Skip to content

R.E.M., ‘Lifes Rich Pageant: 25th Anniversary Edition’ (I.R.S./Capitol)

For their fourth album, in 1986, R.E.M. hired John Mellencamp’s producer Don Gehman and crafted their cleanest, biggest-sounding production and most straightforwardly bold political statement. Leaving behind guitar arpeggios and mumbled vocals, activist rockers “These Days” and “Hyena” alternate with midtempo psych-poppers “Fall on Me” and “Flowers of Guatemala.” This two-CD edition adds 19 demos of songs for Lifes Rich Pageant as well as future albums.