Docume nt (1987)
Their first foray into truly mainstream success, everything about Document is bigger, the energetic production urging each song forward with a bombastic, reverbed drum sound and frontman Michael Stipe’s vocals pushed clearly to the fore. This new heft is audible in the powerchords and almost bluesy rock riff (a rare thing in REM land) of The One I Love, and better still on It’s The End Of The World As We Know It..., a glorious racket of plucky Replacements riffs and Subterranean Homesick Blues- style lyrical vomit. Other highlights include Finest Worksong, a mission statement ringing with industrial harmonics, and the contrasting bounce of Exhuming Mccarthy, a spiritual precursor to 1989’s Top 10 hit, Stand.
Recommended track: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)