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R.E.M. (band)

R.E.M. is a rock band formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 by Michael Stipe (vocals), Bill Berry (drums), Peter Buck (guitar), and Mike Mills (bass). Throughout the 1980s, while signed to the independent label I.R.S., they achieved a growing cult status due mainly to Stipe's obscure (and sometimes inaudible and unintelligible) lyrics and the band's sound, most noticeably influenced by The Byrds. By the early '90s, R.E.M. was one of the world's most popular, respected, and influential bands.

The I.R.S. Years (1982-1987)

Their debut EP, Chronic Town (1982), illustrated R.E.M.'s signature musical style: jangling guitars, chords played in arpeggio, murmured vocals, and lyrics that completely avoid the standard topics of popular music - love and relationships. Their debut album, Murmur (1983), is held to be one of the best records of the 1980s. The album is stylistically unified. The jangling guitars, so prominent on Chronic Town, are used more sparingly. The melody is found in the bass notes, and the lyrics are practically indecipherable. The songs on the album blend together. Evocative words are used to create a mood instead of a narrative. The mood is grey - "Rest assured this will not last, take a turn for the worst", "martyred, misconstrued", "Not everyone can carry the weight of the world", "lies and conversation, fear". The dark mood is broken by two brighter, more hopeful songs, "Sitting Still," and "Shaking Through", marked by the return of arpeggio and jangling guitars.

R.E.M.'s second album, Reckoning (1984), explored a variety of musical styles. Song topics include cold weather, a fairy tale of brothers with magical powers and a flood, along with five laments of separation. The jangling guitars and beautiful melodies obscure the dark lyrics. The final song, "Little America," is written about driving through rural America ("another Greenville, another Magic Mart (http://www.magicmartstores.com/)"), and serves as a prelude to the Southern themes on the subsequent album.

Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) explores the mythology of the southern United States. A celebration of an eccentric individual is the subject of no less than four songs on the album ("Maps and Legends," "Life and How to Live It," "Old Man Kensey," "Wendell Gee"). "Driver 8" is a song about the scenery surrounding railroad tracks. Trains are a frequent topic of Southern music; they epitomize the freedom and promise of an escape from one's home environment. The source of the title of "Can't Get There from Here" is a curious phrase heard when asking directions in a rural area. "Kohoutek," their first song about a romantic relationship, compares the fizzled comet of 1973 to a fizzled romance. By the time this album was released, R.E.M. were critically acclaimed, and the video for "Can't Get There from Here" was played frequently on MTV. R.E.M. practically defined college rock by this time.

The next album, Lifes Rich Pageant (sic) (1986), takes its name from a Pink Panther movie ("You'll catch your death of cold!" "Yes, I probably will. But that's all part of life's rich pageant, you know."). The songs are upbeat, the tempo is fast; this is a fairly hard-rocking album. The lyrics were becoming both more intelligible and more direct, with political themes appearing more explicitly ("Begin the Begin," "Flowers of Guatemala," "Hyena"). "Cuyahoga" is about the river in Ohio that caught fire due to pollution. Ironically, the 'hit' from the album, "Superman," was a cover song that didn't appear on the original album cover. In many ways, this album marked the end of the first period in the band's history.

Document (1987) was their last album for the indie record label I.R.S., and provided their first major hit with "The One I Love," which reached No. 9 on the American pop charts. The popularity of this song of grim satisfaction over the end of an unhappy relationship was due mainly, however, to its misinterpretation as a love song. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" recalls the rapid-fire lyrical style of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and can be described as pre-apocalyptic.

Dead Letter Office (1987) was a collection of B-sides and outtakes. Highlights include three Velvet Underground covers, an Aerosmith cover, an uncommissioned commercial for a barbecue restaurant in Athens, and a boozy version of "King of the Road." The CD also has the EP Chronic Town at the end. The album is described in the liner notes as "A little bit of uh-huh and a whole lot of oh-yeah." The band's early years are summarized in the compilation Eponymous, released in 1988. The compilation contains several alternative versions and mixes of songs.

Rock Superstars (1988-1996)

In 1988 R.E.M. signed to the major label Warner Brothers and released Green. This was the band's first time with heavy promotion, and they toured stadiums extensively in 1989. Some fans from the I.R.S. days complained that R.E.M. had become too commercial and that the quality of the music had decreased, but the band had now been brought to international attention. In 1990, most of R.E.M. recorded with Warren Zevon as the Hindu Love Gods.

