for example) and I generally enjoyed all the albums - at least up to the point I stopped listening to new stuff. I saw the Green Tour back in the late 80s. I really like the Chronic Town EP and Dead Letter Office compilation. Automatic for the People was enormous when I was in college and is often cited as one of their best albums. I really enjoy it but not as much as earlier stuff.

So, yes, I like REM

by Anonymousreply 70November 24, 2021 5:36 AM

Mike Mills and his girlfriend used to semi-frequent the Atlanta restaurant where I worked in the late 90s/early 2000s, and they were very genuine, friendly and easygoing. And big tippers.

by Anonymousreply 71November 24, 2021 5:38 AM

I hadn't read the thread before I posted at R70. A lot of people love Fables. On that note, two favorite tracks from Fables are Old Man Kensey and Kohoutek. They had so many great album tracks. Moral Kiosk from Murmer!

by Anonymousreply 72November 24, 2021 6:08 AM

I lived in Athens too. Stipe was a notorious stinker — he had the worst BO in the state, and he would pick off some of the young hot art-boys from the art program. (Emile, if you’re reading this, I miss you!)

He would protest against any large corporations coming to Athens, such as Starbucks, but was making his millions from WB. Ultimate hypocrite in many ways. Guys in Athens I knew wanted Starbucks to come so that they could have health insurance for their families — these were all artists. There were no decent jobs there, all they wanted were some benefits. Stipe easily could have opened business that had competitive benefits, but nope. Instead, he would open restaurants with slave labor, like any other business person.

Having said all that, I do indeed enjoy REM. I think much of it has held up well. They were true artists, and it shows. Stipe might be a hypocrite in business, but I don’t think he was a hypocrite as a musician at all. Plus, who the fuck am I to judge anyone.

“Nightswimming” is one of the most beautiful songs ever. Another favorite is “Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight”. The song makes me laugh because they admitted that they don’t even know what the meaning really is, it’s just a silly song but there is a message in there, maybe it’s just about friendship.

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by Anonymousreply 73November 24, 2021 2:55 PM

Nightswimming. Not sure why but I've always found this to be so evocative and moving.

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by Anonymousreply 74November 24, 2021 3:15 PM

Stipe seems like he lived his dream. Sensitive gay art kid has a big music career, generally on his terms, and is adored by many, but chooses to lay low once the limelight fades. Plus all the perks of being a rock star obviously - the money, the men. How REM has handled their post-peak lives is interesting.

He certainly can be prickly and a dick, but he's usually a pretty good interview and it's interesting to hear him talk about stuff, including his career and music in general.

by Anonymousreply 75November 24, 2021 4:58 PM

I guess I'm a casual fan. I also think Lifes Rich Pageant is their best album. Begin the Begin is my favorite R.E.M. song. I like some songs on all of the other I.R.S. albums as well, although I find some of their early stuff tedious.

by Anonymousreply 76November 24, 2021 5:16 PM

I thought Stipe was just the landlord for The Grit, not the actual business owner.... IIRC he kept that awful church from turning the neighborhood into a parking lot.

by Anonymousreply 77November 26, 2021 1:14 PM

I think about the different trajectories that U2 and R.E.M. have had since the late 80s/early 90s and wonder how much homophobia had to do with it.

by Anonymousreply 78November 26, 2021 1:35 PM

R78 Part of that is that Bono is a megalomaniac and made himself into a giant celebrity brand of Irish Jesus, which Stipe doesn’t seem concerned with, thankfully. (I’ve never heard anything more scathing than the jokes they tell about Bono in Ireland.)

by Anonymousreply 79November 26, 2021 1:52 PM

"I think about the different trajectories that U2 and R.E.M. have had since the late 80s/early 90s and wonder how much homophobia had to do with it. "

Not saying it played no factor in REM's trajectory, but REM became really, really big. Not U2 big, but really big. I'm wondering if U2 is even a good comparison because how many bands become as big as U2? - helped no doubt by Bono's love of being that big of a star.

Speaking of U2, way back, at least where I grew up, they were sort of a "college rock" band. Even though their early videos were on MTV and big singles like Pride were played a lot on radio and the masses liked them, it was the alt kids who really got into the early stuff -- outside of Pride, The Unforgettable Fire, for example, isn't at all an easily accessible album that the general public would roll with. Same for the other early albums outside of key singles. That all ended abruptly with The Joshua Tree - and then there was no looking back.

by Anonymousreply 80November 26, 2021 4:57 PM
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