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Alternative & Indie - Released April 12, 1983 | A&M

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 12, 1991 | Concord Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The supporting tour for Green exhausted R.E.M., and they spent nearly a year recuperating before reconvening for Out of Time. Where previous R.E.M. records captured a stripped-down, live sound, Out of Time was lush with sonic detail, featuring string sections, keyboards, mandolins, and cameos from everyone from rapper KRS-One to the B-52's' Kate Pierson. The scope of R.E.M.'s ambitions is impressive, and the record sounds impeccable, its sunny array of pop and folk songs as refreshing as Michael Stipe's decision to abandon explicitly political lyrics for the personal. Several R.E.M. classics -- including Mike Mills' Byrds-y "Near Wild Heaven," the haunting "Country Feedback," and the masterpiece "Losing My Religion" -- are present, but the album is more notable for its production than its songwriting. Most of the songs are slight but pleasant, or are awkward experiments like "Radio Song"'s stab at funk, and while this sounds fine as the record is playing, there's not much substantive material to make the record worth returning to. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2017 | Craft Recordings

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There’s a ‘before and after’ Out Of Time in the life of R.E.M. This ‘before’ for Michael Stipe’s band is mainly found on university campuses where the group gained a cult following in the ‘80s… How then did R.E.M. manage to sell 12 million copies of Out Of Time to the world? The answer is that this record was both sublime and austere. An uncompromising album, like the chamber rock such as Nirvana and the Pixies that you’d blast out without caring about pissing off the neighbours in that year of 1992… Always virtuosic, Peter Buck goes from the mandolin to the acoustic guitar with great ease, John Paul Johns from Led Zeppelin sublimely arranges refined chords and Michael Stipe shines with his melancholic and tortured prose with the candor of a man with self-assured belief. Cinemascope ballads prevail, peaking with Everybody Hurts. It must be said, Automatic For The People is not the most easy-flowing album by R.E.M. but it is one of the most beautiful. Released in 2017, this 25th anniversary edition also offers, alongside the remastered album, a live recording from the 40 Watt Club in Athens on the 19th November 1992 with some cover versions like Funtime by Iggy Pop and Love Is All Around by The Troggs. © MD/Qobuz
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Rock - Released April 9, 1984 | A&M

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After R.E.M. found commercial and critical success with their 1983 debut, Murmur, the Athens, Georgia, band wasted no time trying to make lightning strike twice. In late 1983 and early 1984, the group returned to where they recorded Murmur, Reflection Sound Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, and reunited with the LP's co-producers, Mitch Easter and Don Dixon. However, in a move that would play out time and time again during R.E.M.'s career, the resulting album avoided repetition and embraced sonic progress. More extroverted than Murmur, Reckoning has a crisp-sounding core of warm guitar jangle, taut drums, and lively bass lines. To this the band members—vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry—add various instrumental flourishes: piano chords give gleaming polish to "So. Central Rain" and rustic charm to the country-tinged "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"; latticework-like backing harmonies add buoyancy to the insistent pogo "Letter Never Sent." And "Pretty Persuasion" is punk-like in its execution, as a train-whistle harmonica gives way to whirring riffs and windmilling drums, which crescendo into a bridge full of roaring noise. Although it's widely believed that Stipe didn't embrace vocal clarity until two albums later on 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant, Reckoning tells a different story. On the slow and sparse "Camera" especially, his voice is haunted with grief as he mourns an ex: "If I'm to be your camera/Then who will be your face?" Elsewhere on the album, while certain specific lyrics might be puzzling ("There's a splinter in your eye and it reads 'react'"), songs are crystal-clear about homesickness, displacement, road-weariness, and the complexity of relationships. On the rollicking "Second Guessing," however, Stipe is unmistakably clear about how he feels about R.E.M.'s place in the world: "Here we are," he announces, while challenging unnamed critics for "second guessing" them and their approach. Hindsight proves that such confidence was completely justified: Reckoning is a bold, cohesive step forward that propelled R.E.M. further down a path to success. © Annie Zaleksi/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 10, 2017 | Craft Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 8, 2012 | Concord Records

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Rock - Released October 19, 2018 | Craft Recordings

Like many bands of their era, R.E.M. were no strangers to the BBC Studios. Perhaps they weren't beloved by the BBC's John Peel -- the station's grand patron of underground rock -- but R.E.M. did appear regularly on the BBC, logging their first broadcast in November 1984, when they were nervily plugging their second album, Reckoning. That concert is presented in full on R.E.M. at the BBC, a generous eight-disc box that chronicles all of the band's appearances on the British Broadcasting Company. A quick scan of the dates provides the real revelation of the set: while R.E.M. were college rock titans in America, they didn't crack the British market until 1991, when "Losing My Religion" and its accompanying album, Out of Time, turned the Athens quartet into superstars. R.E.M. scored their second BBC session around the album's release, playing a hushed acoustic set -- one that featured the non-LP "Fretless" and a Mike Mills-sung cover of the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" -- that crystallizes their warm, pastoral phase of the early '90s. The band is next heard in thundering, globe-conquering form in 1995, playing a full 25-song set at Milton Keynes. Fresh from Monster, this is R.E.M. at their loudest, filling arenas with sinewy ease. From there, the band disappeared from the BBC for three years, an eventful period that saw the group getting weird on 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi, then parting ways with drummer/songwriter Bill Berry after its supporting tour. Berry opted out after suffering an on-stage brain aneurysm, encouraging Mills, Michael Stipe, and Peter Buck to carry on without him. While the group's commercial fortunes wavered stateside, they turned out to be bigger than ever in the U.K., racking up six Top Ten singles there between 1998 and 2004. Given that success, that's the period when most of the music on R.E.M. at the BBC was recorded, which may seem to be an initial disappointment for fans who tuned out after the departure of Berry, but even a cursory listen to the group's Public Peel Session from 1998, their Glastonbury set from 1999, and their London Radio 2 show from 2004 shows that R.E.M. retained their Monster-era arena rock gestures while moving with a sense of grace and playing with no-nonsense toughness. This may be familiar to the dedicated whose allegiance never wavered, but for those who believed R.E.M. faltered after Berry's departure, R.E.M. at the BBC is a gateway into the band's last act. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2012 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 27, 2016 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 12, 1991 | Concord Records

