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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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. Creation Records website http://www.creation-records.com. 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. Official Website http://www.rideox4.net/. R.E.M. Fan's Website http://www.ticket2ride.it/index2.htm. are currently using drummer Bill Rieflin on Around the Sun and the tour, and his drums may help a 2006 release. It was reported on the internet that he had asked the band to reform for a special concert with Radiohead a number of years ago which was, unfortunately, turned down.

Not replacing Berry, R.E.M. Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, was a fan of Ride before his own success. 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'. Smile 1992
OX_4 The Best of Ride 2001
Firing Blanks_Unreleased Ride Recordings 1988-95 2001
Live_Reading Festival 1992 2001
Waves (BBC Radio One sessions) 2003
. 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. COMPILATIONS. after the two albums left on their contract.
.

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. Ride (EP) (UK Chart #71) 1990
Play (EP) (UK Chart #32) 1990
Fall (EP) (UK Chart #34) 1990
Today Forever (EP) (UK Chart #14) 1991
Leave them all Behind (EP) (UK Chart #9) 1992
Twisterella (EP) (UK Chart #38) 1992
Birdman (EP) (UK Chart #38) 1994
How does it feel to feel? (EP) 1994
I don't know where it comes from (EP) 1994
Black Nite Crash (EP) 1996
Coming up For Air (EP) 2001
. "Electron Blue," the third single from the Around the Sun album, has been getting much airplay in the UK. SINGLES. needed to cancel shows, on account of Mike Mills's flu and ear infection.
. 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. Nowhere (UK Chart #11) 1990
Going Blank Again (UK Chart #5) 1992
Carnival of Light (UK Chart #5) 1994
Tarantula (UK Chart #21) 1996
.

In 2004, the band returned with Around the Sun, which once again met with generally only mild critical praise. ALBUMS. 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. Any thoughts of permanently re-forming the band, however, have been explicitly denied by Bell.
. Recent R.E.M. The fact that the band appears to be releasing new material and even being interviewed together seems to indicate that the tension between Gardener and Bell, which was one of the main causes of the band's demise, has been mended. The album gained mixed reviews. He has enlisted the help of fellow local mates Goldrush and has been extensively touring America with them in early 2003 and early 2004.

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. Mark Gardener is also now pursuing a solo career and has an album on track for 2005. The band was no longer selling well in United States, though in Europe they stayed popular. In 2003 they released Waves, a series of recordings the band made for the BBC. 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. In late 2002, Ride released a 3CD box set which is made up of OX_4 The Best of Ride, Firing Blanks (Unreleased tracks) and Live_Reading Festival 1992. 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. The interest this limited release CD caused the band to consider future releases.

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. The recording of this song, plus two short sound checks, were released in 2002 as Coming up for Air. 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. 2001+ Channel Four and beyond
On 16 October 2001, all four members of Ride agreed to be filmed by Channel 4. The footage was used for a documentary on Sonic Youth, and featured both Bell's and Gardener's unique use of feedback and distortion during a thirty minute jam. 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. Queralt appears to have retired from professional music. 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. Gardener has also toured as a solo artist, while Colbert has also been playing for a Bob Dylan tribute band called "The Zimmermen".

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. Mark Gardener and Laurence Colbert formed "The Animalhouse". recorded with Warren Zevon as the Hindu Love Gods. 1997-2001 Post break-up years
After the split, Andy Bell formed a new band called "Hurricane #1" but this project was permanently dissolved when he was asked to play Bass for Oasis. In 1990, most of 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. It appears that they had just been too young and too stubborn and had no real idea of where the band was heading when they changed their style.

days complained that R.E.M. Since the break-up, both Bell and Gardner have been able to be more reflective on the reasons why the group disintegrated, with Bell especially admitting his own part in the process. Some fans from the I.R.S. Critics and fans alike had panned the album, and it was no surprise to them to learn that the band had split before the record had even been released. This was the band's first time with heavy promotion, and they toured stadiums extensively in 1989. Against all common sense from the record company, the album was released and remained on sale for one week before being withdrawn. signed to the major label Warner Brothers and released Green. Castle on the Hill, written by Bell, was a lament for the band's situation and contains references to Gardner's self imposed exile from the group.

In 1988 R.E.M. Bell penned most of the songs while Gardner provided only one - the tension within the band leading to an inability to write meaningful musical pieces. The compilation contains several alternative versions and mixes of songs. By the time Tarantula appeared, the band was beginning to self destruct. 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. Other musical changes, such as the use of a Cathedral boy's choir for one song and Hammond organs for a number of others, were not as innovative or creative as had been hoped. 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 track listing of Carnival of Light gives an indication of the tension that was mounting between the two guitarists, with the first half of the album being songs written by Gardner and the last half of the album being songs written by Bell - one or both had refused to let their songs be interspersed with pieces written by the other.

Dead Letter Office (1987) was a collection of B-sides and outtakes. It has been remarked by Queralt that the band had two future directions open to them, and they chose the wrong option. "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. Both had led the band away from their Shoegazing roots to become more contemporary, hoping to change their style with the times. 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 appears that the band split due to creative and personal tensions between Gardner and Bell. 9 on the American pop charts. 1996 The Break up
1995 (1995 in music) saw the dissolution of the band while recording Tarantula, universally agreed to be their worst album.

