Release date
11 May 1984
Running length
12 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Radio Free Europe 4:06 201,221
2 Pilgrimage 4:30 85,133
3 Laughing 3:58 77,289
4 Talk About the Passion 3:22 131,351
5 Moral Kiosk 3:32 71,132
6 Perfect Circle 3:31 106,719
7 Catapult 3:56 73,136
8 Sitting Still 3:18 91,727
9 9-9 3:03 58,890
10 Shaking Through 4:31 64,313
11 We Walk 3:01 63,503
12 West of the Fields 3:22 60,605

About this album

The debut album from Athens, Georgia band R.E.M., Murmur was an immediate underground smash, with “Radio Free Europe” topping the college radio charts and “Catapult” following it into the top 10. The album is considered a key release in the revival of underground guitar rock and the transition from post-punk and new wave to alternative rock.

Murmur is the debut album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in 1983 on I.R.S. Records. Murmur drew critical acclaim upon its release for its sound, defined by singer Michael Stipe’s cryptic lyrics, guitarist Peter Buck’s jangly guitar style, and bassist Mike Mills’ melodic basslines.

R.E.M. started recording its debut album in December 1982. I.R.S. paired R.E.M. with producer Stephen Hague, who had a higher profile than the band’s previous producer Mitch Easter. Hague’s emphasis on technical perfection did not suit the band; the producer made the group perform multiple takes of the song “Catapult”, which demoralized drummer Bill Berry. Also, Hague took the completed track to Synchro Sound studios in Boston and added keyboard parts to the track without the band’s permission and to their dismay.
Unsatisfied, the band members asked the label to let them record with Easter. I.R.S. agreed to a “tryout” session, allowing the band to travel to North Carolina and record the song “Pilgrimage” with Easter and producing partner Don Dixon. After hearing the track, I.R.S. permitted the group to record the album with Dixon and Easter.

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  • AplusR96

    One of the best and most beautiful albums I have heard in my life

    6 Mar 4:39pm Reply
  • IamFlood

    im the sun and you could read

    14 Sep 2014 Reply
  • vizsla826

    Really taking quite of a shining to this one. West of the Fields is quite intense to me for some reason.

    26 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Gaffes

    Easily best R.E.M. album... probably best alternative rock album of all time.

    18 Apr 2014 Reply
  • Brenutka


    7 Jan 2014 Reply
  • tomorrowsparty


    1 Dec 2013 Reply
  • WS9167

    When I tried listening to this album around a year ago, I found it while not bad, pretty unlistenable to my ears. I just could not get past the first few tracks. Then again, my tastes were probably objectively pretty bad then. I never gave anything a good chance and got bored quickly. This goes the same for this album, because, well, looking back on it it seems almost godly. And I need to re-listen to it definitely.

    9 Jul 2013 Reply
  • k_naruchiha94

    Perfect Album [3]

    4 Jun 2013 Reply
  • Lowbacca

    good debut album, great cover art. you'd expect the swamp thing to pop up any second.

    29 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Bobstain

    I've written a review of this here:

    27 Mar 2013 Reply
  • flash_flem

    Perfect Album [2]

    4 Nov 2012 Reply
  • birdturd93

    It's a shame that i haven't listened to this months!

    16 Sep 2012 Reply
  • emmettap

    Brilliant album; one of the best of the 80's

    16 May 2012 Reply
  • meaulnesbrule

    love this

    22 Mar 2012 Reply
  • RussellChap

    Such a magical album. Fresh & visionary. Timeless & out of time. A springboard to new sounds & ideas refreshing the rock underground. The only REM record I need

    12 Mar 2012 Reply
  • Marciodnmoraes

    really strong for a debut! [2]

    5 Feb 2012 Reply
  • bernlin2000

    Really is the end of an era though, I have yet to see a band that had as much influence as R.E.M. emerge. Perhaps Kayne West or Lady Gaga? They draw from the past though, I think we're still waiting on something bracingly new (although maybe it's already out there and most of us are just totally unaware, like most people are still unaware of how R.E.M's first 3-4 albums started an entire genre that reverberated well into the past decade)

    18 Jan 2012 Reply
  • bernlin2000

    Really Really good, probably the best debut album from any band, ever, and they've never quit (until this year).

    14 Jan 2012 Reply
  • zhelnerovich

    Absolutely perfect all the way through

    25 Dec 2011 Reply
  • LRPohlmann

    Best R.E.M. album.

    14 Nov 2011 Reply
  • All 103 shouts

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