Their next records, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), were both international hits, despite the fact that R.E.M. did not tour for either album. These two critically acclaimed albums featured hit singles including "Losing My Religion," "Shiny Happy People," "Everybody Hurts," and "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite." Out of Time also includes emotional, contemplative tracks such as "Belong," "Half A World Away," and "Country Feedback." On Automatic, the band developed a reserved, meditative sound that took them back to their roots, and the record's 15 million copies were sold in spite of such melancholy themes as death, suicide, and sexual jealousy.

The band's 1994 release, the grunge-influenced Monster, including "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?," proved to be a crossover hit and their best selling album to date, though many critics disliked the band's foray into glam rock. The album was followed by a massive tour during which drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain hemorrhage on stage, which would eventually lead to his leaving the band. While on this tour the band recorded the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), a long, roughly produced and decidedly bleak record which featured, in the seven-minute "Leave," perhaps the band's most intense song. Other notable tracks on that record include "E-Bow the Letter" (a collaboration with the legendary Patti Smith) and the intense western-themed rock of "Low Desert." The band re-signed with Warner Brothers in 1996 for the largest recording contract advance in history: 80 million dollars for 5 albums.

R.E.M. After Berry (1997-present)

After Berry's departure, the band returned with Krautrock-influenced Up (1998), another long and reflective record, with the lead single "Daysleeper." Many tracks contained drum machines, and Peter Buck played guitar only a little. The band was no longer selling well in United States, though in Europe they stayed popular. 2001's Reveal, confirms the return to an even mellower songwriting approach, with songs such as "Imitation of Life," "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)," and "She Just Wants To Be" garnering some radio play. The album gained mixed reviews. Recent R.E.M. soundtrack appearances have found them revisiting some of their earliest material, hitherto available only on live bootlegs; their single, "Bad Day" (2003), was the prototype for "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," with some of the same lyrics. In 2004, the band returned with Around the Sun, which once again met with generally only mild critical praise. Singles from this album include "Leaving New York" and "Aftermath". R.E.M.'s Around the Sun World Tour is the first tour since the infamous Monster Tour that R.E.M. needed to cancel shows, on account of Mike Mills's flu and ear infection. "Electron Blue," the third single from the Around the Sun album, has been getting much airplay in the UK.

The Future

In a recent interview, Peter Buck said that their next album would be very different from current R.E.M., and based on the single "I'm Gonna DJ", played live on the 2004-2005 world tour, we can expect it to be another rock album, which, if successful, could possibly lead to Warner resigning R.E.M. after the two albums left on their contract. In the same interview, Michael Stipe said he has lyrics to three new songs on his cell phone and one is almost complete and may be debuted live. Currently, there have been two songs played live supposedly on the next album, rumored for a 2006 release; "I'm Gonna D.J.", the catchy rocking song with multiple guitars, and "Weatherman", played once live and then stopped due to the 'lyrics not fitting the song'. Not replacing Berry, R.E.M. are currently using drummer Bill Rieflin on Around the Sun and the tour, and his drums may help a 2006 release. R.E.M. currently are touring outside of the United States on their world tour, which is currently to end in July 2005 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Trivia

  • The band members picked the name R.E.M. out of the dictionary. They liked the name because it was so ambiguous. They started out as Twisted Kites for the first show they played at a party, but, according to "It Crawled From the South," considered Negro Eyes, Slut Bank, and Cans of Piss before settling for R.E.M.
  • "Losing My Religion" may have been the biggest hit song that uses a mandolin as the main instrument.

Samples

  • Download sample of "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" from Monster.

