R.E.M. is one of my all-time favorite bands, so, for today’s article, I thought I’d start counting down my picks for their ten best releases.
10) Accelerate (2008)
R.E.M.’s penultimate album, released in 2008, is a nice foray into harder rock and roll, especially after a long string of softer, more laid back-sounding albums. “Living Well is the Best Revenge” is a great opener, and “Supernatural Superserious,” “Hollow Man,” and “Until the Day is Done” are other solid tracks. Also, the album only clocks in at about 35 minutes. A nice little album of rockin’ tracks, but definitely not the band at their creative peak
9) Green (1989)
This album was their first on a major label, released in 1989 after signing with Warner Bros. And it was certainly a good way to start out with them, producing some of their most popular tracks for years to come, such as “Orange Crush” and “Stand.” “Pop Song 89” and “Get Up” are also fun tracks, and “You Are the Everything,” “World Leader Pretend,” and “Untitled” are some of their most beautiful compositions. Overall, the album goes for an environmentalist message, especially in the second half. This may make the latter songs come off as a bit preachy, but Green is still a really good record.
8) Reckoning (1984)
This album is incredibly solid. “Harborcoat,” “Pretty Persuasion,” and “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” are some of their best songs ever, and “So. Central Rain,” “Second Guessing,” and “Letter Never Sent” are other standout tracks. The band was willing to experiment a bit more after their debut album, Murmur, so this album has some atypical tracks like “Time After Time,” “Camera,” and “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville.” I particularly love the country-tinged feel of “Rockville.”
7) Chronic Town (1982)
Yeah, I know, it’s not technically an album (an EP, to be exact), but Chronic Town is still worth noting. It’s the first extended release in the band’s history, released in 1982 after their debut single, “Radio Free Europe” in ’81. Also, it displays the band at the beginning of their folksy, jangly 80s period. The only drawback is that there are only five songs. All of them, however, are catchy and memorable. “Wolves Lower,” “Carnival of Sorts,” and “Stumble” are my personal favorites.
6) Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)
Side 1 of this album is up there with almost anything the band ever released. Side 2, however, isn’t as great (except for “I Believe,” which may be the best tune on the album). Side 2 is still pretty good, so, overall, this album is pretty great. “Begin the Begin,” “Fall on Me,” “Cuyahoga,” and “I Believe” are the best tracks here, and the ballad “The Flowers of Guatemala” and the weird “Underneath the Bunker” are also memorable. We also have Mike Mills singing lead on “Superman,” which is pretty cool.
Thank you all so much for reading, and make sure you check out next week’s article for my top five! Make sure you check out our weekly playlist as well!