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20 Definitive Hits From Alt.Rock’s Heroes

If ever a band proved that you can play rock ‘n’ roll and maintain your integrity, then this band surely was rapid eye movement Starting from the bottom playing gigs in soul-destroying clubs, the Athens, Georgia quartet’s dedicated work ethic has allowed them to steadily rise through the ranks and progress from cult heroes to rock stars and into authentic sin. sacrifice their credibility as the best REM songs. . Pin up. An electrifying act live, they amassed an equally formidable catalog of studio recordings, with their superlative 15 LPs ranging from 1983’s idealistic Murmur to 2011’s critically acclaimed swan song Collapse Into Now.

Listen to the best of REM on Apple Music and Spotify, and scroll down to see our top 20 REM songs.

The band originally started after singer Michael Stipe met guitarist Peter Buck at Wuxtry Records in Athens, where the latter had a paid job in his early twenties. Discovering a mutual passion for punk and proto-punk artists like Patti Smith and Television, the duo formed University of Georgia students Mike Mills (bass) and Bill Berry (drums), and REM was born. Performing their first gig in April 1980, the band quickly gained a following among the local college fraternity, with fans often praising Stipe’s eccentric, murmured voice and Buck’s Byrds’ guitar sound.

Released by local independent label Hibtone in 1981, the group’s first album, 45, “Europe without radio”, led to a deal with Miles Copeland’s record label IRS, which released the mini-LP Chronic Town in August ’82 and REM’s highly anticipated debut, Murmur, in April of the following year. Fresh, cool and mysterious, Murmur featured fan favorites such as “Talk About The Passion” and The Ballad From Another World. “Perfect circle” built around a haunting piano tune brought in by Bill Berry.

Murmur exceeded commercial expectations, winning the prestigious Rolling Stone Album of the Year award in 1983 and culminating in the 36 Days, but its content, which ranged from fiery folk-rock to “So. Central rain” at country “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” – they were rarely less than flirtatious, and the album eventually peaked at number 27 on the Billboard 200.

Supervised by the ex-Fairport Convention/Nick drake Producer Joe Boyd, 1985’s Fables Of The Reconstruction turned out to be a “tough” third album, as it was recorded during a harsh British winter with the nostalgic band. However, looking back, it is a flawed masterpiece and includes fan favorites such as the raucous “Pilot 8” the brass-enhanced “Can’t Get There From Here” and the dense, string-assisted “Feeling Gravity’s Pull”.

Directed by John Cougar Mellencamp producer Don Gehman, 1986’s Lifes Rich Pageant was, in comparison, brash and straightforward. Stipe’s vocal delivery was noticeably more confident, and on some of the album’s most notable tracks, such as “Cuyahoga,” the urgency ” These days “ and the glorious, related to acid rain “Fall on me,” his previously elliptical words lent themselves to political and ecological questions for the first time.

Rising to number 21 on the Billboard 200, Lifes Rich Pageant won his first REM gold record, though it was overtaken by his fifth LP, Document, released in September 1987. The first of six REM albums produced by Scott Litt (Count crows, The Replacements), the paper was lengthy on mainstream and muscular rock anthems such as irony, exuberant “It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel good)” “The best work song” and “The one I love.” With the latter providing the group with its first major North American hit, Document rose to number 10 on the Billboard 200 (where it was certified platinum) and landed in the UK Top 30.

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REM signed with Warner Bros for their sixth album, Green, released in October 1988. Received with considerable critical reception and promoted with an 11-month high-profile world tour, this satisfyingly diverse record featured cutting-edge rockers and rockers. .“Squashed orange” “Turn You Inside Out”), catchy pop songs (“Stand”, “Pop Song 89”), and pastoral and folk numbers like “You are everything” and shirt”.

Awarded platinum status in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, Green was the commercial breakthrough REM had been working on for nearly a decade. They definitively left cult status with Out Of Time in 1991, which became number one on both sides of the Atlantic and sold 18 million copies worldwide, despite the group choosing not to run a promotional campaign to support it. . Skillfully blends elements of folk and pop (plus country on the enigmatic steel-assisted pedal “Country Comments”), the album spawned a couple of singles and featured the group’s biggest American hit, ” Losing my Religion, “ Released by Peter Buck’s signature mandolin riff.

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1992’s Automatic for the People, an intimate but consuming record that often deals with loss and grief, also reached critical and commercial dirt, selling 18 million copies worldwide and featuring six long-lasting hit singles. , including the taciturn and monochromatic “Drive”, the tear-torn ballad “Everyone is suffering” and the happy tribute to Andy Kaufman “Man in the moon,” with his tongue-in-cheek Elvis Presley vocal inflections from Stipe.

REM returned with an unlimited rock record thanks to the 1994 hard-edged Monster with grunge accents, followed by success in the UK Top 10. “What is the frequency, Kenneth?” “ The band celebrated the album’s multi-platinum success with a long but unfortunate world tour in which drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm on stage in Switzerland. Fortunately, Berry survived, but left the band after REM re-signed with Warner Bros and recorded 1997’s New Adventures In Hi-Fi. Possibly the band’s most underrated record, this lengthy yet compelling LP. It featured gems like the haunting Patti Smith. attended “E-Bow The Letter” and the magnificent premillennial anthem. “Electrolyte”.

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Rather than officially replacing Berry, the remaining three members of REM opted to recruit additional musicians, including Minus 5 multi-instrumentalist Scott McCaughey, and drummers such as Joey Waronker (Stream) and later Bill Rieflin (Ministry, Swans) for study and / or live work. Recorded with new producer Pat McCarthy, the band’s first release after Berry, 1998’s Up, was a transitional record, but it included the delicious, Beach boys-is that “For me the most beautiful. “

A little more success was achieved with Reveal, a lush melodic album from 2001, which featured the British Top 10 hit “Imitation Of Life” and the dreamy “All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star).” He was a solid seller, though he was overshadowed by In Time: The Best Of REM 1988-2003, a well-chosen multiplatinum anthology featured in the band’s Warner Bros catalog and featuring two stands. – individual hits, “Bad Day” and “The Great Beyond”, the latter already featured in director Miloš Forman’s biopic of Andy Kaufman, Man On The Moon, with Jim Carrey.

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REM returned to the fray with the 2004 introspective Around The Sun, which rose to No. 1 in the UK Top 40 and included Michael Stipe’s poignant tribute to his second home. “Get out of New York”, which also came close to the UK Top 5. The group then went back to basics for Accelerate in 2008, connecting with U2 producer Jacknife Lee and unleash some of his most naked rock ‘n’ roll in years. Fans quickly got hold of aggressive anthems like “Man-Sized Wreath” and the crunchy, session-tied one. “Supernatural supernatural”, while critics stumbled upon themselves to hail the album as a return to form.

However, Buck, Mills, and Stipe had discussed call time at REM even before embarking on the long tour to support Accelerate in 2008, and parted ways after recording Collapse Into Now in 2011, still with Jacknife. Read the controls. The resulting album hit the ground running with all of REM’s powerful anthems («Überlin») crunchy rockers (“Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter”) and heartfelt ballads like “Oh My Heart”; collectively, Collapse Into Now sounded like the perfect kickoff for the consummate rock band that super fans Kurt Cobain They once told Rolling Stone that they are “the best … and they keep making great music.”

Do you think we missed one of the best REM songs? Let us know in the comment section.

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