Kenneth Burns wrote: Nashville kid
Sweet Jesus, you really are hard core! That dark album is the old testament of the R.E.M. canon. Green grow, the rushes grow. I love it, but it's an acquired taste. Definitely a southern album, creepy, rustic psychedelic folk, filled with eerie sonic textures
Blunt was one of the legions of R.E.M. haters back in the late 1980's after the band hit it big. I remember on his cable-access TV show he said, "R.E.M. is just a damn country western band." Ya - and your point? I wanted to slap him up the side of his bald head. This was just before Wilco, Johnny Cash and "alt-country" made it safe again for hipsters to like country. (I fear that Darius Rucker's recent country crooning has set that all back to square zero.)
I love "Fables" because the songs feature Stipe's vocal so well.
Wish there was a bootleg with decent sound from the "Fables" tour. (Actually not, I don't scavenge anymore.) One was recorded at the U.W. Stock Pavillion in 1985. Nice cover of CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain."
My second favorite R.E.M. album would be a bootleg of their acoustic tour in 1991. I think both R.E.M. and Nirvana hit their recording peaks on MTV Unplugged.