Thirty years ago this week, R.E.M. released Fables of the Reconstruction, their third full-length album. I have read many articles over the years where it was mentioned that one or another band member said they didn’t like Fables. The weather in London (where it was recorded) was awful, they were exhausted from touring constantly, sick, eating only potatoes, whatever. Typically, reviews of the album use adjectives like dark, murky, eerie, etc. It definitely stands apart from the two albums (and EP) that preceded it, and isn’t like the two I.R.S. albums that followed it either. But these are precisely the…

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