R.E.M's Accelerated Comeback

Singer Michael, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills came together in Athens, Ga., in 1980 to form the group R.E.M. This year, the band released Accelerate, its 14th album.

This interview was originally broadcast on April 9, 2008.

With 'Accelerate,' R.E.M. Hits Top Speed Again

R.E.M. in concert i

R.E.M. has been playing around the world to promote their 14th album, Accelerate. Joerg Koch/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joerg Koch/AFP/Getty Images
R.E.M. in concert

R.E.M. has been playing around the world to promote their 14th album, Accelerate.

Joerg Koch/AFP/Getty Images

Download a track from the R.E.M. SXSW concert, in the All Songs Considered concerts podcast.

The band R.E.M. recently released Accelerate, its first album in four years. Critics have been describing the disc as a "comeback," saying it's the band's best album in ages and that the group is playing with "the urgency and insurgency they did in their early years."

Among the album's tracks: "Houston," which details the narrator's crisis of faith after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the government's unfocused response, and "Living Well Is the Best Revenge," which R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe has described as a reaction to modern media culture.

R.E.M. came together in Athens, Ga., in 1980, releasing its first single, "Radio Free Europe," the following year. It was initially an underground sensation, but within a decade its albums were entering the pop charts at No. 1; 1991's Out of Time, anchored by the smash-hit single "Losing My Religion," sold more than 4 million copies. Accelerate is the band's 14th album.

Stipe and bandmates Peter Buck and Mike Mills join Terry Gross to talk about the new album and the band's 28-year history.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.