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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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. Charting b-sides are also listed. 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. All Sly & The Family Stone singles were released on the Epic label except for "I Ain't Got Nobody", issued on Loadstone. R.E.M. All Sly & The Family Stone albums were released on the Epic label. are currently using drummer Bill Rieflin on Around the Sun and the tour, and his drums may help a 2006 release. Sly Stone continued to release his solo albums under the "Sly & The Family Stone" name from 1976 on; for a discography of those releases, see: Sly Stone..

Not replacing Berry, R.E.M. One song from the collection, The Roots' "Star," has already been released as a single. 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 project will feature contributions from Beck, The Roots, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, and Floetry, among others, and is to include both cover versions of the band's songs and songs which sample the original recordings. 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. A Sly & The Family Stone tribute album, to be called Sly 2K, is also in the works and due for release in 2005. after the two albums left on their contract. Missing from the lineup were Sly Stone and Larry Graham; Freddie Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, Jerry Martini, and Greg Errico began work on an 16-song album on their own.

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. In 2003, all but two of the members of the original Family Stone reunited to record a new studio album. "Electron Blue," the third single from the Around the Sun album, has been getting much airplay in the UK. Sly & The Family Stone was awarded the R&B Foundation Pioneer Award in December 2001. needed to cancel shows, on account of Mike Mills's flu and ear infection. The cover was included on the album Fishbone & the Familyhood Nextperience Present: The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx, released March 21, 2000. 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. Rose Stone provided guest vocals to Fishbone's 2000 cover of "Everbody is a Star", which also features vocals by No Doubt's Gwen Stefani.

In 2004, the band returned with Around the Sun, which once again met with generally only mild critical praise. Robinson and Martini joined Graham Central Station when Larry Graham revived it later that same year, and the band toured with Prince, himself an admirer of Sly & The Family Stone. 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. One of the performances reunited four members of the Family Stone: Larry Graham, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, and Jerry Martini. Recent R.E.M. On May 25, 1997, Sindbad's Soul Music Festival was held in Aruba. The album gained mixed reviews. He accepted his award, gave a quick a speech, and disappeared from public view.

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. Just as the band took the podium to receive their awards, Sly suddenly appeared, to thunderous applause. The band was no longer selling well in United States, though in Europe they stayed popular. The members of the Family Stone were in attendance, but Sly was not. 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. Sly & the Family Stone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. 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. Sly Stone, caught up in his numerous drug addictions, disappeared from the limelight, sporadically releasing new music at irregular intervals until a 1987 arrest; after being released he stopped releasing music altogether.

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. He also collaborated with Funkadelic on The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981), but was unable to re-jumpstart his career. 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. Sly went on to record four more albums as a solo artist (only High on You (1975) was released under just his name; the other three were released under the "Sly & The Family Stone" name). 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. Live bookings had steadily dropped off since 1970, as promoters were afraid that Sly or one of the bandmembers might miss the gig, refuse to play, or pass out from drug use if they were booked. After a disasterous engagement at the Radio City Music Hall in January 1975, where the band only filled the house to one-eighth of its capacity and had to scrape together money to get home, Freddie Stone, Rusty Allen, Andy Newmark, and Jerry Martini all parted company with Sly Stone. 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. Small Talk was released in 1974 and underperformed commercially, as did its singles "Time For Livin'" and "Loose Booty." By this time, the Sly & The Family Stone fanbase had eroded, and acts like Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, and James Brown and The JB's eclipsing The Family Stone as important funk artists.

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. Rosie Stone sings lead on a gospel-styled cover of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)." Fresh spawned a US Top Twenty hit with the single ""If You Want Me To Stay.". recorded with Warren Zevon as the Hindu Love Gods. Little Sister's background vocals were featured prominently throughout the album, as was the drum machine and Sly's self-played backing tracks. In 1990, most of R.E.M. Like Riot, it featured primarily Sly on lead vocals, although Fresh offered a brighter, more accessible sound than the previous album. had become too commercial and that the quality of the music had decreased, but the band had now been brought to international attention. The next Sly & The Family Stone album, Fresh, was released in 1973.

days complained that R.E.M. Both Rizzo and Martini remained in the band. Some fans from the I.R.S. Jerry Martini inquired to Sly and his managers about monies due him, and saxaphonist Pat Rizzo was hired as a potential replacement for Martini if he ever became suspicious of the business practices for the band again. This was the band's first time with heavy promotion, and they toured stadiums extensively in 1989. Larry Graham was forced out of the band and replaced by Rusty Allen; Graham went on to start Graham Central Station, a band in the same vein as Sly & The Family Stone that eventually began to outsell its predecesor. signed to the major label Warner Brothers and released Green. After the release of Riot, more lineup changes took place.

