Rem

Biography

R.E.M. (formed 1980)

R.E.M. is an alternative American rock band. The lineup of the band consists of Michael Stipe on lead vocals, Peter Buck on guitar, Mike Mills on bass guitar and Bill Berry on drums and percussion.

R.E.M.: Formative Years

Michael Stipe met Peter Buck in 1980 whilst Buck was working in a record store in Athens, Georgia. They shared a love of bands like Television, Patti Smith and The Velvet Underground. The pair of them soon met Bill Berry and Mike Mills, who were students at the University of Georgia. Their debut gig as a band was at a friend's birthday party in April 1980.

R.E.M.'s first single was 'Radio Free Europe', released in 1981 on the independent Hib-Tone label.

I.R.S. Records obtained a copy of R.E.M.'s demo tapes and signed a contract with the band, despite R.E.M. having been courted by RCA Records. The Chronic Town EP was R.E.M.'s first major label release.

R.E.M.: Debut album onwards

R.E.M.'s debut album, Murmur, was released in 1983, to huge critical acclaim. Rolling Stone magazine made the album its record of the year. Their first national TV appearance came in October of that year, when they appeared on Late Night with David Letterman. They performed 'So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)', which became the lead single from their second album, Reckoning.

The third album from R.E.M. was 1985's Fables of the Reconstruction. It was produced by Joe Boyd, who had previously worked with Nick Drake and Fairport Convention and they recorded the album in England. The resulting recordings were seen as a departure from the quality of their predecessors.

Life's Rich Pageant was released in 1986 and was recorded by John Mellencamp's producer, Don Gehman, who raised the profile of Stipe's vocals in the songs. The track 'Fall On Me' became popular on commercial radio.

R.E.M.'s fifth album, Document became their breakthrough release. Frustrated by I.R.S. Records' poor overseas distribution, R.E.M. signed with Warner Bros. Records when their existing contract had expired. Their major label debut was 1988's Green, recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. The album has sold over 4 million units worldwide.

In 1990, following a 12-month break, R.E.M. reconvened and recorded Out of Time, using the mandolin, organ and acoustic guitar to break away from the expected sound of alterative guitar bands. The lead single, 'Losing My Religion', became a massive worldwide hit, as was its follow-up, 'Shiny Happy People', featuring Kate Pierson of the B-52s.

The next album from R.E.M. was 1991's Automatic for the People, another huge global success. Many of the tracks featured string arrangements by John Paul Jones, Led Zeppelin's bass player. Again, the album spawned a number of global hits, including 'Man On The Moon' and 'Everybody Hurts'.

In 1994, R.E.M. released Monster, intended to be a more upbeat album, after the two slow-paced releases preceding it. The album featured the popular tracks 'What's the Frequency, Kenneth?' and 'Bang and Blame'.

In March 1995, Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm and collapsed onstage in Switzerland. Although he recovered within a month, the band was plagued with other health issues, as Mills required abdominal surgery and Stipe also required emergency surgery to repair a hernia. The following year, however, they still managed to release an album, Adventures in Hi-Fi, having re-signed with Warner Bros for a staggering $80 million contract.

In April 1997, Bill Berry left the band. The remaining three members decided to carry on as a three-piece. For their next recording sessions, they hired Barrett Martin, formerly of Screaming Trees and Joey Waronker, Beck's touring drummer. Despite troubles and tensions during the recordings, Up was finally released in 1998, with 'Daysleeper' being the lead single from the album. The following year, they released the instrumental score to Milos Forman's Man on the Moon. The film was an Andy Kaufman biopic and starred Jim Carrey as the lead character and Courtney Love as his girlfriend. Also in the film were Danny DeVito and Paul Giamatti.

R.E.M. then released Reveal in 2001, with Waronker drumming, as well as Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 and Ken Stringfellow of Posies.

Around the Sun was released in 2004. The lead single was 'Leaving New York' and around this time, the band hired a permanent new drummer for the purposes of touring, Bill Rieflin. Rieflin was previously a member of Ministry. That year, R.E.M. joined the Vote For Change tour, with Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Bright Eyes.

Whilst rehearsing for their induction into the Georgia Hall of Fame, R.E.M. also recorded a version of John Lennon's '?9 Dream' for Amnesty International.

Accelerate was released in 2008, following recording sessions with the producer Jacknife Lee. The album debuted at the number two spot on the Billboard charts.

