R.E.M. - Lifes Rich Pageant

Lifes Rich Pageant is the fourth album by R.E.M. and was released in 1986. Designed as an upbeat reaction to the sobering and historical Fables of the Reconstruction, R.E.M. chose Don Gehman to produce the album at his Belmont Mall Studios in Belmont, Indiana. The source for the title of the album is based on an English idiom. Its use is very old, but R.E.M.'s use, minus the apostrophe, is, according to Peter Buck, from the 1964 film A Shot in the Dark:
Inspector Clouseau opens car door and falls into puddle.
Maria: "You should get out of these clothes immediately. You'll catch your death of pneumonia, you will."
Clouseau: "Yes, I probably will. But it's all part of life's rich pageant, you know."

The cover of the album depicts drummer Bill Berry on the upper part of the cover and a pair of bison, signifying an environmental theme, on the lower part.

With R.E.M.'s fanbase beginning to grow beyond its college rock boundaries, Lifes Rich Pageant – deliberately spelled without an apostrophe – proved to be their biggest US album yet, peaking at #21 on the Billboard charts and scoring them their first gold record. In the UK, where the band's fame lagged slightly, the album managed a #43 peak.

The ecologically-conscious "Fall on Me" (a personal favorite of frontman Michael Stipe) and a cover of The Clique's "Superman", sung by bassist Mike Mills, were the only singles released from the album.

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