R. E. M. were encouraged by what they’d accomplished with Life Rich Pageant. They enjoyed making it. They loved the way it turned out. And they were pleased by its modest commercial success. So they decided to return to Bloomington, Indiana, the next year to head back into the studio with producer Don Gehman to work on the music that would become Document.
But it wasn’t to be.
Mike Mills explained that “The Bloomington session had gone well, but Don didn’t see us as wanting to have hit records. We were more interested in making good records, good LPs. He wanted a band that was really ambitious, a band that wanted to be on the Top 40. That was not us, so he moved on to something else.”
Enter Scott Litt, the man whom the band chose to produce their follow up album. It was a successful partnership for sure...because R. E. M. asked him back to help them create the next five albums that came after it. And, oh, yeah,...on their first project together, Document, it turns out they did have a Top 40 hit, “The One I Love.”
. . . .
Adapted from "Talk About The Pageant: When R.E.M. Came To Bloomington in 1986" by David Johnson, IndianaPublicMedia.org.