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4.9 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 30 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001I0A
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,615 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Radio Free Europe
2. Pilgrimage
3. Laughing
4. Talk About The Passion
5. Moral Kiosk
6. Perfect Circle
7. Catapult
8. Sitting Still
9. 9-9
10. Shaking Through
11. We Walk
12. West Of The Fields

Product Description

Product Description

An '80s classic, a college-rock landmark the legendary 1983 full-length debut by R.E.M.! Stipe, Buck and the boys created a whole new sound with these remarkable songs: Radio Free Europe; Catapult; Talk About the Passion , and more.


Though critics swamped R.E.M.'s 1983 full-length debut with country-rock comparisons to the Byrds, Murmur sounds like no one else. The title is an apt description of Michael Stipe's singing style, although his smooth pop vocal mannerisms sweeten the enigmatic poetry. Like all great bands, R.E.M.'s individual parts (Peter Buck's ringing guitar, drummer Bill Berry's persistent thumping, and Mike Mills's unifying bass) are as interesting as the collective sound. The album-opening "Radio Free Europe" and "Talk About the Passion" endure as its radio singles, but the rest of the songs hang together well taken as a whole. --Steve Knopper

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The bonus CD with the live stuff from Toronto 1983 is great.
A great debut by a classic band.
It's hard to believe how far they've come, they climbed the ladder of creativity and popularity and this album was the worlds introduction to a quirky and inventive quartet.
They got more sophisticated with Automatic for the People but I love this album for the simplicity and integrity. I use album because it plays like an album.
The next 6 or 7 albums were just as good, but this one is the truest REM effort I ever heard.
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Format: Audio CD
Oh yeah, you better believe it! This album is proof of how great R.E.M. really are. They weren't afraid to try something different from the very beginning... this cd is anything but ordinary!
One of my favourite things about this great cd is that the songs work well together, and blend in well to make it an atmospheric experience... you won't be skipping any tracks on this one! Where as on albums like Green, you play it to hear the hits, but everything else isn't as good.
Except for Radio Free Europe, the bands first single, there's not any song that stands out over the other, and that's the way I like it. All the tracks are different, but provide you with the same basic atmosphere and listening pleasure. We Walk is very different to West Of The Fields, but they work together so well!
The gem of the album has to be Perfect Circle, a truely beautiful song. Pilgramage is fantastic and fun, as is Moral Kiosk and Catapult. You really can't go wrong with this cd, it's full of underrated R.E.M. classics.
It's effectively a toss up between this and Automatic for R.E.M.s best (though I heard Lifes Rich Pageant is the best, I just have to wait till I get my grubby mits on it!) But this cd is definatly worth your time. Listen to the cd that created Alternative Rock and started the legend that is R.E.M.!!
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Format: Audio CD
Leaving behind the garagey jangle-pop of their first recordings,
R.E.M. developed a strangely subdued variation of its
trademark sound for its full-length debut album, Murmur.
Heightening the enigmatic tendencies of Chronic Town by
de-emphasizing the backbeat and accentuating the ambience of
the ringing guitar, R.E.M. created a distinctive sound for the
album -- one that sounds eerily timeless. Even though it is firmly
in the tradition of American folk-rock, post-punk and
garage-rock, Murmur sounds as if it appeared out of nowhere,
without any ties to the past, present or future. Part of the
distinctiveness lies in the atmospheric production, which exudes
a detached sense of mystery, but it also comes from the remarkably accomplished songwriting. The
songs on Murmur sound as if they've existed forever, yet they subvert folk and pop conventions by
taking unpredictable twists and turns into melodic, evocative territory, whether it's the measured riffs
of "Pilgrimage," the melancholic "Talk About the Passion" or the winding guitars and pianos of
"Perfect Circle." TRULY R.E.M's best album and surley one of the top 5 albums of the 80's.
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Format: Audio CD
No, I don't mean R.E.M.'s breakout album that came out 8 years later. I mean that "Murmur" has a sound that really was out of its time compared to other 80s music.
It's a bold, I-don't-care album with some terrific, catchy tunes. "Radio Free Europe" and "Talk About the Passion" are classics that definitely stand the test of time -- unlike much of the songs from the time "Murmur" debuted.
The rest of the album is very solid, especially for a debut album. Not a clunker in the bunch. This is testimony to R.E.M.'s brilliance from the get-go and their adaptability. Just think of how many other bands from 1983 that were merely one-hit wonders!
However, I think this is an album that those new to R.E.M. should hold off on getting until they've had a chance to get familiar with the band through albums like "Automatic for the People" and "Out of Time", which I think have sound that is little easier to connect with. Then, venture deeper into the band's history and pick up "Murmur" to get a sense of the band's original sound and how it evolved over time. (For those R.E.M. junkies that don't have "Murmur" in their collections, what are you waiting for? If you don't have it, you have a gaping hole in your R.E.M. collection!)
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Format: Audio CD
Murmur is the first LP that R.E.M. put out. They had put out a shorter 5 song EP called Chronic Town about 1 year earlier. You can listen to that on Dead Letter Office, and you'll find the songs are quite different from those on Murmur. Murmur has a quiet simplicity to it that puts it apart from later R.E.M. recordings. You don't have extra musicians in there to muddle the mix. You've got Bill, Mike, Peter, and Michael in there, however limited their skills may have been musically, they made up for it. Listen to Perfect Circle and imagine being outside during the summer watching kids play ball as the sun goes down. Peter has said that Perfect Circle is about this feeling. Michael has said it's about a relationship gone wrong. The beauty of R.E.M. is that the song could be either. They were also innovative back then. If you listen to "We Walk" in the background you can hear Bill Berry playing pool. It's neat. After you listen to "We Walk" you'll never go up the stairs the same way again. Pick up this CD for your collection. As Michael would say "A Must!"
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