Over the years that I have been a professional wedding DJ, I've worked with modern brides and grooms from all over the country. Today's post could be an extension of a cocktail hour I designed a few years ago that I called The Southern Rock Cocktail Hour. The band that I will feature on this post today is very much a part of the Southern Rock genre. If you are a modern bride or groom who might call yourself an alumnus of the University of Georgia, you most likely need no introduction to this band. REM formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980, and comprised of lead singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. These four were students at the University of Georgia and would create one of the most iconic bands in the 80s and 90s alternative music scene. While the band broke up for good back in 2011, their music continues to be in rotation on alternative and classic rock stations across America. Since I grew up in the 80s and 90s and love the music of REM, I think the texture and feel of their music would be the perfect choice for cocktail hour at any wedding where the bride and groom are looking for a bit of a different vibe.
For those modern brides and grooms who might have grown up in the South and their parents had some of the best southern rock bands playing while they were growing up, I invite you to click over to my Southern Rock Cocktail Hour For Your Wedding Playlist. Ans since REM was a huge part of the alternative music scene of the 80s and 90s, you are also very welcome to go and check out those playlists as well. For the 90s Alternative Cocktail Hour, <-----Click this link. For a look back at some of my choices of the top 80s Alternative Songs For Cocktail Hour, be sure to click over to this link.
Download This REM Cocktail Hour Playlist From My Spotify RIGHT NOW
2020 has been the year of Spotify for me. I went ahead and moved all of the playlists you have seen over my blog over to Spotify. There are numerous reasons why I completed this pretty tedious and rewarding project, but the Number 1 reason was because so many of my clients were coming to me with ready-made wedding playlists. When you hire me to be your wedding DJ, you are encouraged to head over to my Spotify profile to gain inspiration as you put together the music for your wedding. Just head over to Spotify and search for DJ Mike Bills.
"Gardening At Night"
We kick off this selection of top R.E.M songs for cocktail hour for your wedding playlist with an oldie, but goodie. "Gardening At Night" was originally recorded for their 1982 EP album, Chronic Town. If you are a big fan of the band, you remember they performed this song when they were inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
"Losing My Religion"
With close to 3/4 of a billion views on You Tube, "Losing My Religion" is easily the most "mainstream" song from the band. Back in 1991, you couldn't turn the radio on without hearing the song. The song was released in February of 1991 and can be found on the album Out Of Time, and would peak at #4 on the Hot 100, and #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. For more of the Best Songs Of 1991 For Your Wedding Playlist, <---Click HERE
Coming off the worldwide success of Out Of Time, the band would record and release Automatic For The People. "Drive" would be the first song to be released from this record in the fall of 1992. "Drive" would peak at #1 on the Alternative chart, and #2 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
"Man On The Moon"
After the success of "Drive", the second song to be released to radio from Automatic For The People would be this song that mentions the late Andy Kaufman. "Man On The Moon" would peak at #2 on the Alternative chart in early 1993.
Back in 1985, R.E.M would release their album Fables Of The Reconstruction. "Driver 8" was the second song to be released from the album, and it would peak at #22 on the Mainstream rock chart.
Back in the summer of 1993, "Nightswimming" would become the 5th song to be released from the album Automatic For The People. The song would not chart in the United States, but would peak at #27 on the UK chart.
"South Central Rain"
In 1984, R.E.M would release the album Reckoning. "South Central Rain" would be the first song to be released to radio, but would only peak at #85 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"
Released in the fall of 1984, "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" would be the follow-up single to "South Central Rain" from the Reckoning album. The song did not chart on the Hot 100 in America or in England.
"The One I Love"
In 1987, the band would release their album, Document. "The One I Love" would be the first single to be released from the album and would peak at #9 on the Hot 100, and #2 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
Released in March of 1988, "Finest Worksong" would be the last song to be released from the album "Document". The song would onlyt peak at #28 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
"Radio Free Europe"
"Radio Free Europe" would be the first song to be released by R.E.M back in the summer of 1981. The song would be re-recorded for their 1983 album, Murmur and would peak at #25 on the Mainstream rock chart.
Back in the summer of 1982, R.E.M would release their first EP album, Chronic Town. While "Wolves, Lower" was not released as single, the band would shoot their first music video for this song and it was in rotation on MTV.
"Crush With Eyeliner"
In 1994, R.E.M would release their album, Monster. "Crush With Eyeliner" would be the 4th song to be released from the album and would peak at #20 on the Alternative chart. Back in 2017, I got to be the DJ at a Charleston Wedding Week fashion show that featured the top luxury bridal boutiques in the area. One of the owners of one of those bridal boutiques requested that this song be played.
"Fall On Me"
In 1986, R.E.M would release their 4th record titled Life's Rich Pageant. "Fall On Me" would be one of the first songs to be released from this album in the summer of '86 and would peak at #5 on the Mainstream rock chart.
In 1998, the band would release their 11th record titled Up. "Lotus" would be the second song to be released from this album in December 1998. When I first heard this song, I immediately thought of "I Am The Walrus" by The Beatles. "Lotus" would peak at #3 on the Adult Alternative chart in the winter of 1999.
"What's The Frequency, Kenneth"
Just in time for the fall of 1994, R.E.M would release their album, Monster. "What's The Frequency, Kenneth" was the first single to be released and would peak at #1 on the Alternative airplay chart.
"Shiny Happy People"
I might be in the minority but I don't mind this song at all. You can find this song on their 1991 album, Out Of Time. The song would be the follow-up single, and be released in the spring of 1991. The song would peak at #10 on the Hot 100 chart, and #3 on the Alternative airplay chart. To date, only one wedding of mine over the years has requested this song and it was Megan & John's Beautiful November Wedding At Pepper Plantation.
"All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)"
In the spring of 2001, the band would release their 12th album Reveal. "All The Way Reno" would be the second song to be released from the album in July of 2001. The song would top out at #8 on the Adult Alternative chart.
"Bang And Blame"
"Bang And Blame" was the second single to be released from the Monster album in the fall of 1994. The song would peak at #1 on the Alternative airplay chart.
In 1988, R.E.M would release their 6th record, Green. "Stand" would be the second song to be released from the album in the winter of 1989. The music video to the song was in heavy rotation on MTV, and it's popularity would allow the song to peak at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Plan Your Wedding Music Right Now With DJ Mike Bills
Thank you for making it to the end of this post. The wheels in my brain are constantly turning as it pertains to content on this blog. Just remember when you are planning the music for your cocktail hour, the possibilities are endless. Should you need a headstart on putting together the music for your cocktail hour, be sure to click over to the link up above. If you have a good start on your music and are now in the process of interviewing wedding DJs for your big day, I would love to speak with you about your most special day. Click the "Plan Your Wedding" link up above to be taken over to my contact form to provide some details of your wedding day. I look forward to speaking with you.