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In Time The Best Of R.E.M

R.E.M. began their Warner contract in 1988 as the biggest band to emerge from the college-radio-fueled American underground. Fifteen years later, they released In Time The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003, the first overview of their long stint at Warner Records. During that decade and a half, R.E.M. had a turbulent journey. At the outset, their legend and influence as one of the key -- if not the key -- bands of the American underground was firmly in place, but their success kept growing, culminating in a breakthrough to international stardom in 1991 thanks to "Losing My Religion" and Out of Time. For a few years there, they were one of the biggest bands in the world, standing as role models and godfathers for the alt-rock explosion of the '90s even as grunge ruled the U.S. and U.K., R.E.M. were having their biggest hits with the brooding Automatic for the People (1992) and the guitar-heavy return-to-rock Monster (1994). Then, midway through the decade, the road got a little bumpy. The Monster tour was plagued with problems, the most noteworthy being drummer Bill Berry's on-stage aneurysm in 1995. He left the band the next year, not long after the band parted ways with Jefferson Holt, their longtime manager who was immortalized in their 1984 song "Little America." Singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, and Mike Mills struggled to find their footing as a trio as they tackled more ambitious projects that found an ever more selective audience. Truth be told, this transition started on the final Berry album, 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi, which found R.E.M. expanding their sonic template to acclaim from critics and hardcore fans, even if they started to see the audience they won over the previous decade start to shrink.

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