Discography

Studio Albums

  • Chronic Town EP (1982)
  • Murmur (1983); #178 US
  • Reckoning (1984); #27 US
  • Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) #28 US, #35 UK
  • Lifes Rich Pageant (1986) #21 US
  • Dead Letter Office (outtakes and b-sides, incl. Chronic Town EP) (1987) #52 US
  • Document (1987); #28 UK, #10 US
  • Green (1988); #27 UK, #12 US
  • Out of Time (1991); #1 UK, #1 US
  • Automatic for the People (1992); #1 UK, #2 US
  • Monster (1994); #1 UK, #1 US
  • New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996); #1 UK, #2 US
  • Up (1998); #2 UK, #3 US
  • Reveal (2001); #1 UK, #6 US
  • Around the Sun (2004); #1 UK, #13 US

Compilations

  • Eponymous (compilation) (1988) #44 US
  • The Best of R.E.M. (1991); #7 UK
  • Singles Collected (1994);
  • R.E.M. In The Attic (rarities compilation) (1997)
  • R.E.M.IX (Web Only Remixes)
  • In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (compilation) (2003); #1 UK, #8 US

Hit Singles

  • 1983 "Radio Free Europe" #78 US
  • 1984 "South Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" #85 US
  • 1986 "Fall On Me" #94 US
  • 1987 "The One I Love" #9 US
  • 1989 "Stand" #6 US
  • 1989 "Orange Crush" #28 UK
  • 1989 "Pop Song 89" #86 US
  • 1991 "Losing My Religion" #4 US, #19 UK
  • 1991 "Shiny Happy People" #10 US; #6 UK
  • 1991 "Near Wild Heaven" #27 UK
  • 1991 "The One I Love" (re-issue) #16 UK
  • 1991 "Radio Song" #28 UK
  • 1991 "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" #39 UK; #69 US (1988)
  • 1992 "Drive" #28 US; #11 UK
  • 1993 "Man on the Moon" #30 US; #18 UK
  • 1993 "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" #17 UK
  • 1993 "Everybody Hurts" #29 US; #7 UK
  • 1993 "Nightswimming" #27 UK
  • 1994 "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" #21 US; #9 UK
  • 1994 "Bang and Blame" #19 US; #15 UK
  • 1995 "Crush with Eyeliner" #23 UK
  • 1995 "Strange Currencies" #47 US; #9 UK
  • 1995 "Tongue" #13 UK
  • 1996 "E-Bow the Letter" #4 UK
  • 1996 "Bittersweet Me" #46 US; #19 UK
  • 1996 "Electrolite" #96 US; #29 UK
  • 1998 "Daysleeper" #57 US; #6 UK
  • 1998 "Lotus" #26 UK
  • 1999 "At My Most Beautiful" #10 UK
  • 2000 "The Great Beyond" #57 US; #3 UK
  • 2001 "Imitation of Life" #83 US; #6 UK
  • 2001 "All the Way to Reno" #24 UK
  • 2001 "I'll Take the Rain" #51 UK
  • 2003 "Bad Day" #8 UK
  • 2004 "Animal" #33 UK
  • 2004 "Leaving New York" #5 UK
  • 2004 "Aftermath" #41 UK
  • 2005 "Electron Blue" #26 UK

External Links

  • Official R.E.M. website (http://www.remhq.com/)
  • Murmurs : R.E.M. news, multimedia, file sharing & largest R.E.M. forum (http://www.murmurs.com/)
  • R.E.M. fan site (http://www.rem-fan.com/)
  • R.E.M. news & multimedia (http://www.remison.com/)
  • The R.E.M. Collector's Guide (http://www.svs.com/rem/)
  • R.E.M. Rock (http://www.remrock.com/)
  • File Under R.E.M. - The RetroWeb R.E.M. Page (http://www.retroweb.com/rem.html)
  • 2nd Largest R.E.M. Forum (http://www.myrem.com)
  • rec.music.rem FAQ (http://people2.clarityconnect.com/webpages6/ronhenry/remfaq.htm)
  • R.E.M. Lyric Annotations FAQ (http://www.flim.com/remlafaq.html)



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. In one amusing scene he played a Slade song on the piano, and wished he could become famous ... currently are touring outside of the United States on their world tour, which is currently to end in July 2005 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Holder. R.E.M. Holder also acted in the nostalgic late 90s TV comedy The Grimleys, set in the early 70s, where he played music teacher Mr. are currently using drummer Bill Rieflin on Around the Sun and the tour, and his drums may help a 2006 release. The original band's memory was kept alive by comedians Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, who respectfully sent up the band in a number of sketches in one of their TV shows in the 1990s.

