Reveal is the twelfth album by the American band R.E.M., released in 2001 on Warner Bros.. After having adjusted to former drummer Bill Berry's departure and releasing Up to mixed response in 1998, R.E.M. released the more upbeat Reveal, which was co-produced with long-time collaborator Patrick McCarthy.
In 2002, R.E.M. allowed each track of the album to be remixed by different producers and members of the music industry. The resulting remix album, r.e.m.IX, is available as a free download from R.E.M.'s official website. In 2005, Warner Bros. Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of Reveal which includes a CD and a DVD, as well as the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes.
The lead single, "Imitation of Life
", became another UK Top 10 hit as well as their first number one single in Japan, but floundered at the bottom of the U.S. singles charts. Further singles from Reveal
are "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)" and "I'll Take The Rain". Building on examples from earlier albums, "Beat A Drum", "Summer Turns To High" and "Beachball" are musical homages to The Beach Boys
, of whom both Mike Mills
and Peter Buck
are major fans.
The opening track, "The Lifting", is a prequel to "Daysleeper" from R.E.M.'s 1998 album, Up, and features the same character.
Although it was promoted as a return to form, with early comparisons to Automatic for the People
actually sounds more like a cross between the sunny sounds of Out of Time
and the electronica of Up
. R.E.M. has since been accused of trying a little too forcibly on Reveal
to recreate what had come naturally to the group in the past. However, the critical reaction to Reveal
was warmer than the notices which greeted Up
in 1998, particularly in the UK where it reached #1 with healthy sales. In the United States, Reveal
peaked at #6 (with 10 weeks on the Billboard 200) and went gold, still selling below expectations. As of March 2007, Reveal
has sold 415,000 units in the U.S.
"When a band that's been around as long as R.E.M. are still doing their best work, that's really unusual," said U2's Bono in 2003. "I think Reveal is one of the best records they've ever made: beautiful melodies, beautiful singing, and really evolved songwriting.
Later on, when famous critics such as Jon Pertwee began to re-review it, they found an intense dislike of the album. This was not posted online, so it did not hurt metacritic.
All songs by Peter Buck
, Mike Mills
and Michael Stipe
- "The Lifting" – 4:39
- "I've Been High" – 3:25
- "All the Way to Reno (You're Gonna Be a Star)" – 4:43
- "She Just Wants to Be" – 5:22
- "Disappear" – 4:11
- "Saturn Return" – 4:55
- "Beat a Drum" – 4:21
- "Imitation of Life" – 3:57
- "Summer Turns to High" – 3:31
- "Chorus and the Ring" – 4:31
- "I'll Take the Rain" – 5:51
- "Beachball" – 4:14
Reveal version 1.0
The February 2001 master of Reveal
differed from the March 2001 master of the album, which ended up being the final version. Compared to the official, the differences of the Reveal Version 1.0
, as it is nicknamed, include:
- Two tracks that never made it to the finished version: "Fascinating" and "Free Form Jazz Jam".
- An alternative version of "Beat a Drum" called "All I Want".
- A longer version of "Imitation of Life".
- A version of "All the Way to Reno (You're Gonna Be a Star)" with an alternate ending, and simply titled "Reno".
- Slightly different mixes and/or instrumental changes in "I've Been High" and "She Just Wants to Be".
Neither of the unreleased tracks or any of the alternative mixes have ever been released commercially. However, the band allowed the Murmurs.com fan community to offer downloads of "Fascinating."