In stores today is the 25th Anniversary re-master of R.E.M.'s fourth studio album, Life’s Rich Pageant. Words cannot express how much this album impacted my life as this was the album that introduced me to a new world of music back in the mid-80s. It was like nothing that I had ever heard before; the songs on this album became the soundtrack of my life in junior high school and still remain some of my favorites to this day. Life’s Rich Pageant contains some of R.E.M.’s finest work and every new release that is touted as a ‘return to form’ is measured by the standards on this album.
Life’s Rich Pageant was recorded by Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and original drummer, Bill Berry at John Mellencamp's Belmont Mall Studios in Indiana. The album was produced by Don Gehman, who also produced albums for Mellencamp, which explains why Mellencamp’s The Lonesome Jubilee sounded familiar, sonically speaking, of course.
The singles “Fall On Me” and “Superman” helped R.E.M. to achieve Gold certification status with Life’s Rich Pageant, and the album also reached #21 on Billboard s Top 200 Albums chart, the band’s highest chart position at that point of their career.
The 2-CD box set contains the original album, digitally re-mastered. Disc 2 contains "The Athens Demos," which are 19 previously unreleased tracks recorded by the band during the studio sessions and the box set also includes a poster and postcards, similar to what was found in the Fables of The Reconstruction box set.
-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids