R.E.M. - Driver 8

R.E.M. is a one of a long line of great eclectic musical artists from Athens, GA (e.g. Indigo Girls and B-52's). The group began with a chance meeting at the record store where Peter Buck worked. Michael Stipe kept buying all the records that Buck was setting aside for himself and Buck wanted to know who was this guy who seemed to share his own musical tastes. They then met Mike Mills and Bill Berry and formed a band with no real plan on what they would do. Their first gig was a birthday party and they had to come up with a name, so settled on the name R.E.M., which Stipe pulled randomly from a dictionary.

They recorded their first song, Radio Free Europe, which became an underground college hit. Buck's arpeggiated guitar playing and Stipe's mumbling unclear vocals created a unique sound. They toured extensively in the early 80's and built up a large college radio following with a string of college hit releases: Murmur, Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction showed their musical development.

Each release saw Stipe's vocals become clearer and the songs more polished and they finally 'made it' when the song, The One I Love, off their Document release, reached #2 in 1987.

Their sound has changed a lot over the years, but I always seem to gravitate back to those first 3 albums and marvel at how good their un-polished and raw sound was.

So today's Hump Day Retro-Closet track is Driver 8 off their 3rd full release, 1985's Fables of the Reconstruction.


Anonymous | September 4, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Love this song! Used to play it in highschool

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