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The supporting tour for Green exhausted R.E.M., and they spent nearly a year recuperating before reconvening for Out of Time. Where previous R.E.M. records captured a stripped-down, live sound, Out of Time was lush with sonic detail, featuring string sections, keyboards, mandolins, and cameos from everyone from rapper KRS-One to the B-52's' Kate Pierson. The scope of R.E.M.'s ambitions is impressive, and the record sounds impeccable, its sunny array of pop and folk songs as refreshing as Michael Stipe's decision to abandon explicitly political lyrics for the personal. Several R.E.M. classics -- including Mike Mills' Byrds-y "Near Wild Heaven," the haunting "Country Feedback," and the masterpiece "Losing My Religion" -- are present, but the album is more notable for its production than its songwriting. Most of the songs are slight but pleasant, or are awkward experiments like "Radio Song"'s stab at funk, and while this sounds fine as the record is playing, there's not much substantive material to make the record worth returning to. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 1988 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 28, 1986 | IRS CATALOG MKT (I91)

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 8, 1988 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 1, 2019 | Craft Recordings

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A brilliant distillation of '90s alt-rock. A crass and noisy attempt to cash in on grunge. A band in need of rock tunes for an upcoming tour after six years off the road. The fact that R.E.M.'s ninth album Monster can after still inspire such polarities is proof enough that it's worth a fresh listen. New mixes by Scott Litt, a trove of demos and a 1995 live show from Chicago featuring mostly a post-I.R.S. years setlist fills out the portrait of the 25th Anniversary reissue of one of R.E.M.'s most contentious albums. With liner notes in which Peter Buck admits, "We wanted to get away from who we were," Monster 25 is the sound not only of Buck, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Bill Berry pondering what it means to suddenly be rock stars, but also of a band deep in one of those periodic left turns that artists need to pass through or call it quits. And while the lyrics are typical Stipe-ian jabberwocky mangled further by vocals buried in the original mix, it's Peter Buck's ever-present guitar, bashing out crunchy power chords bathed in delay, reverb and buzzsaw distortion, that remains the album's most controversial aspect as he ditches his former loyalty to acoustic textures and intricate arrangements for an overdriven, rocked up Cobain-life heft and snarl that's fiercely front and center in the mix. The remixed album is a very different experience from the original: the instrumental parts are now clearly delineated, instead of a blurry, roaring mix. "Tongue" drops the four beat count off in favor of a simple piano and loud tambourine. The organ, which was prominent in the original, has been lowered in the remix. "Circus Envy's" sizzling guitar distortion has been dialed back and Berry's drums have been pulled forward. Most noticeable of all are Stipe's vocals, some of which are entirely different takes from the original album's. "Crush with Eyeliner" begins with Stipe voicing an unaccompanied "la, la, la" and continues with a more stylized T. Rex and Iggy Pop-influenced vocal take than the original. Some of the changes are outright deletions. Buck's organ in "Let Me In," and his choppy guitar part in "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", and the percussion in "You" are completely gone. These changes are needed context, connecting the album to the band's musical progression and in the process making it seem less like an outlier. © Robert Baird / Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 10, 1985 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1987 | IRS

R.E.M. began to move toward mainstream record production on Lifes Rich Pageant, but they didn't have a commercial breakthrough until the following year's Document. Ironically, Document is a stranger, more varied album than its predecessor, but co-producer Scott Litt -- who would go on to produce every R.E.M. album in the following decade -- is a better conduit for the band than Don Gehman, giving the group a clean sound without sacrificing their enigmatic tendencies. "Finest Worksong," the stream-of-conscious rant "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," and the surprise Top Ten single "The One I Love" all crackle with muscular rhythms and guitar riffs, but the real surprise is how political the mid-tempo jangle pop of "Welcome to the Occupation," "Disturbance at the Heron House," and "King of Birds" is. Where Lifes Rich Pageant sounded a bit like a party record, Document is a fiery statement, and its memorable melodies and riffs are made all the more indelible by its righteous anger. In other words, it's not only a commercial breakthrough, but a creative breakthrough as well, offering evidence of R.E.M.'s growing depth and maturity, and helping usher in the P.C. era in the process. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Concord Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 2014 | Concord Records

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