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R.E.M.

Athens, Ga., has a long and storied musical history that dates all the way back to the Civil War. So when a young art student named Michael Stipe met a record store clerk named Peter Buck, it was only natural that they put a band together to join in the already thriving music scene in town. After Mike Mills and Bill Berry filled out the band’s rhythm section, the quartet played their first show in 1980 at a birthday party. The following year, they recorded ‘Radio Free Europe’ and took their first steps toward becoming one of the biggest bands in the world. Relentless touring and recording earned the band attention from college radio stations. By the time the ‘90s rolled around, the single, ‘Losing My Religion,’ insured the band’s position in the mainstream. Although R.E.M. disbanded in 2011, they left behind a rich and extensive catalog capable of keeping even the most ardent music fans busy for quite a while.

R.E.M. to Release ‘Automatic for the People’ 25th Anniversary Edition

Craft Recordings
Craft Recordings

R.E.M.'s excellent reissue series continues this fall with a set celebrating the 25th anniversary of 'Automatic for the People.'

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Filed Under: Category: New Albums, News

30 Years Ago: R.E.M. Embark on Work Tour

R.E.M. Work Tour
YouTube

A couple of weeks after releasing 'Document,' R.E.M. hit the road in September 1987 to promote their new LP, which would be their most successful yet.

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Filed Under: Category: Anniversaries, Longform

30 Years Ago: R.E.M.’s ‘Document’ Drags College Rock Into the Mainstream

Document R.E.M.
I.R.S.

A Top 10 hit and a platinum album marked the end of their world as an underground sensation, but R.E.M. felt fine.

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Filed Under: , Category: Anniversaries, Longform

R.E.M. Departs on a Fiery Note With ‘Oddfellows Local 151′: The Story Behind Every ‘Document’ Song

I.R.S.
I.R.S.

R.E.M.'s bleakest album rumbles to a close with one more roundhouse political punch.

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Filed Under: , Category: Longform, News

R.E.M. Ponder Earthquakes and Artistry on ‘King of Birds’: The Story Behind Every ‘Document’ Song

Spencer Platt, Getty Images
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Michael Stipe's earthquake phobia came to the forefront on this 'Document' track, set to a martial beat.

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Filed Under: , Category: Anniversaries, Longform

R.E.M.’s ‘Document’: The Story Behind Every Song

EveryDocument

We've compiled links to all of our stories about the 11 songs on R.E.M.'s 1987 landmark album, 'Document.'

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Filed Under: , Category: News

R.E.M. Defy Easy Interpretation With ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins': The Story Behind Every ‘Document’ Song

JSP Records
JSP Records

R.E.M. named the 'Document' track "Lightnin' Hopkins" after the Texas bluesman, in spite of the song's lyrics having nothing to do with the late musician.

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Filed Under: , Category: Anniversaries

Shakers and Saxophones Get Thrown Into R.E.M.’s ‘Fireplace’: The Story Behind Every ‘Document’ Song

Denis Doyle, Getty Images
Denis Doyle, Getty Images

In writing the cryptic 'Fireplace,' R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe was inspired by a 200-year-old speech by Mother Ann Lee, leader of the Shakers.

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Filed Under: , Category: Anniversaries, Longform

R.E.M.’s ‘Houston’ Underscored the Plight of Hurricane Refugees 12 Years Before Harvey

Joe Raedle, Getty Images
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Former First Lady Barbara Bush's comments about Katrina evacuees set off a firestorm, but also planted the seeds of a song R.E.M. would release three years later.

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Filed Under: Category: Songs

R.E.M. Score a Big Hit with the Brutal ‘The One I Love’: The Story Behind Every ‘Document’ Song

IRS
IRS

If 'Document' was the turning point for R.E.M., then “The One I Love” served as the hinge. The song was released as the album's lead single in August 1987,

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Filed Under: , Category: Anniversaries, Longform

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