Music » CD Reviews

CD Review: R.E.M.

Lifes Rich Pageant: 25th Anniversary Edition (Capitol/I.R.S.)


R.E.M.'s terrific fourth album is usually lost in the shuffle between 1985's meh Fables of the Reconstruction and 1987's commercial breakthrough Document. Too bad, since some of the band's best songs — "Begin the Begin," "Fall on Me," "I Believe" — are here. This two-disc 25th anniversary edition adds 19 fully formed demos R.E.M. laid down in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, including a few ("Bad Day," "Wait") that never made it onto their official albums. But it's the remastered Lifes Rich Pageant that deserves another listen. Fables of the Reconstruction was a dark, moody exploration of the band's southern roots. On Pageant they get back to the turbocharged indie hooks and muscular sounds that foreshadow later recordings — the ones that made them college radio's biggest group back in the day. Rich indeed. — Gallucci

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.