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Sun, Jul 21, 2024

R.E.M.

Shows: 1450
Earliest: Jan 4, 1980
Latest: Jun 13, 2024

[WikiPedia] R.E.M. were an American alternative rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe, who were students at the University of Georgia. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style; Stipe's distinctive vocal quality, unique stage presence, and obscure lyrics; Mills's melodic bass lines and backing vocals; and Berry's tight, economical drumming style. In the early 1990s, other alternative rock acts such as Nirvana, Pixies and Pavement viewed R.E.M. as a pioneer of the genre. After Berry left in 1997, the band continued with mixed critical and commercial success. The band broke up amicably in 2011, having sold more than 90 million albums worldwide and becoming one of the world's best-selling music acts. The band released their first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. It was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, their first release on I.R.S. Records. Over the course of the decade, R.E.M. released acclaimed albums including Murmur, Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction, Lifes Rich Pageant, Document and Green. During their most successful period, they worked with the producer Scott Litt. With constant touring, and the support of college radio following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit with the 1987 single "The One I Love". They signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing arenas worldwide. R.E.M.'s most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), put them in the vanguard of alternative rock as it was becoming mainstream. Out of Time received seven nominations at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards, and the lead single, "Losing My Religion", was R.E.M.'s highest-charting and best-selling hit. Monster (1994) continued its run of success. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three of the band members. In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract ever. The tour was productive and the band recorded the following album mostly during soundchecks. The resulting record, New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), is hailed as the band's last great album and the members' favorite, growing in cult status over the years. Berry left the band the following year, and Stipe, Buck, and Mills continued as a musical trio, supplemented by studio and live musicians, such as multi-instrumentalists Scott McCaughey and Ken Stringfellow and drummers Joey Waronker and Bill Rieflin. They also parted ways with their longtime manager Jefferson Holt, and the band's attorney Bertis Downs assumed managerial duties. Seeking to also renovate their sound, the band stopped working with Scott Litt, co-producer and contributor to six of their studio albums, and hired Pat McCarthy as co-producer, who had participated before that as mixer and engineer on their last two albums. After the electronic experimental direction of Up (1998) that was commercially unsuccessful, Reveal (2001) was referred to as "a conscious return to their classic sound" which received general acclaim. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first year of eligibility and Berry reunited with the band for the ceremony and to record a cover of John Lennon's "#9 Dream" for the compilation album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur (2007) to benefit Amnesty International's campaign to alleviate the Darfur conflict. Looking for a change of sound after lukewarm reception for Around the Sun (2004), the band collaborated with the producer Jacknife Lee on their last two studio albums—the well-received Accelerate (2008) and Collapse into Now (2011). In 2024, they briefly reunited to perform their song "Losing My Religion" at their induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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