• Any REM fans here? Apart from me that is.


    Green is still one of my top 10 favourite albums.


    I got to see them a few times, in a range of venues - arenas, stadiums and small theatres. One of the latter, at London Brixton Academy, was my favourite.


    I thought I'd ask as it was just recently the 40th anniversary of their first ever gig, in an abandoned church for a friend's birthday, and also I noticed there was no REM thread here.

    Abandon all reason

  • Oh yes - love the band. If I had a favourite period it would be the albums between 1983-9. I still like the albums after that a lot but quite as much. What an artist Michael Stipe is :)

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • Oh yes - love the band. If I had a favourite period it would be the albums between 1983-9. I still like the albums after that a lot but quite as much. What an artist Michael Stipe is :)

    Yes I've often noticed fans have definite preferences which fall into approximately those periods, or IRS and post-IRS. Of the latter I think they hit a peak with Automatic and probably my favourite New Adventures. It showed how destabilising Bill Berry's departure was, as I feel they never fully recovered their sure footing after that. They still did good songs but were less consistent.


    Apart from Green, of the IRS period my favourites are Document and Pageant. I also find Dead Letter Office a good 'rummage' of an album.


    One of the great things about their gigs was that you never knew what you were going to get as they shifted their setlists around so much during tours, and were very good at suddenly bringing out ones you assumed were long since put to bed or, on occasions, not even played before.

    Abandon all reason

  • It's a shame I never got to see them live - one of my regrets in life.


    They brought out a live album called Live at the Olympia which is superb really showcases the period I liked most.


    I wonder what I might listen to tomorrow :?:

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • Green is still one of my top 10 favourite albums.

    That is also my favourite of theirs. I remember when it came out I could not stop playing it, annoying everyone else. Best songs for me were World Leader Pretend, Stand and Orange Crush

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • I became a fan with the monumental Losing My Religion, a song which had almost as big an influence on me as ITAT. I thought, and still think Out Of Time was one of the best albums by anybody. I was not nearly as convinced by Automatic For The People, which although it contains some undoubtedly fine tracks, also has some stinkers which nobody ever mentions. Then they released Monster, which was basically hard rock. Unfortunately that was the tour we saw them on. They played the whole album and Stipe had a lyric stand which he used to remember the lyrics, and then he tossed the sheets into the audience. They treated the audience with contempt. It was the worst performance by a major band I've ever seen. At the height of my enthusiasm I had bought most of the previous albums - but I found that none of them engaged me as much as Out Of Time had. So I stopped buying them until they released New Adventures In Hi Fi, and later Reveal which seemed to be a return to Out Of Time. But they just faded away after that. They got very self-indulgent.

  • Yes I'm fan too. Started with Green and have the albums up to Up and Accelerate. I like it all but tend to listen to OOT, AFTP and Monster when REM appeals to me. Monster is brilliant. I should give the other albums more of a go.

    Imitation Of Life has to be one of my favourite music video's.

    Was fortunate to see them at Glastonbury in '99 They were very good . Huge crowd. Loads of fence jumpers. Micheal Stipe kept going on about us (the crowd ) doing an amazing thing. We were just getting pissed and having fun. He seemed a bit overwhelmed by it all. Which was nice .

    Edited once, last by thefarmer ().

  • I became a fan with the monumental Losing My Religion, a song which had almost as big an influence on me as ITAT. I thought, and still think Out Of Time was one of the best albums by anybody. I was not nearly as convinced by Automatic For The People, which although it contains some undoubtedly fine tracks, also has some stinkers which nobody ever mentions. Then they released Monster, which was basically hard rock. Unfortunately that was the tour we saw them on. They played the whole album and Stipe had a lyric stand which he used to remember the lyrics, and then he tossed the sheets into the audience. They treated the audience with contempt. It was the worst performance by a major band I've ever seen. At the height of my enthusiasm I had bought most of the previous albums - but I found that none of them engaged me as much as Out Of Time had. So I stopped buying them until they released New Adventures In Hi Fi, and later Reveal which seemed to be a return to Out Of Time. But they just faded away after that. They got very self-indulgent.

    Stipe always used that music stand, but he didn't ever seem to actually look at it. He said it was a sort of comfort blanket more than anything. I should imagine some fans were delighted to get their hands on those sheets! I'm curious about how they were contemptuous of the audience, as it seems very unlike them from my experience of seeing them.


