North American syndicated Rock radio show InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands marks the 25th anniversary of Document, R.E.M.’s 1987 mainstream manifesto. The road to this pivotal point in R.E.M.Ã¢â¬Ës career had them landing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine with the rhetorical headline, “America’s best band?”. Loyal fans would certainly take notice after supporting the band through four previous albums as an alternative to the “hair bands” with pop metal in the later 1980s, and new fans would help spawn the band’s first Top 10 album and single with Document and “The One I Love”. None of this mainstream interest is lost on band members Michael Stipe and Peter Buck, the latter who explains his qualitative theory to InTheStudio host Redbeard.
“Well, you know the great thing about Rock’n’Roll is that on any given night, any band can be the best band on earth.That’s what I like about it. That’s why it’s so hard to be a rock critic, there isn’t any way to say what’s better. It’s what you like.”
Singer Michael Stipe describes how he sees R.E.M.’s commercial radio success.
“Where we never made giant steps to make ourselves a viable hit-making American band for American radio, radio came to us, to my count, probably three times in 23 years. Pop culture just swung into our little stubborn trajectory and we were in the same orbit a couple times.”
The full R.E.M. 25th Anniversary Document/ InTheStudio program is available to stream online at inthestudio.net as part of InTheStudio’s Medium Rare series. This program is in two parts and contains music and interviews. DIRECT LINKS below: