With R.E.M. calling it quits, I’ve decided to compile my Top 10 favorite songs by Stipe & Company. Having grown up listening to this band, believe me when I tell you that picking just 10 is a tough thing to do but here they are and truthfully…there is no particular order. I love them all equally…
10. “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” from the album “Accelerate”
Not one of the best R.E.M. albums but this track was a welcome return to form after getting sleepy in the post-Berry timeline.
9. “Begin The Begin” from the album “Life’s Rich Pageant”
I found this song in my college days and played it out. Still one of my favorite songs by any band and always included in my workout mixes.
8. “Try Not To Breathe” from the album “Automatic For The People”
Oh sure, there are definitely more popular songs on the album, but THIS track was the diamond in the rough. Love the lyrics and it’s one of slower tempo songs by them that I honestly love.
7. “It Happened Today” from the album “Collapse Into Now”
This song showcases Stipe’s ability to convey emotion without even singing lyrics. At the end of the song he simply sings at the top of his lungs a chorus that rises to the heavens and it is beautiful. Wish I could have seen this one live…
6. “Fireplace” from the album “Document”
Making use of the saxophone for the first time, this has always been a favorite of mine.
5. “Life And How To Live It” from the album “Fables Of The Reconstruction”
Classic R.E.M. sound and once again Stipe’s soaring vocals and the tempo by Berry’s drums make this a classic!
4. “Me In Honey” from the album “Out Of Time”
The B-52’s Kate Pierson provides backing vocals as Michael Stipe sings about love gone south. It’s a great combination! And I wore this one out my senior year at Ohio University…
3. “The Wake-Up Bomb” from the album “New Adventures In Hi-Fi”
I distinctly remember hearing this one live before the album was released and thinking…”That is AWESOME!” And it is.
2. “Windout” from the album “Dead Letter Office”
Believe it or not, this song is from the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks movie, Bachelor Party. It’s featured in one of the scenes during the big party romp at the end of the movie. It’s mindless fun and one of the few songs by R.E.M. that is just that…mindless.
1. “The One I Love” from the album “Document”
Great song and the first I ever remember hearing by the band. It was their first song to chart on the Billboard 100 and will always be the one that most defines them to most people (well…it’s either this one or “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”