In 1988 R.E.M. Three tracks--"Family Affair," "(You Caught Me) Smiling," and "Runnin' Away"--managed to be pop-friendly enough to be released as singles. The compilation contains several alternative versions and mixes of songs. Allegedly, most of the album's instrumentation is peformed by Sly alone, who also enlisted the Family Stone for some instrumental parts and friends such as Billy Preston, Ike Turner, and Bobby Womack for others. 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. "Family Affair" was the lead single from the band's long-awaited fifth album, There's a Riot Goin' On, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts upon its November 1971 release; the album was filled with dark, drug-hazed, and burnt-out lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation. 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. In the fall of 1971, Sly & The Family Stone finally returned with a new hit single, "Family Affair." It became another #1 hit, but "Family Affair" was the polar opposite of what the public was expecting: a somber, dark-sounding record, with Sly singing in a low, calm manner.

Dead Letter Office (1987) was a collection of B-sides and outtakes. Stone Flower released four singles, including two by R&B artist Joe Hicks, and two by Little Sister: "You're The One" and "Somebody's Watching You", a cover of a song from Stand!. The Little Sister version of "Somebody's Watching You" was the first major record to have a rhythm track created with a drum machine. "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. During this interim period, Sly Stone negotiated a production deal with Atlantic Records, resulting in his own imprint, Stone Flower. 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. He was replaced with a succession of drummers until Sly settled upon Andy Newmark in 1973. 9 on the American pop charts. Bodyguards were hired, including a Mafia member. A rift developed between Sly and the rest of the band, and drummer Greg Errico was the first to leave the band for other ventures in early 1971.

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. Live appearances on television shows such as The Mike Douglas Show and The Dick Cavett Show went unpredictably. In many ways, this album marked the end of the first period in the band's history. He became erratic and moody, and missed nearly a third of the concerts for Sly & The Family Stone in 1970. Ironically, the 'hit' from the album, "Superman," was a cover song that didn't appear on the original album cover. The drug abuse also had an effect upon Sly's demeanor and reliability. "Cuyahoga" is about the river in Ohio that caught fire due to pollution. Music production slowed significantly: between summer 1969 and fall 1971, the only new Sly & The Family Stone material that was released was one 45 RPM single, "Thank You (Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" backed with "Everybody Is A Star." While "Star" was another positive record in the vein of "Everyday People," its flip side featured an angry, bitter Sly & The Family Stone, who declared in unison that they could no longer pretend to be something they weren't (peaceful, loving, and happy) and (dis)respectfully thanked the audience "falltein' me be mice elf agin." "Thank You," which was packaged with "Hot Fun", "Star", and nine more songs in a Greatest Hits album released by Epic in 1970 to appease fan demands, was a precursor of things to come.

The lyrics were becoming both more intelligible and more direct, with political themes appearing more explicitly ("Begin the Begin," "Flowers of Guatemala," "Hyena"). Although drug use was not new to Sly or the band, by 1970 Sly Stone spent most of his waking hours high. The songs are upbeat, the tempo is fast; this is a fairly hard-rocking album. After moving to the Los Angeles area, Sly and his bandmates began regularly taking a number of illegal drugs, including cocaine and PCP. But that's all part of life's rich pageant, you know."). All of the stress came down upon Sly, who developed ulcers and began taking perscription drugs for his condition. 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 Black Panther Party demanded that Sly make his music more militant and more reflective of the black power movement, and also demanded that he replace Greg Errico and Jerry Martini with black instrumentalists.

practically defined college rock by this time. Epic demanded more product. R.E.M. Relationships within band were deteriorating; there was friction in particular between the Stone brothers and Larry Graham. were critically acclaimed, and the video for "Can't Get There from Here" was played frequently on MTV. The band's messages of peace and love seemed to fall on deaf ears, as Vietnam protests were met with violent resistance and race riots devastated Black neighborhoods across the nation. By the time this album was released, R.E.M. With the band's newfound fame and success came a number of problems.