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. Despite this, Carnival of Light remains a favourite for many fans. In many ways, this album marked the end of the first period in the band's history. Carnival of Light was oriented towards this new sound, but sales were sluggish and the shift in musical tastes devastated much of their original audience. Ironically, the 'hit' from the album, "Superman," was a cover song that didn't appear on the original album cover. Their third LP, Carnival of Light, was released in 1994 (1994 in music), after shoegazing had given way to Britpop among mainstream listeners. "Cuyahoga" is about the river in Ohio that caught fire due to pollution. 1994-96 Change in Musical Direction
Despite having a solid fanbase and some mainstream success, the lack of a breakthrough contributed to inter-band tension, especially between Gardner and Bell.

The lyrics were becoming both more intelligible and more direct, with political themes appearing more explicitly ("Begin the Begin," "Flowers of Guatemala," "Hyena"). Ride's early influences include Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, both of which influenced the style of Ride's music and the songs found on Going Blank Again. The songs are upbeat, the tempo is fast; this is a fairly hard-rocking album. This link, between Shoegazing and Grunge_music, has never been fully explored. But that's all part of life's rich pageant, you know."). It needs to be pointed out, also, that the band had listened to and had been been influenced by the album Nevermind by Nirvana as they recorded their second LP. 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. The twin rhythm guitars of Bell and Gardener, both distorted, both using Wah-wah pedals and both feeding back on each other was the highlight of the album's critical and chart success.

practically defined college rock by this time. Opening with the anthemic 8.17 single Leave them all behind, the album showcased the band's creative work and skill in working with the Wall of Sound style that typifies Shoegazing bands. R.E.M. March 1992 saw the band release probably their best work, the album Going Blank Again. were critically acclaimed, and the video for "Can't Get There from Here" was played frequently on MTV. Ride made their first international tour to Japan, Australia and France later on that year. By the time this album was released, R.E.M. Sennen, the second track from this EP, became a crowd favourite.

"Kohoutek," their first song about a romantic relationship, compares the fizzled comet of 1973 to a fizzled romance. The EP showed a band that was maturing quickly and producing material that was more subtle and complex than their releases barely 12 months previously. The source of the title of "Can't Get There from Here" is a curious phrase heard when asking directions in a rural area. Demand for new material was high, and the band recorded another EP, Today Forever in March 1991. Trains are a frequent topic of Southern music; they epitomize the freedom and promise of an escape from one's home environment. It was from this period that the band usually closed their live set with Seagull, a mass of feedback and rhythm guitar that remains one of the band's classic pieces.
. "Driver 8" is a song about the scenery surrounding railroad tracks. Many fans regard this as their favourite album, with songs like Vapour Trail, and Dreams Burn Down becoming classics in Shoegazing.

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"). Nowhere was hailed as a critical success and the media dubbed Ride "The brightest hope" for 1991. Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) explores the mythology of the southern United States. The first two EPs were eventually released together as Smile years later in 1992, while the Fall EP was incorporated into their first LP, Nowhere, released in October 1990. 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. While each EP was not a chart success, enough critical praise was received to make Ride the "darlings" of music journalists. The jangling guitars and beautiful melodies obscure the dark lyrics. From these EPs, the songs Chelsea Girl, Like a Daydream and Dreams Burn Down became favourites.

Song topics include cold weather, a fairy tale of brothers with magical powers and a flood, along with five laments of separation. 1989-1993 Early Creation Years
Ride released three EPs between January and September 1990, entitled Ride, Play and Fall, each with distinctive blurred artwork on the covers. R.E.M.'s second album, Reckoning (1984), explored a variety of musical styles. After supporting The Soup Dragons in 1989 McGee from Creation Records signed a record deal with them. 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. In February 1989 'Ride' was asked to stand in for a cancelled student union gig at Oxford Poly that brought them to the attention of Alan McGee. 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". While still at Banbury the band produced a tape demo including the tracks 'Chelsea Girl' and 'Drive Blind'.

Evocative words are used to create a mood instead of a narrative. The first gig as Ride was for the College's Christmas Party in 1988. The songs on the album blend together. After considering the name 'Donkey' the band called itself 'Ride' after a piece of graphic design Gardner produced for a typography workshop. The melody is found in the bass notes, and the lyrics are practically indecipherable. Queralt was recruited from a local record shop. The jangling guitars, so prominent on Chronic Town, are used more sparingly. There they met Colbert.

The album is stylistically unified. 1988-1989 Starting out
Gardner and Bell had been to Cheney School in Oxford appearing in the schools musical theatre productions and in October 1988 moved went to Banbury to do Foundation Studies in Art and Design. Their debut album, Murmur (1983), is held to be one of the best records of the 1980s. Since 2001 the band has been semi-active and has released a number of compilation and live recordings, as well as a limited pressing EP with new material. 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. Since then, the band members have gone on to other projects, most notably Andy Bell becoming Bass Player for Oasis. was one of the world's most popular, respected, and influential bands. During that time they received much critical acclaim, although this was never translated into the chart and financial success that they aimed for.

By the early '90s, R.E.M. The band formed in 1988 in Oxford, England, and officially broke up in 1996. 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. Ride is a 1980s and 90s British shoegazing band, formed by Laurence Colbert (Drums), Mark Gardner (Guitar), Steve Queralt (Bass) and Andy Bell (Guitar) in 1988. 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/).

R.E.M. fan site (http://www.rem-fan.com/). R.E.M. forum (http://www.murmurs.com/).

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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