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Complete Studio Albums - I.R.S. 1982-1987

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Editors’ Notes

R.E.M.'s popularity was proof that major labels were failing to capture segments of the college market. Unlike bands who were pumped up as the “next big thing” only to not meet expectations, R.E.M. built their audience gradually and organically, with each release expanding their audience piece by piece. By Document—their fifth album for the small I.R.S. label—they'd consistently been scoring hit singles without a major label's leverage (though I.R.S. was linked to A&M Records). R.E.M.'s music began as mysterious, near-indecipherable songs on the five-track Chronic Town EP and the early albums Murmur, Reckoning, and the gorgeous Fables of the Reconstruction. They surged toward more pop-oriented material on Lifes Rich Pageant (sic), where producer Don Gehman brought singer Michael Stipe’s vocals to the front and gave Peter Buck’s guitars serious firepower. “Fall on Me” was an exuberant hit single, and Document continued the streak with the stunning “The One I Love” and “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

Customer Reviews

Chronic Town remastered, finally...

…and I feel fine!

R.E.M. at their best

This is 6 of the best albums ever made, by any band, during any span....... and for under 40 bucks?? I promise you, it would be money well spent. This is when REM could do no wrong.

The IRS years.

A great collection of albums from R.E.M's early years on IRS Records. All of these albums are essential in one's libraries.


Formed: 1980 in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional...
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