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  • Murmur
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42 customer reviews

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Image of album by R.E.M.


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R.E.M. was an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, USA, in 1980 by Michael Stipe (lead vocals), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Bill Berry (drums and percussion). R.E.M. was one of the first popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's unclear vocals. R.E.M. released ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Product details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Irs
  • ASIN: B005D6AGAK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,243 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

LP Vinyl Album

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
This was REM's first attempt, and a pretty good one at that. "Radio Free Europe" is a great example of what they can do but what exactly does Micheal Stipe mean. There's something to think about. The album in general combines all the usual REM qualities, but with a different energy about them. Murmur, released over two decades ago is the best debut ever, as proven in "Sitting Still" and "Talk About the Passion". As a fan of REM I really liked this one because it is so easy to listen to. Everything about it - The guitars, vocals, lyrics and even backing vocals unite to make this a masterpiece.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul M VINE VOICE on 17 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD
REMs remarkable rise from US cult darlings to corporate rockers with a conscience effectively starts here, and this excellent remastered cd and live show hints that the building blocks for success were well and truly established from the bands early releases. Both enigmatic and accessable Murmer is a fine debut that has not lost its charm in the long passage of time since its release.

The remastering has given more depth and warmth to Peter Bucks, often subtle, guitar playing, and goes some way to highlighting the crucial role the much missed Bill Berry played in developing the rhythmic templates from which the bands music would emerge. Berry's solid, unspectacular, but focused time keeping was the heartbeat from which REM built their fine songs, and something they have sadly never replaced effectively since his departure.

Highlights on the first disc are the stunning Talk About The Passion, which reaches out from the speakers in a wall of jangly guitars, with one of Michael Stipes most mumbled vocal performances. All that has made REM such a great band over the years is caught in just over 3 minutes.
Other highlights include Radio Free Europe, and the haunting Perfect Circle, with its distinctive piano motif never sounding better.
Although Murmer was a fine debut album, better still would follow, and this release is slightly let down on the first disc by a lack of additional studio material.

The second disc of a live show from Toronto, however is excellent, and whilst it retains a bootleg quality [ albeit a very good one!], formative live versions of classics like Seven Chinese Brothers,and Gardening At Night would have made this a worthwhile release on its own.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tiernan Henry on 17 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Years and years ago Rolling Stone magazine described REM as the "only American band that mutters". It's a good line and pretty accurate too. Deliberately muddy, muddled productions coupled with Mike Stipe's largely incoherent singing could have made the first couple of albums unlistenable but they don't; both Murmur and Reckoning welcome you in with their beguiling half-grabbed tales spun with gorgeous melodies, great playing and spine-tingling and unexpected harmonies. The first time I saw them was in the SFX in Dublin in 1984 and I was awed by the size of the sound they made - didn't catch a word of Stipe's mumblings, didn't need to; his voice was just another instrument in that fabulous sound.
So, now, 25 years on, Greg Calbi has remastered Murmur and we can breathe easy. It's still as complex and wonderful, it just sounds better. There is more separation of sound and the stereo mix is more distinct but those are the minor points; the sound is as vital as ever and if nothing else it allows us a chance to revisit the album and consider whether it is worth revisiting. As with a lot of older generation CDs the earlier pressings of Murmur were horrible transfers with little care being given to even approximating the sound of the vinyl. I rarely listened to the Murmur CD I've owned for years, preferring to listen to the now well weathered LP, not because of any particular preference for vinyl but because the original CD just sounded awful. This new mix is a joy: the songs leap and bound from the speakers and they sound as great as ever. While acres of reviews have focused on Stipe's lyrics and singing and Buck's guitar playing they frequently overlook the fact that REM were a band and that the sound and the songs were the product of the four of them interacting and melding with one another.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2003
Format: Audio CD
One of the problems with "Eponymous," the 1988 album that is a collection of singles from the first five R.E.M. released on I.R.S., is that it stops a lot of people who jumped on the bandwagon when the Athens group switched to Warner and made it to the top of the music world with their hit "Losing My Religion" from going back and listening to those earlier albums. That would be a mistake, because that would mean missing out on "Murmur," the 1983 album that created R.E.M.'s distinctive sound and which, in retrospect, can be seen as an important album in the history of music as representing the move from post-punk to alternative music. "Murmur" only made it to #178 on the Billboard 200 chart (#36 for the Pop Album version), but this is clearly a case where the tree in the forest most definitely makes a sound, regardless of the number of people there to hear it. Remember that "Rolling Stone" named "Murmur" the best album of 1983, which was the year of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the Police's "Synchronicity."
R.E.M. was formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980, originally playing under the name Twisted Kite and performing garage rock covers and original folk-rock songs. "Radio Free Europe," their first single, was recorded in 1981, released on the tiny Hib Tone label, and showed that all of the pieces that would becoming familiar, the jangle pop sound and cryptic lyrics, were already in place: you cannot help singing along with the chorus even if you have no clue what the rest of Michael Stipe's lyrics are saying. The single topped the "Village Voice" poll for Best Independent Single, and landed the group the I.R.S. contract. After an EP, "Chronic Town," the full-length "Murmur" constituted the group's debut album.
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