Everybody Hurts REM karaoke
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R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, that was formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist/backing vocalist Mike Mills, and lead vocalist Michael Stipe. One of the first alternative rock bands, R.E.M. was noted for Buck’s ringing, arpeggiated guitar style, Stipe’s distinctive vocal quality and obscure lyrics, Mills’ melodic basslines and backing vocals and Berry’s tight but economical style of drumming. R.E.M. released its first single—”Radio Free Europe”—in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band’s first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the group released its critically acclaimed debut album, Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following years of underground success, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit in 1987 with the single “The One I Love”. The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.
By the early 1990s, when alternative rock began to experience broad mainstream success, R.E.M. was viewed by subsequent acts such as Nirvana and Pavement as a pioneer of the genre. The band then released its two most commercially successful albums, Out of Time (1991) and Automatic for the People (1992), which veered from the band’s established sound and catapulted it to international fame. R.E.M.’s 1994 release, Monster, was a return to a more rock-oriented sound, but still continued its run of success. The band began its first tour in six years to support the album; the tour was marred by medical emergencies suffered by three of the band members.
In 1996, R.E.M. re-signed with Warner Bros. for a reported US$80 million, at the time the most expensive recording contract in history. Its 1996 release, New Adventures in Hi-Fi, though critically acclaimed, fared worse commercially than its predecessors. The following year, Bill Berry left the band, while Stipe, Buck, and Mills continued the group as a trio. Through some changes in musical style, the band continued its career into the next decade with mixed critical and commercial success, despite having sold more than 85 million records worldwide and becoming one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time. In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in their first year of eligibility. R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011, announcing the split on its website. Everybody Hurts REM karaoke
In January 1980, Michael Stipe met Peter Buck in Wuxtry Records, the Athens record store where Buck worked. The pair discovered that they shared similar tastes in music, particularly in punk rock and protopunk artists like Patti Smith, Television, and The Velvet Underground. Stipe said, “It turns out that I was buying all the records that [Buck] was saving for himself.” Stipe and Buck soon met fellow University of Georgia students Mike Mills and Bill Berry, who had played music together since high school and lived together in Georgia. The quartet agreed to collaborate on several songs; Stipe later commented that “there was never any grand plan behind any of it”. Their still-unnamed band spent a few months rehearsing and played its first show on April 5, 1980, at a friend’s birthday party held in a converted Episcopal church in Athens. After considering names like “Twisted Kites”, “Cans of Piss”, and “Negro Wives”, the band settled on “R.E.M.” (which stands for the stage of sleep called rapid eye movement), which Stipe selected at random from a dictionary.
Mitch Easter sitting at a mixing board next to Michael Quercio and Scott Miller
Record producer Mitch Easter (far left) was important in defining the band’s sound, producing all of their material until 1984 Everybody Hurts REM karaoke
The band members eventually dropped out of school to focus on their developing group.They found a manager in Jefferson Holt, a record store clerk who was so impressed by an R.E.M. performance in his hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, that he moved to Athens. R.E.M.’s success was almost immediate in Athens and surrounding areas; the band drew progressively larger crowds for shows, which caused some resentment in the Athens music scene. Over the next year and a half, R.E.M. toured throughout the Southern United States. Touring was arduous because a touring circuit for alternative rock bands did not then exist. The group toured in an old blue van driven by Holt, and lived on a food allowance of $2 each per day.Everybody Hurts REM karaoke
During the summer of 1981, R.E.M. recorded its first single, “Radio Free Europe”, at producer Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The single was released on the local independent record label Hib-Tone with an initial pressing of one thousand copies, which quickly sold out. Despite its limited pressing, the single garnered critical acclaim, and was listed as one of the ten best singles of the year by The New York Times.
