Top 10: R.E.M.

Today we talk about R.E.M. band that, unfortunately, has left the scene permanently.

Let's go with my personal top 10, without further introductions.

10) Losing my religion (from Out of time)
Ok, it's the band's most popular song so I'm almost forced to include it. I'm not crazy about Losing My Religion, but musically it's very interesting, thanks to the inclusion of the mandolin, but above all, it represented the turning point in the band's career, which became very rich after the global success of the song. The lyrics, like the majority of R.E.M. lyrics, are extremely enigmatic. Or I didn't understand it.

9) Accelerate (from Accelerate)
Accelerate is the title track of one of the most underrated albums of all time, in my opinion. An energetic, short album, with fantastic production and full of life (!?). The title track is one of the best pieces of the lot. If you don't know it, give it a chance.

8) Pop song '89 (from Green)
As a kid, I had an R.E.M. bootleg on a ramshackle cassette with titles written by my sister (I don't know how relevant is this detail). I remember that the concert, with a questionable sound, started off great with Pop Song 89, which is a practically perfect opener. Here below is a live version of the song.

7) Find the river (from Automatic for the people)
Many of the band's ballads are, to my ears, too bizarre or have strange atmospheres, but this one struck me from the first listen for its simplicity and its melody. It struck me, above all, because it was one of the very first songs I learned to play on the guitar, very easy if you are not very skilled.

6) Bad day (from In time - the best of)
This song, resurrected for the best of, is nothing more than a "scrap" of the more famous "It's the End of the World as we know it", but in my opinion, it is even better. I don't know why, maybe I don't like the productions of the albums from the first part of my career (let's say until Green) or maybe because the words of Bad Day were placed better. The video clip is also very nice, check it out.

5) Everybody hurts (from automatic for the people)
Melancholy. If you are sad, don't listen to this one, it could be fatal! After Losing my religion it is probably the most famous, so I don't think it needs too many introductions. Micheal Stipe's vocal performance is so intense that it deserves "92 minutes of applause". I'd also like to point out a nice cover by The Corrs.

4) Orange crush (from Green)
I adore Mike Mills, his bass lines are never banal and I often like his vocals accompanying Stipe more than the main ones. Here's the official music video. It was a lucky album and a good period for the band.

3) Living well is the best revenge (from Accelerate)
See above and position 9. This piece has an enviable energy, one of the best bass lines ever heard by yours truly and an, in my opinion, absolutely wonderful title. Living well is the best revenge... I totally embrace this philosophy.

2) Begin the begins (from Life's Rich pageant)
I admit that I approached this song because I found the feat. Eddie Vedder (taken out from a vote for change tour, if I remember correctly) but honestly, the song works well regardless of him. I really like it, despite the sparse production, of the Life's Rich Pageant album. Great song.

1) Man on the moon (from Automatic for the people)
Class. The song is "dedicated" to the comedian Andy Kaufman and which will be borrowed to give the title to the beautiful film with Jim Carrey, Man on the Moon (precisely). I started to appreciate this song quite late, but it's one that I always liked and that I listen to again with pleasure, every single time. Beautiful atmosphere, great lyrics and great bass lines, as always. Enjoy! Ah, side note: go ahead and watch the film too, it's worth it!

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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