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An R.E.M. discography.

The official R.E.M. discography is available here on their website. Below is my own.

Chronic Town, 1982. I.R.S. 26097. Debut 5 track EP released on the I.R.S. label, following their first single, Radio Free Europe released on Hibtone. Still fresh 25 years on, Gardening At Night and Carnival of Sorts (Boxcar) in particular are classics. The recording is crisp and being 12" the pressing has good dynamics. The sound typifies early R.E.M. Peter Buck, the lead guitarist, wasn't as good an instrumentallist as Mike Mills (bass) and Bill Berry (drums) in the early days so the bass and drums seem to lead the music.

Murmur, 1982. SP70604. R.E.M.'s album debut proper. Critically acclaimed at the time of release as one of the greatest debut albums. Some great tracks..... The sleeve artwork randomly lists only 10 of the 12 tracks.
Reckoning, 1983. IRSA 7045. The follow-up album and one of my favourites; the album is full of tunes. Favourite tracks are Time After Time (annElise) and (Don't Go Back to) Rockville, though every song is a mini work of art. Time After Time (annElise) is the last track on the first side and sounds a little edgy; this is greatly improved on the Mobile Fidelity 200g version. :-)
Fables of the Reconstruction, 1985. MIRF 1003. Or, alternatively, Reconstruction of the Fables as the artwork was a little ambiguous. Continuing R.E.M.'s alternative artwork the sleeve opening is not on the edge you would expect when holding the album in front of you. Recorded in London, the band were depressed by the miserable weather and nearly split. The tension can be clearly heard in tracks such as Feeling Gravity's Pull, Life and How to Live It, and Auctioneer (Another Engine), though the album contains seminal tracks such as Driver 8 and Wendell Gee. Side A is "Fables of the Reconstruction", side B is "Reconstruction of the Fables".
Life's Rich Pageant, 1986. MIRG 1014. Possibly my favourite R.E.M. album, it's a stunning avalanche of music. The first four tracks (Begin the Begin, These Days, Fall On Me, and Cuyahoga) always leave me breathless with their attack. Fall on Me is one of the most beautiful songs ever written; it's actually about acid rain. Side A is "Dinner Side", side B is "Supper Side".
Document, 1987. The band's last album on I.R.S. The drums are higher in the mix signalling a slightly different sound. Famous for It's the End of the World (and I Feel Fine) thanks to the immortal "Leonard Bernstein" lyric. Superstardom was just around the corner.
  Eponymous. I.R.S. "Greatest Hits" cash-in as the band signed for the major Warners. Does what it says on the tin.
Green, 1989. The debut album for Warners which allowed them complete artistic control. The band commented at the time that if they wanted to release an album of breaking wind, they could now. Another small step in the progression of R.E.M.'s style.
  Dead Letter Office
Out of Time, 1991. Musically this felt quite different at the time, and contained songs such as Losing My Religion which made the band famous.
Automatic for the People. The band's biggest selling album that made them superstars and "The greatest band on the planet".
  New Adventures in Hi Fi
  Up. Bill Berry had left the band! R.E.M. had said they would disband if anyone left or they reached the end of the millenium. They didn't. Joey Waronker from Beck's band stepped in and the band released a great album. Subtly different I found it difficult to get into at first. With time I grew to love it, to the extent that the early albums started to sound quite old.
  In Time
  Around the Sun




























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