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Annotation last modified on 2009-06-16 03:33 UTC.


R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by lead singer Michael Stipe, lead guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. were noted for Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's surreal vocal quality. R.E.M. released their first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band's first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit in 1987 with the single "The One I Love". The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.

By the early 1990s, when alternative rock began to experience broad mainstream success, R.E.M. was viewed by subsequent acts such as Nirvana and Pavement as a pioneer of the genre. The band then released its two most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), which veered from the band's established sound and catapulted it to international fame. R.E.M.'s 1994 release, Monster, was a return to a more rock-oriented sound, but still continued its run of success. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract in history. Its 1996 release, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, though critically acclaimed, fared worse commercially than expected. The following year, Bill Berry left the band, while Buck, Mills, and Stipe continued the group as a trio. Through some changes in musical style, the band continued its career into the next decade with mixed critical and commercial success, despite having sold more than 85 million records worldwide and becoming one of the world's best-selling music artists of all time. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011, announcing the split on its website.

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Year Title RatingReleases
1983 Murmur 4.2 13
1984 Reckoning 3.5 12
1985 Fables of the Reconstruction 4.2 10
1986 Lifes Rich Pageant 4.15 12
1987 Document 4 16
1988 Green 4 9
1991 Out of Time 3.5 11
1992 Automatic for the People 3.7 9
1994 Monster 4 10
1996 New Adventures in Hi‐Fi 3 9
1998 Up 3.65 4
2001 Reveal 3 8
2004 Around the Sun 2 5
2008 Accelerate 3.85 6
2011 Collapse Into Now 3.35 7

Album + Compilation

Year Title RatingReleases
1987 Dead Letter Office 5
1988 Eponymous 3.5 10
1989 Singleactiongreen 1
1991 The Best of R.E.M. 2
1993 The Automatic Box 3 1
1994 Singles Collected 1
1997 Essential R.E.M.: R.E.M. in the Attic (Alternative Recordings 1985–89) 1
2000 Greatest Hits 1
2002 21th Century Masters: The Best of R.E.M. - The Millenium Collection 1
2003 In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 4.6 7
2004 iTunes Originals: R.E.M. 1
2006 And I Feel Fine… The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982–1987 4 4
2011 Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982–2011 5
2014 Complete Warner Bros. Rarities 1988–2011 1
2014 Complete Rarities - I.R.S. 1982–1987 1
2015 The Spirit of Radio (Classic Broadcast Recordings) 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
2008 Collection 1
2014 Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions 4
2014 Unplugged 1991 1
2014 Unplugged 2001 1

Album + Live

Year Title RatingReleases
2004 Perfect Square 1
2007 Live 3
2009 Live at the Olympia 3
Legend of Rock 1
MTV Unplugged 1


Year Title RatingReleases
1981 Radio Free Europe 4
1983 Talk About the Passion 1
1984 (Don't Go Back To) Rockville 1
1984 S. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) 1
1986 Fall on Me 2
1987 It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) 3
1987 The One I Love 4
1988 Finest Worksong 2
1988 1988 Fanclub Single 1
1989 Stand 4

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