Not replacing Berry, R.E.M. Holder went on to become an actor and in-demand broadcaster, Lea studied psychotherapy, invested in properties and recorded tracks on his own, while the two others played in successive new versions of Slade, which released an albums and a number of singles on the continent, but not in the UK; this band has kept the Slade name alive by being called Slade II. Currently, there have been two songs played live supposedly on the next album, rumored for a 2006 release; "I'm Gonna D.J.", the catchy rocking song with multiple guitars, and "Weatherman", played once live and then stopped due to the 'lyrics not fitting the song'. The Ramones (Live only), Cheap Trick (Live only), U2 (Live only), Mama's Boys, Quiet Riot, Wonderstuff, Bohze Onkelz, Girlschool,70s All Stars, Doc Eisenhauer, Quiet Riot and Sir Mixalot, James Last, Flashback Band, Twisted Sister, Hole (Live only), The Hobos, The Glitter Band, Strangeways, Shirehorses, Nobcutters, Guster, Bram Van 2000, Recliners, Alive and well, Randalica, Oasis, One Way System, Little Jack Melody and his young Turks, Ian Hall (on TV programme 'Stars in their eyes' only), Kiss My Jazz, The Crack, Go Crazy, Mud, Pretty maids, Red 2, Rock Ghosts, The Cloggs, Mission (as Metal Gurus), Van Halen (live only), Britney Fox, UK PLC, Flashback Band, Redbeards From Texas, Stiv Bators (demo version), The Men They Couldn't hang, Sapo, Noel Gallager of Oasis, Steps, Cure (Live version of Merry Xmas everybody), Four Skins, Tweenies, Die Toten Hosen, 4 skins, Rooney, Jimmy Barnes, Mek and the Xmas Peks, Spice Girls, Kim McAuliffe (Girlschool), Max Bygraves, Mark (during 'Pop Idol' TV show 2003), Dexy's Midnight Runners, Missing link, Travis, Studio 99, James Last, Eastenders TV show cast plus Suggs from Madness, Baron Knights and many many more. In the same interview, Michael Stipe said he has lyrics to three new songs on his cell phone and one is almost complete and may be debuted live. The large catalogue of Slade songs has been occasionally accessed for use by a number of groups over the years;. after the two albums left on their contract. Slade's sound and image influenced a number of American rock groups in the 1970s, particularly KISS, whose bassist Gene Simmons readily admitted that their whole early songwriting ethos as regards singles was loaned from Slade's good-time approach.

In a recent interview, Peter Buck said that their next album would be very different from current R.E.M., and based on the single "I'm Gonna DJ", played live on the 2004-2005 world tour, we can expect it to be another rock album, which, if successful, could possibly lead to Warner resigning R.E.M. A cover of the single "Cum on Feel the Noize," by Metal group Quiet Riot was a smash Top 5 hit in America in 1983. "Electron Blue," the third single from the Around the Sun album, has been getting much airplay in the UK. Slade's attempts at cracking the American market were largely unsuccessful, although they obviously left their mark on a large number of US bands who cite Slade as an influence. needed to cancel shows, on account of Mike Mills's flu and ear infection. Despite being 'adopted' by fans of a harder rock genre, the band split up officially in 1991 when Noddy Holder left after 25 years in the band. Singles from this album include "Leaving New York" and "Aftermath". R.E.M.'s Around the Sun World Tour is the first tour since the infamous Monster Tour that R.E.M. Although they had two other UK top 10 hits in 1984 with the singles "Run Runaway" (#7, which would be their second top 40 hit in the USA (#20) and their first since "Gudbuy T'Jane", which barely made the top 40 in 1972) and "My Oh My" (#2 UK, #36 US).

In 2004, the band returned with Around the Sun, which once again met with generally only mild critical praise. They were the hit of the festival and a new run of chart success followed, though not on the scale of their 70's heights. soundtrack appearances have found them revisiting some of their earliest material, hitherto available only on live bootlegs; their single, "Bad Day" (2003), was the prototype for "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," with some of the same lyrics. In August 1980, Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard Of Oz cancelled a show at Reading and Slade (who had in truth all but disbanded) replaced them. Recent R.E.M. They struggled on playing live shows to respectable-sized crowds in clubs and Universities, while waiting for their turn to come again. The album gained mixed reviews. With the advent of punk in the late 1970s, Slade's music became unfashionable and was not considered worthy of radio plays and so their hits largely dried up.

