January 30, 2023

This definitive rating of R.E.M.’s discography first appeared in 2017, a number of years after the band referred to as it quits. It’ll stay not solely to commemorate all the good music R.E.M. has given us through the years but additionally to burn like a candle — and maintain vigil — simply in case we sooner or later get so as to add to it. Both means, we’ll maintain going again to Rockville till it really is the tip of the world.

It’s been over 40 years since R.E.M. performed their first present, a buddy’s party in an deserted church in Athens, Georgia, on April fifth, 1980. It’s arduous to consider {that a} band with a catalog we saved holstered, cocked, and prepared all through our adolescences have turned such a complicated age. (We additionally should acknowledge that we’ve been drifting by way of a barely emptier world for a while now with out Athens’ favourite sons.) This was a rattling high-quality band after they had been on the peak of their powers, and so they had been almost as high-quality after they formally hung it up in 2011.

You possibly can’t make that declare for a lot of bands. Then once more, R.E.M. wasn’t like many different bands. And looking out again by way of their physique of labor, you additionally notice they had been removed from an ideal band. However what made them particular was a singular momentum that allowed them to evolve, adapt, and keep on. They at all times appeared to be figuring issues out quite than sharpening what they’d constructed and perfected.

The toll of recognition, rigors of touring the globe, dropping a founding band member, pressures to observe up each groundbreaking and career-stalling information — none of those challenges, or any others, appeared to ever maintain Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Invoice Berry down for very lengthy. In truth, the band made a behavior of coming again and feeling extra indispensable than ever — gifting us albums, songs, and performances that when taken in can by no means be really taken away.

We grew up on them, we grew with them, and now we’re rising outdated collectively… and we really feel high-quality.

Matt Melis

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