"Kohoutek," their first song about a romantic relationship, compares the fizzled comet of 1973 to a fizzled romance. A new non-album single, "Hot Fun In The Summertime," was released the same month and went to #2 on the US pop charts. The source of the title of "Can't Get There from Here" is a curious phrase heard when asking directions in a rural area. The band performed their set during the early-morning hours of August 16, 1969; their performance was said to be one of the best shows of the festival. Trains are a frequent topic of Southern music; they epitomize the freedom and promise of an escape from one's home environment. Stand! is considered one of the artistic high-points of the band's career, and its success secured Sly & The Family Stone a gig as one of the performers at the landmark Woodstock Music and Art Festival. "Driver 8" is a song about the scenery surrounding railroad tracks. The album eventually sold over three million copies, and its title track became another hit for Sly & The Family Stone.

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"). "Everyday People" and its b-side, "Sing a Simple Song" served as the lead singles for the band's fourth album Stand!, which was released on May 3, 1969. Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) explores the mythology of the southern United States. Even more pop-friendly than "Dance to The Music" had been, "Everyday People" was a protest against prejudices of all kinds, and popularized the catch phrase "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks". 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. In late 1968, Sly & The Family Stone released the single "Everyday People", which became the band's first #1 hit. The jangling guitars and beautiful melodies obscure the dark lyrics. Sly & The Family Stone were also significant influences for Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, The Undisputed Truth, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and Funkadelic, and, in more recent years, Prince, Arrested Development, and OutKast.

Song topics include cold weather, a fairy tale of brothers with magical powers and a flood, along with five laments of separation. Some musicians changed their sound completely to co-opt that of Sly & The Family Stone, most notably producer Norman Whitfield, who took his main act The Temptations into "psychedelic soul" territory starting with "Cloud Nine" in 1968. R.E.M.'s second album, Reckoning (1984), explored a variety of musical styles. Larry Graham invented the "slapping" technique of bass guitar playing, which became synonymous with funk music. 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. Rock-styled guitar lines similar to the ones Freddie Stone played began appearing in the music of artists like The Isley Brothers ("It's Your Thing") and Diana Ross & The Supremes ("Love Child"). 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 smooth, piano-based "Motown sound" was out; "psychedelic soul" was in.

Evocative words are used to create a mood instead of a narrative. Although "Dance to the Music" was Sly & The Family Stone's only hit single until late 1968, the influences of that single and the Dance to the Music album were felt (and heard) across the music industry. The songs on the album blend together. The band's gospel-styled singing endeared them to black audiences, while their rock music elements and wild costuming--including Sly's large Afro and tight leather outfits, Rose's blond wig, and the other memebers' loud psychedelic clothing--caught the attention of mainstream audiences. The melody is found in the bass notes, and the lyrics are practically indecipherable. Caucasians Greg Errico and Jerry Martini were both members of the band at a time when integrated performance bands were virtually unheard of, and females Cynthia Robinson and Rosie Stone played instruments onstage, rather than just providing vocals or serving as window-dressing for the male members. The jangling guitars, so prominent on Chronic Town, are used more sparingly. The lyrics for the band's songs were usually pleas for peace, love, and understanding among all people; rallies against vices such as racism, discrimination, and self-hate, which were underscored by the lineup for and onstage appearance of The Family Stone.

