I really had no say in the matter when it came to being an R.E.M. fan, you could say it was foisted upon me. From the age of around 11 or 12 my eldest brother pretty much bought me a CD each year for my birthday. I guess I must have liked them for him to keep buying them? All I know was that each time I got a new album I grew more and more in love with the alt rock band from Georgia and Michael Stipe’s haunting voice.
R.E.M. are yet another band in my Sunday Sessions that formed in 1980 (a bloody great year if I do say so myself!) and were a huge hit in the underground/college radio circuit. They had six albums under their belt before they hit mainstream gold with “Out of Time” in 1991 and their most famous hit to date, Losing My Religion.
It may have been their commercially successful songs that interested me at first, but it’s R.E.M.’s overall sound that hooked me for life. It’s a distinct mixture of pop, rock, alternative and even a smidgen of folk thrown in for good measure. For me, their earlier stuff from the 80s is where it’s at! Loads of jangly, rocky guitar interspersed with amazing harmonies and random lyrics (“birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom, you symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right?” Anyone care to explain?! WTF?!). Alas, the band broke up in 2011 which makes me a little sad knowing that I won’t be able to see them live again. I only got to see them once, while I was living in the UK, and I wish I could relive that moment as it was just a blur or noise, lights and years of anticipation and excitement.
Once again it was a tough decision trying to share my favourite song with you all this week. There are so many that I love like Nightswimming from “Automatic For The People” and Driver 8 from “Fables of the Reconstruction”. Ugh, it would be like asking a parent to pick their favourite child (it’s me, mum, isn’t it??!) I’ve chosen a song from the “New Adventures in Hi Fi” album which I was absolutely obsessed with when it came out (and it’s probably their last great album in my opinion) – enjoy and happy Sunday!
They ARE brilliant, but I hate to say that seeing them live in around 97 or so was probably the worst gig I’ve ever been to. Just an off night I suppose, and I still love their music! And Stipe is just a fucking legend.
Oh really?? Wow, that’s a bummer but like you said it could’ve been an off night. I would love to see Stipe go solo!! 😍😍
I know, I’m surprised he hasn’t.
At a push I’d say my fave was Nightswimming or Everybody Hurts but I really like Leaving New York too. Just goes to show how many fab songs they have had. Thanks for the reminder 🙂
Pleasure! I almost forgot too until I had them blaring while writing this post. 🙂
I’m with you. I’ve been an REM fan since 85 and saw them in concert in 89. I love Document No. 5 but my favorite single song is Nightswimming.
All those IRS Years albums were truly special, they all had their own distinct R.E.M. sound to them that was just awesome. But yes, Nightswimming is just a magical song! 🙂
I love this post! I’m a big fan. And I agree that the earlier stuff is gold. My favorite album is Reckoning. But there’s no denying the epic quality of Out of Time and Automatic.
Reckoning is such a great album!! Pretty Persuasion would probably be in my top 10 REM songs 👍🏻💋