R.E.M.'s music has inspired a number of bands, most notably Nirvana. Lead singer Kurt Cobain was vocal in his praise of the band and he and his wife, Courtney Love, of Hole, became good friends with Michael Stipe.

Read More

Unlikely Bunch: REM, James Franco and Lindsay Lohan Make a Music Video.

19th November 2012 -

 News

James Franco has directed a video for REM's song 'Blue', featuring Lindsay Lohan and iconic fashion photographer Terry Richardson. A couple of weeks ago we told you about the video that Idris Elba had made...

REM - Lifes Rich Pageant (25th Anniversary edition)

13th July 2011 -

 Review

Lifes Rich Pageant remains a key milestone in R.E.M.'s extensive back catalogue. This was after all the moment that inaudible lyrics and murky soundscapes gave way to big guitar riffs and even bigger drums. Outgrowing...

REM - Collapse Into Now

28th March 2011 -

 Review

REM, I feel, do not get enough credit for the way in which they've grown old gracefully. Without mentioning any names, (U2) many other mega bands have found it hard to enjoy a long career...

REM - Uberlin

10th February 2011 -

 Review

Every REM album since 1994's disappointing Monster has been described by one critic or another as a 'return to form'. Personally, I'm not convinced that the band are capable of making another album as good...

R.E.M. Losing My Religion

20th October 2008 -

 Video

R.E.M. The Great Beyond

20th October 2008 -

 Video

REM - Hollow Man

8th May 2008 -

 Video

R.E.M Hollow Man Video R.E.M release their new single 'Hollow Man' on June 2nd 2008 through Warner Records. Hollow Man is taken from R.E.M's UK number 1 album, 'Accelerate'. This single, is R.E.M. at their...

REM - Accelerate

25th March 2008 -

 Review

REMAccelerateWEAAlbum Review There has only ever really be one bad REM album, and that was the last, Around The Sun. It was so unremittingly awful that many long-time fans wondered what had happened to one...

REM - Supernatural Superserious

25th February 2008 -

 Video

R.E.M Supernatural Superserious Audio Streams REM are releasing a new album on April 1, called Accelerate. Lead single, 'Supernatural Superserious' is out now and available for purchase from iTunes, along with the pre-order for the...

REM - Video streams for Leaving New York

21st September 2004 -

 Video

REM...

Back to top

REM Images

More REM Pictures

Back to top

REM Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on REM

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

'Sherlock' Cast "Reduced to Tears" After Being Told Season 4 Plot

Steven Moffat and fellow creator Mark Gatiss were quizzed about the return of the...

'Sherlock' Cast

Cara Delevingne In Talks For Lead Role in 'Zoolander 2'

Cara Delevingne, the British supermodel who made her acting debut in Anna Karenina...

Cara Delevingne In Talks For Lead Role in 'Zoolander 2'

Lady Gaga - I Can't Give You Anything But Love Video

The music studio video for Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet's collaboration, 'I Can't Give You Anything But Love'...

Lady Gaga - I Can't Give You Anything But Love Video

Merchandise - After The End Album Review

Merchandise open their new album, After The End, with 'Corridor' - a slow scintillating burner that shows the grand beauty...

Merchandise - After The End Album Review

Venice Film Festival: So 'Birdman' Just Joined the Oscars Race. Big Time.

After the trailer hit, there was always the sense with Birdman was probably going to...

Venice Film Festival: So 'Birdman' Just Joined the Oscars Race. Big Time.

Trash - Trailer

Three friends, Raphael (Rickson Teves), Gardo (Eduardo Luis) and Rato (Gabriel Weinstein) from Brazil all work on a landfill site...

Trash Trailer
Advertisement

Tyler Perry: "I Wouldn't Have Done 'Gone Girl' If I Knew Who Fincher Was"

Tyler Perry, the American actor, director and producer, who appears in David...

Tyler Perry:

'Full House' On The Way Back with John Stamos, Bob Saget

That's right, it looks as though family comedy 'Full House' is heading back to TV...

'Full House' On The Way Back with John Stamos, Bob Saget

Ridley Scott Will Make 'Blade Runner 2' after 'The Martian'

Ridley Scott has revealed that the script for Blade Runner 2 is finished and that Harrison...

Ridley Scott Will Make 'Blade Runner 2' after 'The Martian'


More recommendations

Comments