CHRONIC TOWN is also available as part of the rare-tracks compilation DEAD LETTER OFFICE (IRS 0054).
R.E.M.: Michael Stipe (vocals); Peter Buck (guitar); Mike Mills (bass, background vocals); Bill Berry (drums).
In retrospect, the opening statement of one of pop music's biggest bands sounds every bit as urgent and important as it did when it was first released. Following hot on the heels of the Hib-Tone single "Radio Free Europe," CHRONIC TOWN absolutely turned the world upside-down for a generation of rock fans, and nothing was the same afterward. Michael Stipe's almost unintelligible poetry, married with Peter Buck's frenetic jangle (Rickenbacker sales were certainly not adversely affected), created a swirling, insistent enigma. Further bolstered by the infallible, melodic rhythm section of Mike Mills (whose vocals are an integral element here) and Bill Berry, R.E.M. created a miracle with this EP--as near to a manifesto as college rock has gotten.
"Gardening At Night" expands on the soft charm of "Radio Free Europe," while "1,000,000" foreshadows the driving, earnest delivery that would become their trademark. "Carnival Of Sorts (Box Cars)" trades off between hyperactive verse and wide open refrain. Though R.E.M. was to undergo a long, fruitful maturing process, CHRONIC TOWN shows the history-making pieces firmly in place.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Rock
- Genre: Pop