The album is stylistically unified. Cynthia Robinson would shout ad-libbed vocals to the audience and/or the band; for example, urging everyone to "get on up and 'Dance to the Music'" and demanding that "all the squares go home!". Their debut album, Murmur (1983), is held to be one of the best records of the 1980s. Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Larrry Graham, and Rosie Stone would trade off on various bars of each verse, a style of vocal arrangement both unusual and revolutionary at that time in popular music. 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. Therefore, the Sly & The Family Stone sound was a melting pot of many different influences, including James Brown proto-funk, Motown pop, Stax soul, Broadway showtunes, and psychedelic rock music. Wah-wah guitars, distorted fuzz basslines, church-styled organ lines, and horn riffs provided the musical backdrop for the vocals of the band's four lead singers. was one of the world's most popular, respected, and influential bands. Sly Stone had produced for and performed with both black people and white people during his early career, and he integrated music by The Beatles and other white artists into black radio station KSOL's playlist as a dee-jay.

By the early '90s, R.E.M. In September 1968, the band embarked on its first overseas tour, to England, which was cut short after Larry Graham was arrested for possession of marijuana, and because of disagreements with concert promoters. 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. The Dance to the Music album, released in 1968, went on to decent sales, but the follow-up, Life, was not as successful. 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). Sly & The Family Stone began to tour across the country, and were well known for their energetic performances and unique costuming. Lyric Annotations FAQ (http://www.flim.com/remlafaq.html). Davis coerced Sly into writing and recording a record that could be a pop hit, and Sly reluctantly provided "Dance to the Music," which upon its late - 1967 release became the band's first Billboard Top Ten hit.

R.E.M. CBS Records executive Clive Davis soon heard about the band and signed them to their Epic Records label. Their first album, A Whole New Thing, was released in 1967 to dissapointing sales with an underperforming single, "Underdog". rec.music.rem FAQ (http://people2.clarityconnect.com/webpages6/ronhenry/remfaq.htm). The debut single for Sly & the Family Stone was "I Ain't Got Nobody", a major regional hit for Loadstone Records. Forum (http://www.myrem.com). Sly and Freddie's youngest sister Vet Stone and her friends Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton were Little Sister, the band's background vocalists; and another Stewart sibling, Rosie Stone, would join the band in 1968. 2nd Largest R.E.M. At the suggestion of saxophonist Jerry Martini, Sly and Freddie combined their bands, creating Sly & The Family Stone in 1967. Besides both Stewarts/Stones, Robinson, Errico, and Martini, the first lineup of the band also included bassist Larry Graham.

Page (http://www.retroweb.com/rem.html). Around the same time, his brother Freddie formed a band called Freddie and the Stone Souls, which included Greg Errico on drums. - The RetroWeb R.E.M. After working as a successful dee-jay and a record producer in San Francisco, California during the first half of the 1960s, Sylvester Stewart took on the stage name of Sly Stone and formed a band called Sly and The Stoners in 1966, which included Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. File Under R.E.M. After the dissolution of the original Family Stone in 1975, Sly Stone continued to record solo albums and tour under the "Sly & The Family Stone" name. Rock (http://www.remrock.com/). Headed by Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart, and containing a number of his family members and friends, the band was also important for being the first major American rock band to have a multicultural lineup, giving African-Americans, Caucasians, males, and females all important roles in the band's instrumentation.

R.E.M. Active from 1967 until 1975, the band was pivotal in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia. Collector's Guide (http://www.svs.com/rem/). Sly & the Family Stone was an important and influential American rock band from San Francisco, California. The R.E.M. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page on Sly & the Family Stone (http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=189). news & multimedia (http://www.remison.com/). Unofficial Sly & the Family Stone fansite (http://www.slyandthefamilystone.net/).

R.E.M. Freddie Stone's official website (http://www.stonecisum.com). fan site (http://www.rem-fan.com/). Vet Stone's official Little Sister/Stone Family website (http://www.slyslilsis.com). R.E.M. Official Epic Records Sly & the Family Stone website (http://www.slystonemusic.com/). forum (http://www.murmurs.com/). (038-079377-6).

news, multimedia, file sharing & largest R.E.M. For the Record: Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History by Joel Selvin. Murmurs : R.E.M. 1973: "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)," from Fresh, a cover of Doris Day's song from Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. website (http://www.remhq.com/). 1973: "Babies Makin' Babies," from Fresh. Official R.E.M. 1971: "Thank You For Talkin' To Me, Africa," from There's A Riot Goin' On, an alternate version of "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".

