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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

R.E.M. - The One I Love (Chris Avramopoulos Remix)

"REM played their first concert in Athens, Georgia, USA, on 19 April 1980. Their line-up consisted of four drop-outs from the University of Georgia; Michael Stipe (b. 4 January 1960, Decatur, Georgia, USA; vocals), Peter Buck (b. 6 December 1956, Berkeley, California, USA; guitar), Mike Mills (b. 17 December 1958, Orange County, California, USA; bass) and Bill Berry (b. 31 July 1958, Duluth, Minnesota, USA; drums). Without the charisma of Stipe and his eccentric onstage behaviour, hurling himself about with abandon in-between mumbling into the microphone, they could easily have been overlooked as just another bar band, relying on the harmonious guitar sound of the Byrds for their inspiration. Acquiring a healthy following among the college fraternity in their hometown, it was not long before they entered the studio to record their debut single, "Radio Free Europe", to be released independently on Hibtone Records. This was greeted with considerable praise by critics who conceded that the band amounted to more than the sum of their influences. Their country/folk sound was contradicted by a driving bassline and an urgency that put the listener more in mind of the Who in their early mod phase. Add to this the distinctive voice of Stipe and his inaudible, perhaps even non-existent, lyrics, and REM sounded quite unlike any other band in the USA in the post-punk era of the early 80s.
Newly signed to I.R.S. Records, they gained further favourable notices for August 1982's mini-album, Chronic Town, produced by Mitch Easter. Their eagerly awaited full-length debut arrived in April 1983. With production duties handled by Easter and Don Dixon, Murmur surpassed all expectations, and was eventually made Album Of The Year by Rolling Stone magazine. As in the USA, the band earned a devoted cult following in Europe, largely comprised of college students. Reckoning appeared the following year and was permeated by a reckless spontaneity that had been missing from their earlier work. Recorded in only 12 days, the tracks varied in mood from frustration, as on "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)", to the tongue-in-cheek sing along "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville'. The songs were accessible enough but, as would be the case for most of the 80s, the singles culled from REM"s albums were generally deemed uncommercial by mainstream radio programmers. However, their cult reputation benefited from a series of flop singles on both sides of the Atlantic. Although received enthusiastically by critics, the Joe Boyd-produced Fables Of The Reconstruction was a stark, morose album that mirrored a period of despondency within the band. Peter Buck summed it up in the 90s - "If we were to record those songs again, they would be very different"." Full article available at

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