The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


back to profile

R.E.M.

1956

Peter Buck, guitarist with R.E.M., is born in Berkeley, California.

1958

Bill Berry, drummer with R.E.M., is born in Duluth, Minnesota.

1958

Mike Mills, bassist for R.E.M., is born in Orange County, California.

1960

Michael Stipe, vocalist for R.E.M., is born in Decatur, Georgia.

1980

Debuting as the “Twisted Kites,” R.E.M. plays its first show in its Athens, Georgia, hometown. They perform at a party in a converted church that serves as the group’s rehearsal space.

1981

releases its first single, “Radio Free Europe” b/w “Standing Still,” on the local Hib-Tone label. One thousand copies are pressed.

1982

R.E.M. signs to I.R.S. Records, which will release a five-song mini-album entitled Chronic Town.

1983

R.E.M.’s first album, Murmur, is issued to critical acclaim and respectable sales, reaching #36.

1984

Reckoning, R.E.M.’s second album, debuts on the chart, where it will stay for a year. Featuring a painting by Georgia folk artist Howard Finster on its cover, it contains “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)” (#85), R.E.M’s first charting single.

1984

R.E.M. conclude their Little America tour - which took them around the U.S. and Canada, as well as England and Japan - in Atlanta.

1985

Fables of the Reconstruction, R.E.M.’s third album, enters Billboard‘s album chart, where it will peak at #28.

1986

Lifes Rich Pageant, the fourth album by R.E.M., makes its chart debut. It will peak at #21 and yield the near-hit “Fall On Me” (#94).

1987

Lifes Rich Pageant is certified by the RIAA as R.E.M.’s first gold album (500,000 copies sold).

1987

R.E.M.’s first Top Forty hit, “The One I Love,” peaks at #9. Document, the album from which it was drawn, will reach #10, their highest-charting album to date.

1988

Document, by R.E.M., receives certification from the RIAA as the New Wave pioneers’ first platinum album (1 million sold).

1988

R.E.M. issues Green, their sixth album (and first for Warner Bros.), on Election Day. Highlights include such rousing tracks as “Pop Song 89” (#86), “Stand” (#6) and “Orange Crush.”

1989

R.E.M. concludes its nearly year-long Green World Tour.

1991

Out of Time, R.E.M.’s seventh album, is released. It will be the group’s first #1 album and spawn two Top Ten hits, “Losing My Religion” (#4) and “Shiny Happy People” (#10).

1992

Out of Time receives its fourth platinum certification by the RIAA, signifying sales of 4 million. The albums that follow - Automatic for the People and Monster - will reach the quadruple platinum sales plateau as well.

1992

R.E.M. scale another artistic pinnacle with the release of Automatic for the People, their eighth album. Three singles crack the Top Forty: “Drive” (#28), “Man on the Moon” (#30) and “Everybody Hurts” (#29).

1994

Monster, a noisy about-face from R.E.M.’s preceding two albums, is released.

1995

R.E.M. kicks off its first tour in over five years in Australia. The tour will end in November with three sold-out dates in Atlanta.

1995

Bill Berry leaves the stage during the middle of a show in Lausanne, Switzerland, complaining of a migraine. Two days later he will undergo a craniotomy for a brain aneurysm, and the tour will be canceled for ten weeks.

1996

New Adventures in Hi-Fi, R.E.M.’s tenth studio album, is released. Much of it was recorded at soundchecks during the Monster tour.

1997

Drummer Bill Berry announces his decision to leave R.E.M., which decides to continue without him. Berry retreats to his spread in rural Georgia, where he turns to farming.

1998

R.E.M. releases Up, their most experimental album and first without departed drummer Bill Berry.

1999

Man on the Moon, a film about the late comedian Andy Kaufman, opens in theaters. Its title is taken from a song about Kaufman by R.E.M., which provides the bulk of the soundtrack.

2001

Reveal is unveiled, becoming R.E.M.’s first album of the new millennium and twelfth overall. Key tracks: “Imitation of Life,” “All the Way to Reno.”

2004

R.E.M. releases Around the Sun, their 13th studio album, which contains the haunting, post-9/11 track “Leaving New York.”

2005

R.E.M.’s entire Warner Bros. catalog - eight discrete albums and one best-of - are reissued as double-disc CD/DVD-A combos with new surround mixes, documentary video and other bonus material.

2006

A retrospective of R.E.M.’s early work, And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years, 1982-1987, is released by I.R.S./Capitol.

2007

R.E.M. is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 22nd annual induction dinner. Eddie Vedder is their presenter.