Thursday, March 29, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-R.E.M.

Song:Losing My Religion
Album:In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003

R.E.M. started out in the 80s as a new wave band with a cult following but graduated to more mainstream success in the 90s. This coincided with a switch from IRS Records to Warner Bros. I don't think their music changed. Losing My Religion was their highest charting single in 1991. R.E.M. is from Athens, GA and started in 1980 when lead singer Michael Stipe met guitarist Peter Buck at an Athens record store where Buck worked. They met bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry and formed a band. Mills and Berry were friends in high school. The group name R.E.M. came out of a dictionary. The group started getting a buzz locally and their debut single Radio Free Europe generated record company interest. They signed with IRS Records. IRS was a leading alternative music label owned by Miles Copeland, brother of Stewart Copeland of The Police. They had success in their early days especially with their 1987 album Document and their first top 20 single The One I Love. But the band were unhappy with IRS' lack of promotion and signed with Warner Bros. when their contract ended. The result was they had their first top ten hit with Stand in 1989. But they did even better when Losing My Religion reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991. The album Out Of Time was the first to top the Billboard Hot 200 and sold over four million copies. R.E.M. became one of the most popular bands of the 90s and their success continued through most of the decade. In 1996, they re-signed with Warners for what was reported to be the most lucrative record contract in history. Bell Berry left in 1997 and the band continued as a trio. At first, they didn't seem to know what to do. But they got it together and continued to be successful in the new millennium. This 2003 comp is currently only available in Japan. But with R.E.M. splitting up in 2011, I would expect Warners to issue a new comp and probably a box set. Here's the video for Losing My Religion by R.E.M.

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