R.E.M. Album by Album
by Max Pilley
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Pub Date 30 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2023
Pen & Sword, White Owl
From cowering, introverted founders of the alternative rock movement to one of the twenty best-selling American bands of all time, the story of R.E.M. covers three decades, two generations and the passions of millions. First, they lifted a humble, Southern college town into myth, re-calibrating rock music at the moment that it threatened to reach the point of terminal excess, and then, unsatisfied, they carried their progressive ideology right into the heart of mainstream popular culture, selling over 85 million records and winning universal acclaim along the way, totally without compromise.
R.E.M. Album by Album tells that story, tracing the band from its formation in 1980 when four young men sought respite from the difficulties of real life by starting a covers band, right up until their eventual split in 2011, shedding new light on the lyrical and musical development of the band as artists, from their esoteric early masterpieces to the moment that they signed the world’s largest ever recording contract. For the very first time, too, we examine the first decade after the band’s demise, scrutinising the shifting sands of their legacy as the dust settles on one of pop music’s most extraordinary careers.