Murmur

~ Release group by R.E.M.

Album

Release Format Tracks Date Country Label Catalog# Barcode
Official
Murmur CD 12 I.R.S. Records CD 70014 044797001420
Murmur 12" Vinyl 12 I.R.S. Records SP 70604 [none]
Murmur 12" Vinyl 12 I.R.S. Records SP 70604 082839001410
Murmur CD 12 I.R.S. Records CDMID 129 0082839719520
Murmur CD 12 I.R.S. Records CDA 7014, CDMID 129 082839701426
Murmur 12" Vinyl 12 SP 70014 044797001413
Murmur CD 12 I.R.S. Records 465378 2 5099746537821
Murmur (The I.R.S. Years Vintage 1983) CD 16 EMI (EMI Records, since 1972) 0777 7 13158 2 4, 713158-2 077771315824
Murmur CD 12 I.R.S. Records CD 70014 044797001420
Murmur CD 12 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD 642 015775164222
Murmur 12" Vinyl 12 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab MFSL 1-231 015775123113
Murmur (25th anniversary deluxe edition) 2×CD 12 + 17 I.R.S. Records B0012251-02 602517882881
Murmur 2×Digital Media 12 + 16 Universal UMC [none]
Murmur Digital Media 12 A&M Records 602537150182
Murmur CD 12 A&M Records, I.R.S. Records 4479700142, CD 70014 044797001420
Murmur (BMG Music Club (BMG Direct Marketing) release) CD 12 I.R.S. Records CD 70014 [none]
(unknown)
Murmur CD 16 Sorrisi e Canzoni TV GA90207 [none]

Relationships

associated singles/EPs: Radio Free Europe
Talk About the Passion
part of: The Phoenix: The Ten Landmark Albums That Made Indie Rock (number: 8)
Uncut: The 100 Greatest Debut Albums (2006) (number: 22)
Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: 2012 edition (number: 197)
Allmusic: http://www.allmusic.com/album/mw0000650666 [info]
Discogs: https://www.discogs.com/master/14515 [info]
Wikidata: Q904480 [info]
lyrics page: http://lyrics.wikia.com/R.E.M.:Murmur_(1983) [info]
other databases: https://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/r_e_m_/murmur/ [info]
reviews: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/9cp2 [info]

CritiqueBrainz Reviews

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Most Recent

The success of the B-52s in the late 70s placed the spotlight on Athens GA, fuelling speculation about who might follow in the wake of their mighty bouffant vibe. Though there were contenders aplenty all would be eclipsed by REM. After the ep-sized gulp of garage band air that comprised 1982s Chronic Town, REM not only joined the race but crossed the finishing line with flying colours via their first full-length recording.

Creating the dream-like state implicit in their name with surprising confidence, the normal certainties of rock music were diffused behind a veil of beguiling amorphous harmonies, thoughtfully layered guitars, astute percussion and wilfully vague lyrical musings moved in and out of focus of each. Although they drew upon an array of influences that included elements of folk-rock, new wave sourness and the melancholic interiors found in some of The Beatles' lesser known works, Murmur was exquisitely its own thing and hard to pigeon-hole.

Michael Stipe's artsy inclinations ensured that countless hours would be spent by fans figuring out what he was mumbling (given that he improvised many verses direct to mic - as with "Radio Free Europe" - he was probably in the same boat), whilst the music's fondness for avoiding the obvious meant that there was more to explore than a numb backbeat or bratty bawling about being bored.

With several of the tracks resulting out of studio jams, producers Mitch Easter and Don Dixon had the foresight to roll the tapes ahead of final takes. Edited down, these vignettes pepper the album building mood and mystery ahead of the actual songs.

Displaying a remarkable maturity, they're unafraid to experiment. The vein-popping "9-9" constantly moves the pulse into unexpected timings without ever sounding precocious. Their sure-handedness with glorious melodies such as "Perfect Circle " hints at things to come; the sweet, descending chorus resolves wonderfully without ever schmoozing the saccharine zone. The tribal thump of "Moral Kiosk" or "Pilgrimage's" yearning lines proves we don't have to have everything spelt out in rockist crayons in order to find meaning or be uplifted. Unapologetically intelligent, Murmur is a fully-fledged classic.