The demise of R.E.M. in 2011 seems like an appropriate time to write my little piece on the band. I followed them from the mid 1980s through to the end mainly on CD. In fact I only got to see them play live once way back in 1986 supporting U2 at the Milton Keynes Bowl.
My favourite song from the early years is "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)". A song that had everything in it for me at the time. A brilliant catchy melody, driving alternative guitars and these lyrics that came at you from all directions.
It wasn't difficult to enjoy the band's main period of world wide commercial success. The albums "Out of Time" and "Automatic For The People" were not just huge, but contained fantastic songs such as the "Losing My Religion" and "Everybody Hurts". "Losing My Religion" is a gorgeous song that can be played anywhere by anyone and is guaranteed to get everyone up and singing along.
During the latter years the band continued to release solid albums that may not have reached the commercial heights of the band's heyday, but always contained enough to keep an R.E.M. fan happy and interested. I always liked the way the band was able to write up tempo songs and classy slow songs sounding equally at home with each. The "Reveal" album of 2001 is probably my favourite overall R.E.M. album which had "Imitation of Life" as its lead single.
It does appear that there will not be a R.E.M. comeback anytime soon or possibly ever, but you never know these days with so many bands coming back from yesteryear. A truly great band and the recent compilation "Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011" is a great addition to any record collection. I can't believe I have now bought three R.E.M. compilation albums!