R.E.M. Albums in Order

R.E.M., a highly influential rock band, has released numerous albums in various genres throughout their career. Their discography, featuring over 15 studio albums, displays their consistent impact and growth in the music industry.

R.E.M. achieved fame for pioneering alternative rock with their jangly guitars, introspective lyrics, and distinct vocal style. Their critical acclaim and commercial success, highlighted by hit albums like “Out of Time” and “Automatic for the People,” propelled them to the forefront of the music scene.

With over 90 million units sold globally, their unique combination of alternative rock, folk, and indie sounds, coupled with thought-provoking lyrics, have gained them a devoted fan base over the decades.

R.E.M. Studio Albums Chronologically

R.E.M.’s studio albums serve as a timeline of their musical evolution, marking different phases of their successful career. Here are all of their studio albums listed in chronological order, along with their release dates:

  • Murmur (1983) – R.E.M.’s debut album, includes the tracks “Radio Free Europe,” “Talk About the Passion,” and “Murmur” which showcased the band’s melodic sensibilities and introspective songwriting.
  • Reckoning (1984) – As their follow-up album, it continued to refine their unique sound, characterized by Peter Buck’s chiming guitar work and Stipe’s evocative lyrics. 
  • Fables of the Reconstruction (1985) – The album incorporated elements of folk and Southern Gothic aesthetics, reflecting the band’s fascination with the American South.
  • Lifes Rich Pageant (1986) – The album featured politically charged tracks like “Fall on Me” and “Cuyahoga,” addressing environmental concerns and the political landscape of the era.
  • Document (1987) – Their first major-label album, it contained their breakthrough hit single, “The One I Love,” which propelled them into mainstream success.
  • Green (1988) – The album featured a more accessible and pop-oriented sound, incorporating elements of folk rock and even country music. Tracks like “Stand” and “Orange Crush” became popular hits, showcasing the band’s versatility and ability to craft catchy melodies. 
  • Out of Time (1991) – The album featured the iconic hit single “Losing My Religion” which earned them numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards.
  • Automatic for the People (1992) – Regarded as one of R.E.M.’s finest albums, it showcased a more introspective and melancholic side of the band’s songwriting. With tracks like “Everybody Hurts” and “Nightswimming,” the album delves into themes of mortality, loss, and nostalgia.
  • Monster (1994) – This album represents a departure from the introspective sound of their previous album. Songs like “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” and “Crush with Eyeliner” showcased R.E.M.’s ability to adapt their style while maintaining their distinct musical identity.
  • New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996) – This album marked R.E.M.’s final album with original drummer Bill Berry.
  • Up (1998) – This album represented a significant departure in R.E.M.’s sound. It was the first album without drummer Bill Berry and explored more experimental and electronic elements.
  • Reveal (2001) – An album that marked a return to a more melodic and accessible sound for R.E.M. Tracks like “Imitation of Life” and “All the Way to Reno (You’re Gonna Be a Star)” showcased the band’s ability to create infectious pop songs with introspective lyrics.
  • Around the Sun (2004) – This showcased a more subdued and introspective side of R.E.M.’s music, with tracks like “Leaving New York” and “Electron Blue.”
  • Accelerate (2008) – The album was characterized by its uptempo rock songs and a sense of urgency. It includes tracks like “Supernatural Superserious” and “Living Well Is the Best Revenge.”
  • Collapse into Now (2011) – This album served as R.E.M.’s final studio album before their disbandment and showcased a diverse range of musical styles and featured collaborations with notable artists such as Patti Smith and Eddie Vedder. 

R.E.M.’s EPs, Compilation, and Live Albums

Apart from their impressive studio albums, R.E.M. also boasts a diverse range of EPs, compilation albums, and live albums that complement their musical legacy. A few key releases in each category are:


  • Chronic Town (1982) – The band’s first recording and official debut EP that introduced their unique sound.
  • Live From London (2008) – This EP was an exclusive release on iTunes.

Compilation albums:

  • Dead Letter Office (1987) – A compilation of B-sides and rarities, providing a fascinating insight into the band’s creative process.
  • Eponymous (1988) – A greatest hits package, featuring tracks from R.E.M.’s early years with I.R.S. Records.
  • In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (2003) – A comprehensive collection of their hits spanning 15 years, including two new tracks.

Live albums:

  • R.E.M. Live (2007) – Capturing a high-energy performance that showcases their memorable stage presence.
  • Live at the Olympia (2009) – Recorded during their five-night residency in Dublin, featuring a mix of rare and popular tracks.
  • Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions (2014) – The band’s performances on MTV Unplugged, displaying their versatility in both acoustic and electric formats.

R.E.M.’s Impact and Influence

R.E.M. has had a profound impact and enduring influence on the music scene. Here are some key aspects of their impact:

  • Pioneers of Alternative Rock: R.E.M. played a pivotal role in popularizing and shaping the alternative rock genre. Their early albums, such as “Murmur” and “Reckoning,” introduced a unique blend of jangly guitars, introspective lyrics, and enigmatic vocals that became defining characteristics of the genre.
  • Commercial Success and Mainstream Appeal: While maintaining their artistic integrity, R.E.M. achieved significant commercial success. Albums like “Out of Time” and “Automatic for the People” produced hit singles and garnered mainstream attention, propelling the band to international stardom.
  • Songwriting and Musical Innovation: R.E.M.’s songwriting prowess and musical innovation set them apart. Their consistently compelling and evolving sound demonstrated over 15 studio albums, which showed the band’s ability to grow and change while maintaining their core identity.


R.E.M.’s musical journey is a testament to their extraordinary talent, unwavering innovation, and enduring presence. With a discography that spans 15 studio albums—alongside EPs, compilation albums, and live recordings—the band has consistently pushed the boundaries of alternative rock, creating a distinct sound that has inspired countless artists.

Through their music, R.E.M.’s legacy will continue to flourish, captivating fans and inspiring future musicians for years to come.

REM Featured Image by: Stefano, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons