In honor of the 40th anniversary of the release of the Radio Free Europe single.... My intention with this thread, starting Monday May 24th, is to discuss the music of Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe -- i.e., R.E.M., on a song-by-song basis. I will be going through all of R.E.M.'s songs, one by one, day by day: not only their originals, but covers too. Songs co-written by any of the four or with prominent lead vocals by one of these members will also be covered too, as long as if falls within the years mentioned in the title. Discounting myriad bootlegs, R.E.M. has an admirably streamlined discography: while they certainly released their share -- maybe more than their share!-- of one-offs, B-sides, bonus tracks, etc, it all is pretty much tidily collated and largely available for purchase, download or streaming. I will not to pretend to be the most knowledgeable expert of all of R.E.M.'s catalogue -- especially when it comes to side projects -- not even on this forum! But I do think I can reliably post one song per day and the experts will chime in and help me. I will also be rating songs on a 1-5 scale, 5 being the best. I like doing this simply because, a) for some reason it helps me to focus my mind critically when I'm listening and b) although individual users' ratings mean nothing, collectively, when averaged, they are an interesting statistic. And I like to make playlists from the more highly-rated songs! Having said that one does not have to rate songs to participate in the thread. The main thing is to discuss the music of R.E.M., song-by-song and learn more about the music of this incredibly talented man. One more thing: I do not play on holding up unreleased songs for rating; that does not mean that they cannot be discussed or referenced in their appropriate era by those who know about them; it only means that I won't make a separate entry for them. Ditto for side projects, where members may have contributed instrumental parts or backing vocals. So, for example, I will not be separately holding up for discussion the songs from Robyn Hitchcock's and the Egyptians Perspex Island, which contains numerous contributions from Peter Buck and one prominent vocal contribution by Michael Stipe; but I will be holding up "Dark Green Energy" by the same band, which is basically a duet with Stipe and Hitchcock. Question: Why only the Bill Berry years? Aren't you missing a third of the catalogue? Answer: In order to do one of these threads I need a certain amount of passion in order to show up everyday. While I quite enjoyed UP when it came out, I found myself uninterested in -- or even unaware of in some cases --subsequent releases, and I never bought them. And have given most of them only cursory listens. Simply put, I'm not excited by them, and it seems that due to the line-up change, I will definitely be able to justify ending the thread at that point. While I'd be thrilled to see another thread that covers their last five album's worth of stuff, I don't personally feel excited or confident about running a thread myself on that. Just for tidiness's sake, the albums and releases I'll be covering are: Radio Free Europe (three song single) Chronic Town (5 song EP) Murmur Reckoning Fables of the Reconstruction Document Green Out of Time Automatic for the People Monster New Adventures in Hi-Fi I'll also be covering any unique songs released as B-sides or bonus on in later collections or reissues, as well as "Revolution" from the Batman & Robin soundtrack and "#9 Dream", a John Lennon cover which briefly saw Bill Berry returning back to the fold. I'll also allow one day each for any live album/video that has been officially released.