Click to return to Dave’s Music Database home page.

Released: June 10, 1985

Rating: 3.916 (average of 18 ratings)

Genre: alternative/ college rock

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Feeling Gravity’s Pull
  2. Maps and Legends
  3. Driver 8
  4. Life and How to Live It
  5. Old Man Kensey
  6. Can’t Get There from Here
  7. Green Grow the Rushes
  8. Kokoutek
  9. Auctioneer (Another Engine)
  10. Good Advices
  11. Wendell Gee

Total Running Time: 39:46


sales in U.S. only ½ million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2.5 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 28
peak on U.K. album chart 35

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Can’t Get There from Here (7/6/85) #14 AR
  • Driver 8 (9/7/85) #22 AR
  • Wendell Gee (10/85) --

Fables of the Reconstruction
“For their third album, R.E.M. made a conscious effort to break from the traditions Murmur and Reckoning established, electing to record in England with legendary folk-rock producer Joe Boyd. For a variety of reasons, the sessions were difficult, and that tension is apparent throughout Fables of the Reconstruction. A dark, moody rumination on American folk – not only the music, but its myths – Fables is creepy, rustic psychedelic folk, filled with eerie sonic textures” (Erlewine).

“Some light breaks through occasionally, such as the ridiculous collegiate blue-eyed soul of Can’t Get There From Here, but the group’s trademark ringing guitars and cryptic lyrics have grown sinister, giving even sing-alongs like Driver 8 an ominous edge” (Erlewine).

Fables is more inconsistent than its two predecessors, but the group does demonstrate considerable musical growth, particularly in how perfectly it evokes the strange rural legends of the South. And many of the songs on the record – including Feeling Gravitys Pull, Maps and Legends, Green Grow the Rushes, Auctioneer (Another Engine), and the previously mentioned pair – rank among the group's best” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

previous album: Reckoning (1984) R.E.M.’s DMDB page next album: Life’s Rich Pageant (1986)

Last updated April 2, 2008.