The Case For: REM's Best Single - Articles - Soundblab

The Case For: REM's Best Single

by Dan Clay Rating: Release Date:

One of the most imaginative bands of our time have a wealth of songs at their disposal, but which showcases the band at their peak? Picking one track from each of their albums through the years, we aim to arrive at their ultimate track.

Murmur (1983) The band's debut certainly contains some great tracks but surely

with its haunting backing takes the crown in this jewel.

Reckoning (1984)

now trademark Peter Buck guitar sound beats off the competition from their strong second album.

Fables Of The Reconstruction (1985) A darker release than the previous two but containing some great tracks, the best of which has to be the melodic, harmonic ode to

Life's Rich Pageant (1986) The strongest of their IRS albums features some undiscovered gems. Michael Stipe's own favourite though from their entire discography,

beats them all.

Document (1987) Their breakthrough album brought Warner Bros knocking and with

as a calling card, it's no surprise.

Green (1988) The more acoustic, lighter first album for a major label gave them the confidence to produce several poppy moments as their next album would prove. Here

show's the band really having fun.

Out Of Time (1991) Their first major major album gave us some terrific songs, but not to include mega-hit

amongst them would be a travesty.

Automatic For The People (1992) The benchmark album for the band gave us the beautifully uplifting

which nearly everyone learnt to play when they first picked up a guitar.

Monster (1994) Although a relative disappointment for fans, the much anticipated rockier follow up album to Automatic features some terrific songs. The fuzzier, grungier re-working of Everybody Hurts makes

the best.

New Adventures In Hi-Fi (1996)

brings the mournful tones of Patti Smith's vocals to the fore and creates the band's darkest but most interesting lead single.

Up (1998) The first album after drummer Bill Berry left features some oddly creative material and in

one of Stipe's best love songs.

Reveal (2001) Lush instrumental moulded in the Pet Sounds image created REM's warmest album to date. Imitation of Life may have been the big hit but how

isn't as popular as their best-known work remains a mystery.

Around The Sun (2004) A pretty terrible album devoid of much melody chose to put it all on one track and in

created a classic REM ballad.

Accelerate (2008) The most recent album returns to the band's rockier early roots and penultimate track

at just two minutes long blends a killer chorus with enough pace to outgun Usain Bolt himself.

Top 3 Finalists

1. Perfect Circle

2. Everybody Hurts

3. Fall On Me

And the winner is….. EVERYBODY HURTS - a monumental career-definer and life-changer.

Now choose your favourite band and have a go!

Comments (11)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Wow, you're pretty prolific right now! Needless to say, I don't agree, it's 7 Chinese Brothers, Welcome to the Occupation or World Leader Pretend for me. Though I do like Fall on Me.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Is there anyone out there who DOES agree with me?!?!

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Sorry to say it, Dan, but you've managed to pick my absolute least favourite REM track there! I do, however, really appreciate what you're writing and the debate it's sparking! I've just posted a best of the 70s article and I'm now bracing myself...

Sorry to say it, Dan, but you've managed to pick my absolute least favourite REM track there! I do, however, really appreciate what you're writing and the debate it's sparking! I've just posted a best of the 70s article and I'm now bracing myself for the backlash!

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Where's Shiny Happy People? Only kidding, not a massive fan so can't comment. Keep it up though Dan and hopefully others will follow suit.

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Is it wrong that I quite like Shiny Happy People? I don't care what Stipe thinks, it's a good song. At the risk of sounding like a total idiot, it makes me smile.

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I like Shiny Happy People. It does what it says on the tin.

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It's not my favourite track (either of the other two would do) but it probably best represents what the band's developed into and in many people minds it's their defining song. "Shiny Happy People" however is probably their worst song to date,...

It's not my favourite track (either of the other two would do) but it probably best represents what the band's developed into and in many people minds it's their defining song. "Shiny Happy People" however is probably their worst song to date, and yes I do include all of "Around the Sun" in that!

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I have never really got REM at all. I only really like Green and my facve track on there is 'Orange Crush'!

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Sorry Dan, but Everybody Hurts is REM at its blandest. I agree it is their defining song, which is a pity as they have so much better stuff, particuarly early on, which pisses all over their later output. Pilgramage and Driver 8 are my favs,...

Sorry Dan, but Everybody Hurts is REM at its blandest. I agree it is their defining song, which is a pity as they have so much better stuff, particuarly early on, which pisses all over their later output. Pilgramage and Driver 8 are my favs, though do agree E-bow The Letter is a cracking song and the best of their latter period.

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I am a fan 'Its the end of the world....'

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