Live Summer 2007 at Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.
In a career that spanned 31 years R.E.M. experienced an almost perfect career arc. Their first five albums (and record deal) saw them on the way up, slowly building a fanbase in both their U.S. homeland and in Europe before signing a major label deal with Warners and going global in the early 90s, scoring back to back classic albums with ‘Out Of Time’ and ‘Automatic For The People’. After two more albums and a world tour, drummer Bill Berry left the band just as they signed a new, big money deal with Warners which saw them continue as a three piece and a decline in their commercial stock thanks to a three album shift towards a mellow “sophisti-pop” (Pitchfork) sound.
By 2007 the band knew they needed a re-think and went back to their early songs, wrote a bunch of new ones and then did some dates to road test this new ‘back to basics’ set. The results were recorded and filmed and put on the shelf whilst the new material came out as an studio album (Accelerate) in 2008. Off the back off this they finally released the live set, originally in 2009 as a stop-gap prior to the release of what would be their last studio album in 2011.
This live album, available again after Warners lost the rights to their back catalogue, saw R.E.M. re-invigorated, re-living their early material, some of which hadn’t been performed for years whilst excitedly steaming through their peppy new material. We admit we went off R.E.M. a bit during the noughties but this live album reeled us right back in!