Members: Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
Genre: Indie, Rock
Hometown: Athens, Georgia
Albums: Murmur (1983), Reckoning (1984), Fables of the Reconstruction (1985), Lifes Rich Pageant (1986), Document (1987), Green (1988), Out of Time (1991), Automatic for the People (1992), Monster (1994), New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996), Up (1998), Reveal (2001), Around the Sun (2004), Accelerate (2008), Collapse into Now (2011)
Ever since their breakthrough in the late '80s, R.E.M has stood out from the crowd. A stark contrast to the hair metal and grunge rock of their day, their contemplative lyrics and unique music set them apart. More than 30 years after their founding, the trio is still around and remains a pioneer in the alternative music scene.
Though they found mainstream success with the 1987 release of Document, R.E.M had been around for nearly 10 years prior. Formed by frontman Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills in 1980, the band forged a solid foundation built on punk rock with alternative influences. After playing together for several months, the band released its first single, "Radio Free Europe" in 1981, which quickly became an underground hit and was considered to be among the best songs of '81.
Encouraged by the initial response to the single, R.E.M began to gain more and more mainstream exposure over the next several years. The band released its debut album in 1983 with Murmur. Later that year they appeared on national television for the first time when they played on Late Night With David Letterman. Their follow up album, 1984's Reckoning, was a critical success and hinted at what R.E.M would eventually become.
Over the next several years, the band's fan base continued to grow as Michael Stipe became a more powerful lead singer. Still, it was not until 1987 album Document where they really found breakthrough success. The track "The One I Love," became a huge hit, cracking into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and has remained one of their most iconic songs more than 20 years later. The record also featured the frenetic "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," which enjoyed new life around Y2K.
R.E.M's follow up to Document, 1988's Green, was just as popular. Thanks to singles such as "Pop Song 89" and "Orange Crush," the record peaked at number 12 on the Billboard charts, became certified double platinum, and set up what would become a big decade for the group.
Throughout the '90s, R.E.M continued to be a mainstay in popular music, highlighted by the 1992's Automatic for the People, which included some of their most well-known songs such as "Man on the Moon" and "Everybody Hurts." Since then, R.E.M has been tirelessly putting out album after album, including 2011's Collapse Into Now, which was met with praise by fans and critics alike.
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