Compiled to celebrate R.E.M.'s apparent return to form with their new album:
#5: R.E.M. "Talk About the Passion" from Murmer
Every mid-80's college student with a guitar tried to figure out this lick. On revisiting these albums it surprises me how many of the memorable riffs actually came from Mike Mills on bass.
#4 The Replacements "I Will Dare" from Let It Be
The R.E.M connection helped sell the Mats to college radio stations who were still taking their cues from MTV. It's a great song but can you imagine "I Will Dare" without Buck's searching lead lines?
#3 R.E.M."Wolves, Lower" from the Chronic Town EP
Here's where we first heard the jangle and arpeggios ( as well as the mumbled lyrics) that inspired a hundred really sincere bands to form.
#2 Full Time Men "I Got Wheels" from Fast is My Name EP
Had to throw a curve. This is from Buck's 1985 EP with Keith Streng of the Fleshtones.Honestly the whole thing is one great guitar hook. Can't find it anymore so here's an mp3.
Full Time Men I Got Wheels
#1 R.E.M. "The One I Love" from Document
Buck used every trick in his arsenal, added a touch of distortion, and helped make "The One I Love" R.E. M.'s first major hit. Inescapable on Friday nights driving to football games in South Carolina's Low Country in 1987.
R.E.M. "Driver 8", "Shiny Happy People" ( hate the song but this is about "catchiest" riffs) and "Losing My Religion"
Decemberists "Down By the Water"