R.E.M. Listening Club


Ach, that sucks! Spent hours poring over the details in this special when it came out. I’ll try and post up any more choice cuts as we go along.

I’ve also got the Talk About The Passion oral history book somewhere in the house, but frustratingly can’t find it currently.


This QREM wasn’t the one where Stipe did that Q&A/ask me anything thing that Q always did?
If it is my question might be there. Totally on a whim, prob pissed at uni, I emailed in my question using my housemates email account. I asked him if he missed having hair. Totally forgot I’d asked it until I read his answer a few months later. Unfortunately it got attributed to my housemate (Phil Cheung) as I used his email!


i remember that question


Of all the fucking mundane things to ask, and then get printed…


:joy: :joy:




Oh yeah, and I never got any money for it. I’d totally forgot to give my details. Never heard anything back from my housemate about any potential email about my cash either hmm…


I miss having hair
I miss REM


I miss having a hairline


Oh wait, so if you asked a question that got picked, you got sent some cash by Q Magazine? Sounds like yer man P Cheung is a canny one!

You can at least indisputably say you once made Michael Stipe laugh I guess…


Quite possibly, I would have been on my year out when it got printed.




Ooh, i’ve got this magazine and i still read it all the time! Some great articles in it. It is well worth tracking down a copy if anybody doesn’t have it.


Still kicking myself for not buying that magazine when it came out.


Yeah, well worth picking up if you can find anywhere. Can’t see any copies on ebay though, and though amazon has a placeholder page for it, there aren’t any copies available.


Ok, happy new week everyone, which brings us to the half way point of the IRS years!

By all accounts they had a pretty miserable time recording it, and despite working with such a big name producer, the sound is famously murky.

Possibly R.E.M’s weirdest album – a loose concept album about the American South… naturally recorded in rainy London. Right from the first bars of Buck’s off kilter opening riff and dissonant harmonics you know you’re in for a strange ride…

So…time to enter the wonderful and frightening world of Fables of the Reconstruction


Murmur is surely their ‘best’ IRS album but Fables is definitely my favourite. Love the murky production, love that they made their great southern gothic record in London, love the feverishness if it all, love that the lyrics are mostly about weird old people Stipe was friends with, love how some of the songs take years to click, love the ridiculous cover art, love the ambiguity over what the name of the record actually is…


When I saw REM at Brixton in 2003, Stipe alluded to their time in London around Fables time and how he saw The Smiths at Brixton in 1985.

Always struggled with Fables, haven’t listened to it for years and years. Totally agree about the murky production, would argue that of the three opening albums this is THE most southernly gothic or gothicly southern. They are each of them influenced by the south but this is the one that makes me imagine the south.


The gulf in quality between the good (driver 8, especially) and the bad (old man kensey) is huge. So strange to think they were SO consistent on murmur and so up and down here.

  • Reconstruction of the Fables
  • Fables of the Reconstruction

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