is the fifth studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M.
, released in 1987
This release not only launched "The One I Love," R.E.M.'s first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, but also gave them their first platinum album.
The song "Strange" was originally recorded by the post-punk band Wire
on their debut album Pink Flag. This version has slightly altered lyrics, changing "Joey's nervous" to "Michael's nervous" in the first verse, and has a considerably faster tempo.
R.E.M. expanded their instrumentation somewhat on the album, adding dulcimer to "King of Birds" and saxophone to "Fireplace". Steve Berlin was brought in to add his saxophone skills. This experimentation would lead to their adoption of the mandolin, which featured prominently on their subsequent albums Green and Out of Time. Furthermore, the band's musicians began swapping instruments both in concert and in the studio in an effort to create new sounds and avoid stagnation.
Rolling Stone: R.E.M. were trying something new with each album in the Eighties, but this straight-ahead rock move was the one that made them mainstream stars. "The One I Love" was a hit, but the fan favorite is the manic "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)."
The album is number 462
on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.