Really enjoyed this documentary on VH1 classic a couple of days ago. Insightful footage of the lads from their Athens' days playing for keg parties and whoever would listen. They came across as being sincerely surprised about their commercial success while all in all creating a great body of work. I remember seeing them open up for the "Swimming Pool Q's at 688 in Atlanta in the early 80's. I thought they were great and giggled at Michael Stipe because he danced like he was having an epileptic fit on stage.
I agree with your comments and assessment. I saw the same program; I thought it well produced and insightful. I hadn't considered Murmur before - I ordered the LP immediately. The fact that they started on college radio says volumes. Great band that captured a period in our history.
Thanks for the heads up! I hadn't heard that this was on VH1. I'm a big REM fan and have most of what they have done.

I bought the REM MTV Unplugged LP box set during RSD and it is very good also.

I'll have to make sure I watch the special.
We're big R.E.M. fans here and were very sad to see them break up. We saw them about six times and they were perfect each time. My favorite video is "Perfect Square-Live" in Weisbaden.

I knew most of their history but enjoyed hearing them retell it on the MTV special. I was struck by how humble these guys are. Some of their work is amazing, but even their worst is better than many of the groups I see today. They deserve to be in the R&R Hall of Fame. We only wish we could see them live one more time. They are in my top ten of all the groups we admire.
And many don't know that many of their albums are available in very good quality multichannel sound - bravo!

I enjoyed it too but how can you say they were surprised when Michael said "Radio doesn't deserve me" in his early days, later in his career he drops that attitude and admits "its just pop music.
For those that were not there...REM were the Beatles of college radio long before MTV, grunge, alt, indie, etc...their first two Lps were magical...after that they had brief moments of brilliance but nothing that rivaled their early work. They also got rave reviews from RS and NY Times which catapulted them to stardom.
Not really...qualified with "college radio"...these guys were indie before indie existed...reference...a decade before Nirvana
Phasecorrect, you have to admit "Life's Rich Pageant" is a close #3. Then the brief moments of brilliance began.
Life's rich pageant does have a special place...came out in 86 I first year of college...U2; Cure, and Rem all came out of this collegiate era and were able to go mainstream with the help of mtv and FM radio...back in the late 80s ...if you hit usually went nuclear (multi-platinum).