Vintage Video — July 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

Vintage Video: Full R.E.M. concert from 1985’s ‘Fables’ tour filmed for ‘Rockpalast’

Given that today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of R.E.M.’s classic album Lifes Rich Pageant, we tried to find some 1986 tour footage for this week’s installment of Vintage Video. Unfortunately, there’s not much floating around out there of decent quality. Instead, though, we came across this pristine footage: a full, 95-minute concert filmed on Oct. 2, 1985, for the German TV show “Rockpalast.”

The show, which you can watch in full above, features remarkably good audio and video reproduction, and finds the band in fine form during the Fables of the Reconstruction tour. Highlights include an early version of “Fall On Me” with different lyrics, plus covers of songs by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more.

Plus, there’s Michael Stipe’s peroxide-blonde dye job.


Setlist: R.E.M., Die Zeche, Bochum, Germany, 10/2/85

1. “Feeling Gravitys Pull”
2. “Harborcoat”
3. “Sitting Still”
4. “Maps And Legends”
5. “Fall On Me”
6. “Green Grow The Rushes”
7. “Driver 8”
8. “Hyena”
9. “So. Central Rain”
10. “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?”
11. “Can’t Get There From Here”
12. “King Of The Road”
13. “Seven Chinese Brothers”
14. “Auctioneer (Another Engine)”
15. “Old Man Kensey”
16. “Little America”
17. “Pretty Persuasion”

18. “Theme From Two Steps Onward”
19. “Toys In The Attic”
20. “See No Evil”
21. “Second Guessing”

22. “Ghost Riders In The Sky”
23. “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville”
24. “We Walk/Falling In Love Again/Behind Closed Doors”
25. “Paint It, Black”





  1. Great find…I had seen them in May at Brown’s Spring Weekend of that year…brings back a lot of memories.

  2. Johnny Eyeballs

    This is the first time i’ve heard their early stuff- though i despised them all through the 90’s as college alt-rock got big, this stuff is quite good!

  3. I’ve seen bits and pieces of this thing over the years, but never all of it. Great stuff — reminds you they were actually cool once!

  4. Michael D.

    Saw this on a bootleg VHS tape (what’s a VHS tape?) way back in the early 90s. Great great stuff. Fables is probably my favorite R.E.M. record (what’s a record?).

  5. I have this in mp3 format if anyone wants it. Great show.

  6. God they used to be great! The Bonus discs on Murmur and Reckoning reissues contain similarly awesome early live shows.

    I miss them.

  7. Many thanks for this clip, bought this concert video at a record swap back in the day, yea they were a amazing band at that time & space, as the years go by just not the same without senor bill berry!

  8. Studs Lonigan

    For those first two or three albums the song lyrics were
    mostly incomprehensible nonsense words. But it seemed to work for
    them. I guess at that time REM were the Finnegan’s Wake of rock and
    roll. (Look for the novel of that name in your public library and
    you’ll know what I mean.)

    • “rem were the finnegan’s wake of rock and roll” thats probably the most apt description of REM… i’m going to use that.

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