2001's Reveal, confirms the return to an even mellower songwriting approach, with songs such as "Imitation of Life," "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)," and "She Just Wants To Be" garnering some radio play. The bands albums "Slade Alive" and "Slayed?" are considered by many to be some of the best of the Glam Rock era. The band was no longer selling well in United States, though in Europe they stayed popular. Each scene in the movie is a true story taken from some bands' career and the bleak, sometimes violent story has been compared to Quentin Tarantino movies. Flame showed the members of Slade acting surprisingly well, especially Holder and Lea who pulled off the serious stuff. The excellent soundtrack album, which was released to tie in with the film included the top 5 hit "Far far away" and the top 20 hit "How does it feel". After Berry's departure, the band returned with Krautrock-influenced Up (1998), another long and reflective record, with the lead single "Daysleeper." Many tracks contained drum machines, and Peter Buck played guitar only a little. Film critic Mark Kermode believes it to be the best rock biopic af all times and today it is considered a masterpiece. Other notable tracks on that record include "E-Bow the Letter" (a collaboration with the legendary Patti Smith) and the intense western-themed rock of "Low Desert." The band re-signed with Warner Brothers in 1996 for the largest recording contract advance in history: 80 million dollars for 5 albums. In 1974 Slade made the highly acclaimed rock movie [[Flame]].

While on this tour the band recorded the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), a long, roughly produced and decidedly bleak record which featured, in the seven-minute "Leave," perhaps the band's most intense song. Despite their enormous success, Slade continued to be a down-to-Earth unpretentious working class band and one of the best live acts of the 1970s and 1980s. The album was followed by a massive tour during which drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain hemorrhage on stage, which would eventually lead to his leaving the band. Two of their singles entered the charts at number one, and they were the UK's best-selling act of the 1970s. The band's 1994 release, the grunge-influenced Monster, including "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?," proved to be a crossover hit and their best selling album to date, though many critics disliked the band's foray into glam rock. No other UK act of the period enjoyed such consistency and Slade actually came the closest to emulating Beatles' 22 top ten records from the 1960s. These two critically acclaimed albums featured hit singles including "Losing My Religion," "Shiny Happy People," "Everybody Hurts," and "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite." Out of Time also includes emotional, contemplative tracks such as "Belong," "Half A World Away," and "Country Feedback." On Automatic, the band developed a reserved, meditative sound that took them back to their roots, and the record's 15 million copies were sold in spite of such melancholy themes as death, suicide, and sexual jealousy. All in all, Slade had 16 top 20 hits between 1971 and 1976 including 6 number ones, 3 number twos and 2 number threes.

Their next records, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), were both international hits, despite the fact that R.E.M. did not tour for either album. This change of direction paid off, and from 1971 the band scored an impressive number of huge-selling hits, including the singles:. recorded with Warren Zevon as the Hindu Love Gods. They grew their hair long again, and became a part of the Glam Rock movement, releasing songs with deliberately Black Country mis-spelled titles which made them stand out. In 1990, most of R.E.M. They later abandoned this idea, due to the unwelcome association with football hooliganism and trouble that accompanied the fashion. had become too commercial and that the quality of the music had decreased, but the band had now been brought to international attention. Their name was abbreviated to just Slade, and the band adopted a "skinhead" look, as an attempt to gain some publicity from what was a newsworthy minority fashion trend of the time.

days complained that R.E.M. In the late 1960s the band changed its name to Ambrose Slade and hooked up with manager Chas Chandler, former bass player of The Animals and manager of Jimi Hendrix. Some fans from the I.R.S. The group originally formed in 1966 from the component members of two Midlands bands The Vendors and Steve Brett and The Mavericks and was called the N'Betweens, but initially had little success. This was the band's first time with heavy promotion, and they toured stadiums extensively in 1989. The band members were:. signed to the major label Warner Brothers and released Green. In Europe they were thought of as the biggest rock group of their time and with their anthemic brand of glam rock, they scored 11 Top Five hits in a four-year span from 1971 to 1974 (five of which topped the charts).

