Drummer Bill Berry’s departure from R.E.M. following the release of 1996’s ‘New Adventures in Hi-Fi’ shook the rest of the band. You can hear their fear and uncertainty on 1998’s ‘Up,’ their first album without Berry. The drums, when they’re any presence at all, are mixed low and barely register within the songs on that downbeat release. So when the three remaining members of R.E.M. reconvened to make their 12th album, ‘Reveal,’ they swung in the opposite direction of ‘Up.’
Not long after wrapping the tour in support of their debut album in 1983, R.E.M. returned to the North Carolina studio where they made ‘Murmur.’ With Don Dixon and Mitch Easter once again producing, the sessions for ‘Reckoning’ went quickly and smoothly. No surprise, since the band had worked out most of the new songs on the road. All that was really needed was a dose of the moody atmospherics that made ‘Murmur’ a hit with college-rock radio.
By the time R.E.M. released their debut album on April 12, 1983, the buzz was already swirling. And this was before the Internet, satellite radio and MTV’s willingness to play something other than Duran Duran’s latest video. ‘Murmur’ was one of the most anticipated underground albums up to that time, all because of a 1981 super-indie single and a 1982 EP, 'Chronic Town.'
The Cure, R.E.M. and the Lemonheads are among the many artists with music set to be released via Rhino Records on Record Store Day 2013, which is scheduled for April 20. Other releases due out on RSD 2013 from Rhino include albums from the Cure side project the Glove; classic rockers the Doors, the Band and the Grateful Dead; punk veterans the Misfits and X and a Factory Records sampler featuring Joy Division, New Order, the Durutti Column and Happy Mondays.
R.E.M.’s 1988 major-label debut ‘Green’ was kind of a bust. After playing the role of indie darlings for most of the decade, the Athens, Ga., quartet reportedly banked around $10 million to sign with Warner Bros. Records. Not that there’s anything downright awful about ‘Green,’ but the heavy production, sluggish songs and occasional misdirection certainly wasn’t the new-era reboot longtime fans were hoping for.
Twenty-five years ago, R.E.M. unveiled their sixth studio effort, ‘Green,’ which included such well-known hits as ‘Pop Song 89,’ ‘Stand’ and ‘Orange Crush.’ The 1988 album gained worldwide acclaim and arguably became the defining record of their career. Now, the band has announced plans to release a special 25th anniversary edition of album, along with an exclusive live EP.
Like many American indie bands from their early '80s, R.E.M. stumbled through their early videos. Their very first, 'Wolves, Lower,' was a sloppily shot performance clip; their second, 'Radio Free Europe,' featured the band strolling through a garden. As the decade progressed, R.E.M. started ex