R.E.M. Listening Club


I think ‘Reveal’ might be my least favourite REM album (yes, even worse than ‘Around The Sun’). I quite liked it at the time, but now i just find it incredibly boring. ‘Imitation of Life’ sound good on the radio at the time and i really like ‘I’ve Been High’, but apart from that there isn’t much to recommend. Songs like ‘She Just Wants to Be’ are just really dull. Something about the production on it just makes everything sound overly rich and samey. Their first total stinker i’m afraid.


I’ve only ever listened to this one in full once, on a plane, and was asleep by the end. Let’s see how it goes this week!


Not listened to Reveal for a while - I’ll have a listen to this over the weekend. I remember quite enjoying it. The Lifting, All the Way to Reno, Imitation of Life, Chorus and the Ring are all great.

I always characterised it in my mind as a more ‘widescreen-technicolour’ version of ‘Up’ so am intrigued to see if that’s still the case.


Yeah, I’d put it outside the top 5, but ahead of those albums too - no slight on Up, but it has some tough competition for those top spots. Trying to resist too much mental ordering until after the last album.

Re. Hope, I think they gave Cohen a writing credit didn’t they?


Ok Reveal - tin hat on, I’m going in… :grimacing:


All the Way to Reno is crap and isn’t called out enough for being crap.


All the Way to Reno is my R.E.M guilty pleasure


Got Reveal on release as a then fan, but it put me off to the extent I’ve not listened to anything they’ve released since. This is the first time listening to Reveal in a long time. It’s still really shit.

I am looking forward to hearing the subsequent albums though when we get there.


They were really struggling for singles from this album after ‘Imitation of Life’ if ‘…Reno’ was deemed to be a potential hit.


I think Consequence of Sound nail it in their ‘Ranking R.E.M’ feature when they say that most of these songs would be a nice change of pace on their own but a whole album of them is a bit much.

I don’t really hate this record at all, but it really is very MOR and borderline sappy at times. R.E.M.'s peak years were a bit before my time so songs from this era like Imitation of Life and Great Beyond were my first exposure to them. It took me a long time to reset my perception of them as a bland Dad-rock band as a result.


Yeah, this seems accurate. Still really like the album but christ, it plods at times.


My guiltiest R.E.M pleasures are all on the next record.

I’ll Take The Rain is the only single of any merit on this album for me, and it’s so late in the record that by that point, I’m struggling to care.

Nice video made to go with it though:


I hadn’t read that before, but there aren’t any rankings that are miles out from my perspective there. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks Fables is the weakest IRS record.


Listened to this the whole through for the first time in years at work this morning. Completely unremarkable album, though perhaps not R.E.M’s worst. Imitation of Life is a gorgeous indie pop hit that my twelve-year old self foolishly hated at the time due to it’s ubiquity. Now I’d say it’s possibly their best post-2000 song (maybe The Great Beyond instead). As mentioned before, I have a soft spot for Reno due to where and when I first heard it as part of the Warner Years greatest hits. I’ll take the Rain is also nice enough.

Everything else falls into either the dull or pleasant-yet-forgettable categories. The Lifting promises a lot but kind of meanders into nowhere, and apart from the aforementioned singles it’s one of the stronger songs for having any sense of promise to start with.

Dreading Around the Sun. Only “listened” to it in its entirety once in my life and didn’t really have any intentions to do so again before the listening club


‘Imitation Of Life’ was the first CD single I ever bought and Reveal was the first album I ever bought but I haven’t listened to it in full for about ten years and I doubt I’ll be doing it any time soon.

I still love ‘Imitation Of Life’ (Which is, for me, the last classic R.E.M. song) but looking at the tracklist now, I’d hesitate to say I enjoy any of the other songs in their studio versions. I don’t even know what ‘Beachball’ sounds like and I must have heard it a hundred times!

I got into R.E.M. by watching the MTV broadcast of their concert in Köln and going from there. I will say that ‘She Just Wants To Be’ worked very well in that context. The version of ‘The Lifting’ from the ‘Imitation Of Life’ single is worth a listen as well.

It’s odd that this is the first album of theirs that I listened to but that I absolutely checked out of listening to any new album after this, probably because Around The Sun was so awful. Realistically, Reveal is the start of that slide. I will listen to the rest of them as the project goes on though!


I remember this getting a 5-star review in Q magazine at the time. Classic Q behaviour…“best album in years”, “a return to form” etc.


Yeah, I vaguely remember this and was thinking earliee today about how overly positive the reviews were. Didn’t it even make some of those Greatest album of all time lists?


Around the same time they gave that second Semisonic album the full ***** treatment too, iirc :’)


Ha! ‘Chemistry’…i have no idea why i remember what that was called.


I like that list but Lifes Rich Pageant at 8 is criminal