In 1988 R.E.M. Rex (band), Suzi Quatro and even David Bowie. The compilation contains several alternative versions and mixes of songs. Slade never truly caught on with American audiences (who often deemed them "too British-sounding"), but the group became a massive sensation in their home country and the rest of Europe, with success to rival Wizzard, The Sweet, T. The album is described in the liner notes as "A little bit of uh-huh and a whole lot of oh-yeah." The band's early years are summarized in the compilation Eponymous, released in 1988. The band originated from the Black Country in central England. Highlights include three Velvet Underground covers, an Aerosmith cover, an uncommissioned commercial for a barbecue restaurant in Athens, and a boozy version of "King of the Road." The CD also has the EP Chronic Town at the end. Slade was a hugely successful English rock band of the early 1970s and was a major part of the Glam rock phenomenon of that decade.

Dead Letter Office (1987) was a collection of B-sides and outtakes. "Merry Xmas Everybody" (which has re-entered the charts several times since and is arguably the UK's most famous Christmas song). "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" recalls the rapid-fire lyrical style of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and can be described as pre-apocalyptic. "Skweeze Me, Pleeze Me,". The popularity of this song of grim satisfaction over the end of an unhappy relationship was due mainly, however, to its misinterpretation as a love song. "Cum on Feel the Noize,". 9 on the American pop charts. "Gudbuy t'Jane,".

Document (1987) was their last album for the indie record label I.R.S., and provided their first major hit with "The One I Love," which reached No. "Mama Weer All Crazee Now,". In many ways, this album marked the end of the first period in the band's history. "Take Me Bak 'Ome,". Ironically, the 'hit' from the album, "Superman," was a cover song that didn't appear on the original album cover. "Look Wot You Dun,". "Cuyahoga" is about the river in Ohio that caught fire due to pollution. "Coz I Luv You,".

The lyrics were becoming both more intelligible and more direct, with political themes appearing more explicitly ("Begin the Begin," "Flowers of Guatemala," "Hyena"). Don Powell - Drummer. The songs are upbeat, the tempo is fast; this is a fairly hard-rocking album. Jimmy Lea - Bassist/violinist/pianist. But that's all part of life's rich pageant, you know."). Dave Hill - Lead guitarist. The next album, Lifes Rich Pageant (sic) (1986), takes its name from a Pink Panther movie ("You'll catch your death of cold!" "Yes, I probably will. Noddy Holder (real name Neville John Holder) - Singer/guitarist.

practically defined college rock by this time. R.E.M. were critically acclaimed, and the video for "Can't Get There from Here" was played frequently on MTV. By the time this album was released, R.E.M.

"Kohoutek," their first song about a romantic relationship, compares the fizzled comet of 1973 to a fizzled romance. The source of the title of "Can't Get There from Here" is a curious phrase heard when asking directions in a rural area. Trains are a frequent topic of Southern music; they epitomize the freedom and promise of an escape from one's home environment. "Driver 8" is a song about the scenery surrounding railroad tracks.

A celebration of an eccentric individual is the subject of no less than four songs on the album ("Maps and Legends," "Life and How to Live It," "Old Man Kensey," "Wendell Gee"). Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) explores the mythology of the southern United States. The final song, "Little America," is written about driving through rural America ("another Greenville, another Magic Mart (http://www.magicmartstores.com/)"), and serves as a prelude to the Southern themes on the subsequent album. The jangling guitars and beautiful melodies obscure the dark lyrics.

Song topics include cold weather, a fairy tale of brothers with magical powers and a flood, along with five laments of separation. R.E.M.'s second album, Reckoning (1984), explored a variety of musical styles. The dark mood is broken by two brighter, more hopeful songs, "Sitting Still," and "Shaking Through", marked by the return of arpeggio and jangling guitars. The mood is grey - "Rest assured this will not last, take a turn for the worst", "martyred, misconstrued", "Not everyone can carry the weight of the world", "lies and conversation, fear".

Evocative words are used to create a mood instead of a narrative. The songs on the album blend together. The melody is found in the bass notes, and the lyrics are practically indecipherable. The jangling guitars, so prominent on Chronic Town, are used more sparingly.

The album is stylistically unified. Their debut album, Murmur (1983), is held to be one of the best records of the 1980s. Their debut EP, Chronic Town (1982), illustrated R.E.M.'s signature musical style: jangling guitars, chords played in arpeggio, murmured vocals, and lyrics that completely avoid the standard topics of popular music - love and relationships. was one of the world's most popular, respected, and influential bands.

