Saturday, April 15, 2023

R.E.M. 40th Anniversary of Murmur: Maxwell's 1983

(Image credit: Laura Levine/Corbis via Getty Images)
Earlier this week, was the 40th anniversary of Murmur, R.E.M.'s full-length debut album. It was released April 12, 1983 and it helped launch the career of one of the greatest bands to emerge from Athens, Georgia. Personally, the album was an important and "life-changing" record that really got me hooked on their sound and the whole alternative college rock scene. I actually purchased their second album, Reckoning first, right after it's release a year later and I loved it so much I returned to the record store to buy Murmur. Peter Buck's jangly guitar sound and Michael Stipes mumbled vocal delivery was so unique to me, I realized there was more to music than what was on commercial radio. In my city, there was no alternative radio station options along with no college (we call it university up here in Canada) stations, so I looked to my record store for guidance and recommendations. A whole different sound was emerging which led me to other like-minded bands, Replacements, Husker Du, Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Dream Syndicate etc... what a great time for music and this is music that has stuck with me even today. Though R.E.M. became too big and popular to my liking, their first 4 or 5 albums are essential listening and I'm happy to see/hear Buck and Mike Mills continuing to record and perform with their many collaborations with Scott McCaughey.
This is an early-ish R.E.M. show a couple weeks after the release of Murmur. They had been performing since 1980, but they really became a solid live band around the release of EP, Chronic Town in mid-1982. The live sets were divided between songs from Chronic Town, songs to appear on Murmur and Reckoning, as well as some cool covers. The show at Maxwell's in April of 1983 was their last appearance at that venue, as their growing fan base forced them to play larger venues in the future. It's nice to imagine them playing at such a small intimate bar, so this set is amazing. If you're seeking more R.E.M. live shows, I found this set at the internet archive (, a great resource for live music.
Please do NOT sell or profit from this recording!
Do NOT convert to lossy formats, except for personal use.
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Hoboken, New Jersey, USA
April 28, 1983

Original lineage: Audience Cassette Master >>> WAV SoundForge >>> Flac >>> Dime
2020 eckythump remaster: All tracks speed corrected in Audacity (+3%), normalized

Originally uploaded to Dime on 17 May 2009 by Guy_R_E. Remastered version uploaded to Dime by eckythump 5 January 2020.

01 - Moral Kiosk
02 - Catapult
03 - Sitting Still
04 - Pilgrimage
05 - Talk About The Passion
06 - Shaking Through
07 - Harborcoat
08 - Wolves, Lower
09 - Romance
10 - Pretty Persuasion
11 - Gardening At Night
12 - 9-9
13 - Windout
14 - 1,000,000 (w/ Fascists Eat Donuts snippet by Pop-O-Pies)
15 - West Of The Fields
16 - Radio Free Europe

17 - White Tornado
18 - Last Date (Floyd Cramer cover)
19 - Secret Agent Man (Johnny Rivers cover)
20 - There She Goes Again (The Velvet Underground cover)
21 - So You Want To Be A Rock'n'Roll Star (The Byrds cover)
22 - I Can't Control Myself (The Troggs cover)
23 - We Walk
24 - 7 Chinese Bros. (incomplete, fades out)

Michael Stipe - Vocals
Peter Buck - Guitar
Mike Mills - Bass, vocals
Bill Berry - Drums, vocals
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