Murmur is the debut album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in 1983 on I.R.S. Records. Murmur drew critical acclaim upon its release for its sound, defined by singer Michael Stipe's cryptic lyrics, guitarist Peter Buck's jangly guitar style, and bassist Mike Mills' melodic basslines.
R.E.M. started recording its debut album in December 1982. I.R.S. paired R.E.M. with producer Stephen Hague, who had a higher profile than the band's previous producer Mitch Easter. Hague's emphasis on technical perfection did not suit the band; the producer made the group perform multiple takes of the song "Catapult", which demoralized drummer Bill Berry. Also, Hague took the completed track to Synchro Sound studios in Boston and added keyboard parts to the track without the band's permission and to their dismay. Unsatisfied, the band members asked the label to let them record with Easter. I.R.S. agreed to a "tryout" session, allowing the band to travel to North Carolina and record the song "Pilgrimage" with Easter and producing partner Don Dixon. After hearing the track, I.R.S. permitted the group to record the album with Dixon and Easter.
R.E.M. entered Reflection Studios in