Originally released as the band’s debut single on Hib-Tone in 1981, “Radio Free Europe” was re-recorded for R.E.M.’s debut album Murmur in 1983. Stipe’s singing helped establish interest in his lyrics as enigmatic and obscure. Everybody Hurts R.E.M karaoke
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R.E.M. recorded the Chronic Town EP with Mitch Easter in October 1981, and planned to release it on a new indie label named Dasht Hopes. However, I.R.S. Records acquired a demo of the band’s first recording session with Easter that had been circulating for months. The band turned down the advances of major label RCA Records in favor of I.R.S., with whom it signed a contract in May 1982. I.R.S. released Chronic Town that August as its first American release. A positive review of the EP by NME praised the songs’ auras of mystery, and concluded, “R.E.M. ring true, and it’s great to hear something as unforced and cunning as this.” Everybody Hurts R.E.M karaoke
I.R.S. first paired R.E.M. with producer Stephen Hague to record its debut album. Hague’s emphasis on technical perfection left the band unsatisfied, and the band members asked the label to let them record with Easter.I.R.S. agreed to a “tryout” session, allowing the band to return to North Carolina and record the song “Pilgrimage” with Easter and producing partner Don Dixon. After hearing the track, I.R.S. permitted the group to record the album with Dixon and Easter. Because of its bad experience with Hague, the band recorded the album via a process of negation, refusing to incorporate rock music clichés such as guitar solos or then-popular synthesizers, in order to give its music a timeless feel. The completed album, Murmur, was greeted with critical acclaim upon its release in 1983, with Rolling Stone listing the album as its record of the year. The album reached number 36 on the Billboard album chart. A re-recorded version of “Radio Free Europe” was the album’s lead single and reached number 78 on the Billboard singles chart in 1983.Despite the acclaim awarded the album, Murmur sold only about 200,000 copies, which I.R.S.’s Jay Boberg felt was below expectations. Everybody Hurts R.E.M karaoke
R.E.M. made its first national television appearance on Late Night with David Letterman in October 1983, during which the group performed a new, unnamed song.The piece, eventually titled “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)”, became the first single from the band’s second album, Reckoning (1984), which was also recorded with Easter and Dixon. The album met with critical acclaim; NME’s Mat Snow wrote that Reckoning “confirms R.E.M. as one of the most beautifully exciting groups on the planet”. While Reckoning peaked at number 27 on the US album charts—an unusually high chart placing for a college rock band at the time—scant airplay and poor distribution overseas resulted in it charting no higher than number 91 in Britain. Everybody Hurts REM karaoke
A black-and-white photograph of Michael Stipe and Peter Buck performing on stage with spotlights on them. Stipe is to the left singing into a microphone, wearing a three-piece suit, he has bleach-blond hair and is obscuring Mike Mills, whose bass guitar is visible from behind him. Peter Buck is playing guitar and wearing a button-up pattern shirt behind Stipe to the photograph’s right with a sneer on his face.
Michael Stipe (left) and Peter Buck (right) on stage in Ghent, Belgium, during R.E.M.’s 1985 tour.
The band’s third album, Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), demonstrated a change in direction. Instead of Dixon and Easter, R.E.M. chose producer Joe Boyd, who had worked with Fairport Convention and Nick Drake, to record the album in England. The band members found the sessions unexpectedly difficult, and were miserable due to the cold winter weather and what they considered to be poor food; the situation brought the band to the verge of break-up. The gloominess surrounding the sessions ended up providing the context for the album itself. Lyrically, Stipe began to create storylines in the mode of Southern mythology, noting in a 1985 interview that he was inspired by “the whole idea of the old men sitting around the fire, passing on … legends and fables to the grandchildren”.
They toured in Canada in July and August 1985, and throughout Europe in October of that year, including in The Netherlands, England (one concert was held at the famous Hammersmith Palais in London), Ireland, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Belgium and West Germany. On October 2, 1985, the group played a concert in Bochum, West Germany, for the German TV show Rockpalast. Stipe had bleached his hair blond during this time. Fables of the Reconstruction performed poorly in Europe and its critical reception was mixed, with some critics regarding it as dreary and poorly recorded. As with the previous records, the singles from Fables of the Reconstruction were mostly ignored by mainstream radio. Meanwhile, I.R.S. was becoming frustrated with the band’s reluctance to achieve mainstream success. Everybody Hurts REM karaoke
For its fourth album, R.E.M. enlisted John Mellencamp producer Don Gehman. The result, Lifes Rich Pageant (1986) featured Stipe’s vocals closer to the forefront of the music. In a 1986 interview with the Chicago Tribune, Peter Buck related, “Michael is getting better at what he’s doing, and he’s getting more confident at it. And I think that shows up in the projection of his voice.” The album improved markedly upon the sales of Fables of the Reconstruction and eventually peaked at number 21 on the Billboard album chart. The single “Fall on Me” also picked up support on commercial radio. The album was the band’s first to be certified gold for selling 500,000 copies.While American college radio remained R.E.M.’s core support, the band was beginning to chart hits on mainstream rock formats; however, the music still encountered resistance from Top 40 radio.
Following the success of Lifes Rich Pageant, I.R.S. issued Dead Letter Office, a compilation of tracks recorded by the band during their album sessions, many of which had either been issued as B-sides or left unreleased altogether. Shortly thereafter, I.R.S. compiled R.E.M.’s music video catalog (except “Wolves, Lower”) as the band’s first video release,