Rolling Stone’s “100 Best Songs of 1982”
“All-time classics, buried treasures, cult favorites, and one-hit wonders — from Prince and Duran Duran to Kate Bush and the Go-Go’s to the Replacements and R.E.M.”
Enter the Georgia boys in R.E.M., the most influential American rock band of the past 40 years, not to mention the best. “Wolves, Lower” was their calling card to the world, kicking off their debut EP, Chronic Town. Drop the needle on the vinyl, and wonder: What the hell is going on here? Guitar jangle, but no power chords, no keyboards, no cliches. An urgent bass pulse. Michael Stipe warns, “Suspicion yourself, don’t get caught,” while Mike Mills chants, “House in order.” Every instrument tingles with excitement. Fast, too — real, real fast. “I guess every town had one band that was kinda like us,” Peter Buck said. But this was the ultimate “go make your own art, start your own band, find the other weirdos in town” statement. The mysterious swirl of “Wolves, Lower” invited listeners to take it or leave it. But people took, with an enthusiasm that must’ve shocked R.E.M. more than anyone. By the Nineties, everything halfway interesting in guitar rock came from somewhere in this song. That house was never in order again.
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