Well as a tribute to the late REM and their 31 year career here is the first ever iareyeti.com Listomania with our Top 10 REM tracks.
For those who believe that REM only make sad songs, Stand is a merely is proof that this is not the case. It’s slightly unimaginative video is a classic case of late 80s cinematography, but despite the videos cheesiness it is actually quite entertaining and fun and the song is an absolute cracker as well which is why It’s down at number 10!
So even in the dawn of time (1983) REM were capable of creating beautiful and poignant music such as Perfect Circle which can be found on their debut LP Murmur.
Yet another one taking from the first half of the IRS years.’(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville’ ; a very country sounding number from their second album ‘Reckoning’.
‘Bad Day’ was a previously unreleased song that was then released as a single for their ‘In Time : The Best Of REM 1988 – 2003′ compilation. It’s best described as an upbeat rant about the media which it’s video comically parodies a news team announcing bad news.
‘Ignoreland’ was the eighth track from REMs often regarded as the best work ‘Automatic For The People’. Interestingly it is the sixth REM non-single to actually chart. This one is a great example of REMs ability to make political statements, this one which refers to the state of American politics. Despite REM not being happy about this one it has always remained to be a favorite of mine.
Good question, what is the frequency, Kenneth?! I don’t know the answer, hell I don’t even know what this song is even about, but that’s what’s brilliant about REM is their cryptic lyrics, it makes them open for discussion. This one unlike ‘Ignoreland’ is one of the bands favourites and that is completely understandable, the guitar is just ‘Monster’ (cheeky pun for REM fans).
As I mentioned before about not knowing what REM are singing about this is another one, but the lyrics are just wonderful and despite being the eighth top 10 hit in the UK charts it was a massive flop on the other side of the pond only reaching 83 in the Billboards.
References galore to the late Andy Kaufman, Mott The Hoople, Elvis and numerous board games ‘Man On The Moon’ is often regarded as REMs best song and is their usual set finisher. It really is one of those tracks that makes you think and really shows why Stipe is one of the finest lyricists going.
In 1991 REM released their second album after leaving their old record label IRS for Warner Music, this album was ‘Out Of Time’ and was what really gave them their big break, going from cult heroes to a massive stadium headliner act. For many ‘Losing My Religion’ was what introduced people to REM and even 20 years later it has definitely held the test of the time. The mandolin riff is truly iconic and has inspired many for two decades, not just musically but lyrically.
I’ll give you a fiver if you can perfectly recite the lyrics to this one on the spot. There is no arguing that this is REMs most experimental song and my word did the experiment turn out well! ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It ‘ is essentially rap, once more I’d like to state, what the fuck are they singing about (despite it being the end of the world but I assume it is more metaphorically then literally). My only guess is that every line is obscure references to stuff which is a common form of song writing for Stipe.