    I never got on with Out Of Time. It has a couple I like a lot such as Low and Belong, I also like Me In Honey despite the presence of Kate Pierson (I could never stand the B52s with that strangulated bloke and the two women who sounded like air escaping from a li-lo). But it also has my two most disliked REM songs, Radio Song and Shiny Happy People, both of which make me cringe. Losing My Religion is ok but I can take or leave it. The ones I'm not keen on from Automatic are the hits - Everybody Hurts, Sidewinder and Man On The Moon. Not because they were hits, they just happen to be the ones that don't do much for me. I admit that not being hot on Shiny and Religion adds to the notion I'm stubbornly opposed to hits but that's really not it! Automatic has 3 of my absolute favourites - Sweetness Follows, Nightswimming and Find The River.


    Monster seemed a pretty divisive album with many fans not liking it at all. I don't mind it, love I Took Your Name and Tongue, also Strange Currencies is great. I don't consider it a hard rock album at all. Interesting you said they faded, I didn't get that perception and wonder if interest waned in Australia - at the time of Accelerate, an album I like a lot, they were doing stadium shows one of which I went to in London and it was excellent, full of energy and a few surprises in the set.

    Abandon all reason

  • Stipe always used that music stand, but he didn't ever seem to actually look at it. He said it was a sort of comfort blanket more than anything. I should imagine some fans were delighted to get their hands on those sheets! I'm curious about how they were contemptuous of the audience, as it seems very unlike them from my experience of seeing them.


    I never got on with Out Of Time. It has a couple I like a lot such as Low and Belong, I also like Me In Honey despite the presence of Kate Pierson (I could never stand the B52s with that strangulated bloke and the two women who sounded like air escaping from a li-lo). But it also has my two most disliked REM songs, Radio Song and Shiny Happy People, both of which make me cringe. Losing My Religion is ok but I can take or leave it. The ones I'm not keen on from Automatic are the hits - Everybody Hurts, Sidewinder and Man On The Moon. Not because they were hits, they just happen to be the ones that don't do much for me. I admit that not being hot on Shiny and Religion adds to the notion I'm stubbornly opposed to hits but that's really not it! Automatic has 3 of my absolute favourites - Sweetness Follows, Nightswimming and Find The River.


    Monster seemed a pretty divisive album with many fans not liking it at all. I don't mind it, love I Took Your Name and Tongue, also Strange Currencies is great. I don't consider it a hard rock album at all. Interesting you said they faded, I didn't get that perception and wonder if interest waned in Australia - at the time of Accelerate, an album I like a lot, they were doing stadium shows one of which I went to in London and it was excellent, full of energy and a few surprises in the set.

    The vibe we got of contempt was the general attitude of the music stand and throwing lyrics into the audience. If this was a common thing, I stand corrected, but it didn't wash well with me. I thought they were bored and disinterested. I don't usually have such a strong negative reaction to a show - but that night I did. It didn't help that they played the entire Monster album, practically none of which I liked (I must give it another listen because I do still have it).


    Regarding 'faded' it was never the same for then here after that tour. I don't know if they even ever toured here again. (In fact they did, in 2005 for the Around The Sun tour. They also did a promo tour for Reveal, but no shows).


    And yet as I said, I did go back to them with Reveal, which I thought was almost Out Of Time standard - but it was a false dawn.

  • I got into REM with Lifes Rich Pageant, which remains one of my favourite albums. I then went backwards through to Chronic Town and forward from there. My first tour was the Green tour, which was fabulous and including a good mix of new (at the time) and old, plus a few left field covers. I did see the Monster tour and I did find them standoffish compared to earlier shows.


    For me, the albums Murmur through Automatic for the People are all great. Stylistically there are quite different, with some very jangly, some indie rock, some more pop. After that, I liked some songs but not full albums and thus lost interest after Reveal.


    If I were to pick a representative playlist of some of my favourite songs, it might be:


    Sitting Still - great jangly stuff, with indecipherable lyrics

    Perfect Circle - melancholic, with a lovely piano arrangement

    Can't Get There From Here - idiosyncratic and quirky indie rock

    Begin the Begin - muscular and pre-grungy grunge

    Finest Worksong - confident and melodic rock

    Near Wild Heaven - a great example of the Beach Boys influence on REM

    Sweetness Follows - a tender, poignant, and meditative song

    At My Most Beautiful - one of their only straightforward love songs and another obvious Beach Boys nod