Review: R.E.M. – Chronic Town

Coming up in the early part of next week is the 40th anniversary of the debut EP from R.E.M. called Chronic Town. The band is celebrating this momentous occasion/birthday with a re-issued CD, cassette, and vinyl picture disc that is releasing today. Featuring pop gems like The Smiths-esque “Gardening At Night,” to The Cure-sounding “Stumble,” and “1,000,000,” the five-track EP solidified R.E.M. as a name to watch in the early part of the 80’s. As lead vocalist Michael Stipe puts it on the detailed liner notes in the package, “We started like a lowly caterpillar, a pupa stage, then a chrysalis, into something resembling a pop band.” It’s a fairly accurate depiction of the sound that comes shining through the speakers on this endearing debut EP. You can definitely hear traces of where the band would take their sound on their debut LP Murmur that began to make R.E.M. a recognizable name.

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