R.E.M.- Document 35th Anniversary- Michael Stipe, Peter Buck

Document was the mainstream breakthrough in a five album stubbornly eclectic alternate route to the top of the US album sales chart for R.E.M. in September 1987. My conversations with R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe and particularly with lead guitarist Peter Buck about those early IRS Records reveal a band remarkably cohesive and certain about its vision. This interview includes the earliest days of the Athens GA R.E.M. with songs from their first five full albums Murmur   ( a perennial “desert island disc” for me, released April 1983 ), Reckoning a year later peaking at #27 on Billboard,  Fables of the Reconstruction,  Life’s Rich Pageant, &  their biggest seller to that point, Document  in September 1987.

R.E.M. Murmur  quietly emerged Spring 1983 and has never left my essential music list, along with its follow-up Reckoning. Songs include “Radio Free Europe”,”South Central Rain”,”Can’t Get There from Here”,”Driver 8″,  “Fall on Me”, and three from R.E.M.’s  Document, “Finest Worksong”, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”, and “The One I Love”. – Redbeard