Editors’ Notes After the moody and mysterious Fables of the Reconstruction, R.E.M. teamed up with producer Don Gehman to make the hardest- rocking album of their career to date. Michael Stipe’s vocals were pushed to the front of the mix and Peter Buck’s jangle was punched up to a guitar roar on songs such as “Begin the Begin” and “These Days” and given an extra snarl for “Cuyahoga,” “Hyena” and “I Believe.” The single, “Fall On Me,” showcased a haunting, dizzying melody, while “Swan Swan H” played like a forlorn British folk song from centuries past. The album solidified the band’s college-radio base and set them in motion to become one of the ‘80s biggest groups.

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