As R.E.M. looked to record the follow-up to 'Murmur,' the bar set for their second album 'Reckoning' was already exceedingly high.
Though both introspective and diverse, 'Out Of Time' quickly connected with the critics, with many of the industry’s most respected publications heaping five-star praise on the album.
R.E.M. released ‘Green’ to coincide with the US presidential election. Michael Stipe said they intended the album to be a gesture of hope and encouragement.
R.E.M. booked a five-night stand at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, lasting from 30 June to 5 July 2007, with advance billing referring to the shows as “public rehearsals”.
Artistically, ‘Automatic For The People’ arguably remains R.E.M’s high-water mark. It continues to attract plaudits from far and wide.
With their ‘Monster’ album, R.E.M. got back to making what guitarist Peter Buck described as a "real noisy rock’n’roll record”.
Arguably less immediate and less accessible than previous R.E.M. landmark albums, ‘New Adventures In Hi-Fi’ was a sprawling, “White Album”-esque affair.
‘Document’ gave R.E.M. the chance to further broaden their palette, fashioning songs from riffs written on instruments such as mandolins and accordions.
‘Lifes Rich Pagent’ was a watershed album for R.E.M. on which Michael Stipe gained in confidence as a frontman and began to clearly enunciate his lyrics.
It may be a cliché to suggest that the world’s greatest rock bands need to traverse their “difficult third album”, yet over the years that’s a tag that has frequently been attached...
So was it really the end of the world as we knew it when R.E.M. split? Maybe, but as this overview of the band’s phenomenal catalogue proves, there’s still the music.
The record R.E.M. emerged with remains one of the most compelling and otherworldly debut albums in rock history. Filler-free and the passing of time have merely added to the record’s timeless allure.