By the early '90s, R.E.M. Throughout the 1980s, while signed to the independent label I.R.S., they achieved a growing cult status due mainly to Stipe's obscure (and sometimes inaudible and unintelligible) lyrics and the band's sound, most noticeably influenced by The Byrds. R.E.M. is a rock band formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 by Michael Stipe (vocals), Bill Berry (drums), Peter Buck (guitar), and Mike Mills (bass). Lyric Annotations FAQ (http://www.flim.com/remlafaq.html).

R.E.M. rec.music.rem FAQ (http://people2.clarityconnect.com/webpages6/ronhenry/remfaq.htm). Forum (http://www.myrem.com). 2nd Largest R.E.M.

Page (http://www.retroweb.com/rem.html). - The RetroWeb R.E.M. File Under R.E.M. Rock (http://www.remrock.com/).

R.E.M. Collector's Guide (http://www.svs.com/rem/). The R.E.M. news & multimedia (http://www.remison.com/).

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news, multimedia, file sharing & largest R.E.M. Murmurs : R.E.M. website (http://www.remhq.com/). Official R.E.M.

2005 "Electron Blue" #26 UK. 2004 "Aftermath" #41 UK. 2004 "Leaving New York" #5 UK. 2004 "Animal" #33 UK.

2003 "Bad Day" #8 UK. 2001 "I'll Take the Rain" #51 UK. 2001 "All the Way to Reno" #24 UK. 2001 "Imitation of Life" #83 US; #6 UK.

2000 "The Great Beyond" #57 US; #3 UK. 1999 "At My Most Beautiful" #10 UK. 1998 "Lotus" #26 UK. 1998 "Daysleeper" #57 US; #6 UK.

1996 "Electrolite" #96 US; #29 UK. 1996 "Bittersweet Me" #46 US; #19 UK. 1996 "E-Bow the Letter" #4 UK. 1995 "Tongue" #13 UK.

1995 "Strange Currencies" #47 US; #9 UK. 1995 "Crush with Eyeliner" #23 UK. 1994 "Bang and Blame" #19 US; #15 UK. 1994 "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" #21 US; #9 UK.

1993 "Nightswimming" #27 UK. 1993 "Everybody Hurts" #29 US; #7 UK. 1993 "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" #17 UK. 1993 "Man on the Moon" #30 US; #18 UK.

1992 "Drive" #28 US; #11 UK. 1991 "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" #39 UK; #69 US (1988). 1991 "Radio Song" #28 UK. 1991 "The One I Love" (re-issue) #16 UK.

1991 "Near Wild Heaven" #27 UK. 1991 "Shiny Happy People" #10 US; #6 UK. 1991 "Losing My Religion" #4 US, #19 UK. 1989 "Pop Song 89" #86 US.

1989 "Orange Crush" #28 UK. 1989 "Stand" #6 US. 1987 "The One I Love" #9 US. 1986 "Fall On Me" #94 US.

1984 "South Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" #85 US. 1983 "Radio Free Europe" #78 US. 1988-2003 (compilation) (2003); #1 UK, #8 US. In Time - The Best of R.E.M.

R.E.M.IX (Web Only Remixes). In The Attic (rarities compilation) (1997). R.E.M. Singles Collected (1994);.

The Best of R.E.M. (1991); #7 UK. Eponymous (compilation) (1988) #44 US. Around the Sun (2004); #1 UK, #13 US. Reveal (2001); #1 UK, #6 US.

Up (1998); #2 UK, #3 US. New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996); #1 UK, #2 US. Monster (1994); #1 UK, #1 US. Automatic for the People (1992); #1 UK, #2 US.

Out of Time (1991); #1 UK, #1 US. Green (1988); #27 UK, #12 US. Document (1987); #28 UK, #10 US. Chronic Town EP) (1987) #52 US.

Dead Letter Office (outtakes and b-sides, incl. Lifes Rich Pageant (1986) #21 US. Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) #28 US, #35 UK. Reckoning (1984); #27 US.

Murmur (1983); #178 US. Chronic Town EP (1982). Download sample of "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" from Monster. "Losing My Religion" may have been the biggest hit song that uses a mandolin as the main instrument.

They started out as Twisted Kites for the first show they played at a party, but, according to "It Crawled From the South," considered Negro Eyes, Slut Bank, and Cans of Piss before settling for R.E.M. They liked the name because it was so ambiguous. out of the dictionary. The band members picked the name R.E.M.

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