2005 "Electron Blue" #26 UK. 1969: "Somebody's Watching You," from Stand!, covered by Little Sister in 1971. 2004 "Aftermath" #41 UK. 1969: "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey," from Stand!. 2004 "Leaving New York" #5 UK. 1974: "Loose Booty" (US #84). 2004 "Animal" #33 UK. 1974: "Time For Livin'" (US #32).

2003 "Bad Day" #8 UK. 1973: "Frisky" (US #79). 2001 "I'll Take the Rain" #51 UK. 1973: "If You Want Me To Stay" (US #12). 2001 "All the Way to Reno" #24 UK. 1972: "(You Caught Me) Smilin'" (US #42). 2001 "Imitation of Life" #83 US; #6 UK. 1972: "Runnin' Away" (US #23).

2000 "The Great Beyond" #57 US; #3 UK. 1971: "Family Affair" (US #1). 1999 "At My Most Beautiful" #10 UK. 1969: "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (US #1) b/w "Everybody Is A Star" (US #1). 1998 "Lotus" #26 UK. 1969: "Hot Fun In The Summertime" (US #2). 1998 "Daysleeper" #57 US; #6 UK. 1969: "Stand!"' (US #22) b/w "I Want To Take You Higher" (US #60 in 1969, US #38 in 1970).

1996 "Electrolite" #96 US; #29 UK. 1968: "Everyday People" (US #1) b/w "Sing A Simple Song" (US #89). 1996 "Bittersweet Me" #46 US; #19 UK. 1968: "Life" (US #93) b/w "M'Lady" (US #93). 1996 "E-Bow the Letter" #4 UK. 1967: "Dance To The Music" (US #8). 1995 "Tongue" #13 UK. 1967: "Underdog".

1995 "Strange Currencies" #47 US; #9 UK. 1967: "I Ain't Got Nobody". 1995 "Crush with Eyeliner" #23 UK. 1974: Small Talk. 1994 "Bang and Blame" #19 US; #15 UK. 1973: Fresh. 1994 "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" #21 US; #9 UK. 1971: There's a Riot Goin' On.

1993 "Nightswimming" #27 UK. 1970: Greatest Hits. 1993 "Everybody Hurts" #29 US; #7 UK. 1969: Stand!. 1993 "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" #17 UK. 1968: Life. 1993 "Man on the Moon" #30 US; #18 UK. 1968: Dance To The Music.

1992 "Drive" #28 US; #11 UK. 1967: A Whole New Thing. 1991 "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" #39 UK; #69 US (1988). Billy Preston (1971): electric piano, There's A Riot Goin' On. 1991 "Radio Song" #28 UK. Ike Turner (1971): guitar, There's A Riot Goin' On. 1991 "The One I Love" (re-issue) #16 UK. Bobby Womack (1971): guitar, There's A Riot Goin' On.

1991 "Near Wild Heaven" #27 UK. Pat Rizzo (1972 - 1975): saxophone. 1991 "Shiny Happy People" #10 US; #6 UK. Andy Newmark (1973 - 1974): drums. 1991 "Losing My Religion" #4 US, #19 UK. Rusty Allen (1972 - 1975): bass. 1989 "Pop Song 89" #86 US. Elva Mouton.

1989 "Orange Crush" #28 UK. Mary McCreary. 1989 "Stand" #6 US. Vet Stone (Vaetta Stewart, Sly's "little sister"). 1987 "The One I Love" #9 US. Greg Errico (1967 - 1971): drums. 1986 "Fall On Me" #94 US. Jerry Martini (1967 - 1975): saxophone.

1984 "South Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" #85 US. Cynthia Robinson (1967 - 1975): trumpet, vocal ad-libs. 1983 "Radio Free Europe" #78 US. Rosie Stone (Rosemary Stewart) (1968 - 1975): vocals, piano, electric piano. 1988-2003 (compilation) (2003); #1 UK, #8 US. Larry Graham (1967 - 1972): vocals, bass guitar. In Time - The Best of R.E.M. Freddie Stone (Frederick Stewart) (1967 - 1975): vocals, guitar.

R.E.M.IX (Web Only Remixes). Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) (1967 - 1975): vocals, organ, guitar, bass, piano, harmonica, drums, and more. 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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