R.E.M. (short for "Rapid Eye Movement") was an American alternative rock band that formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980. The band is known for its melodic and jangly sound, thought-provoking lyrics, and the distinctive vocals of Michael Stipe. R.E.M. was a highly influential and critically acclaimed act that played a pivotal role in the alternative rock and college rock scenes. Here are some key points about R.E.M.:
Formation and Original Lineup: R.E.M. was formed by Bill Berry (drums), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass), and Michael Stipe (vocals). The band's original name was "Cans of Piss."
Early Success: R.E.M. gained attention in the early 1980s with their debut album, "Murmur" (1983). The album received widespread critical acclaim and established the band's signature sound.
R.E.M. is often associated with the "jangle pop" subgenre, characterized by its use of chiming, melodic guitar riffs. This style became a hallmark of their music.
Commercial Breakthrough: The band achieved commercial success with albums like "Reckoning" (1984), "Fables of the Reconstruction" (1985), and "Lifes Rich Pageant" (1986). Hit songs from this era include "So. Central Rain" and "Fall on Me."
"Document" and "The One I Love": R.E.M.'s 1987 album "Document" featured the single "The One I Love," which became their first hit in the United States, reaching No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Green" and Mainstream Success: The band's 1988 album "Green" included the hit "Stand." It marked their move to a major record label and increased mainstream exposure.
"Out of Time" and "Losing My Religion": R.E.M.'s 1991 album "Out of Time" was a critical and commercial success, featuring the hit single "Losing My Religion." The song earned the band Grammy Awards.
Evolution of Sound: R.E.M. continued to evolve their sound over the years, experimenting with elements of folk, country, and rock. Albums like "Automatic for the People" (1992) and "Monster" (1994) showcased this evolution.
End of the Original Lineup: In 1997, drummer Bill Berry left the band, and R.E.M. continued as a trio.
Later Career: R.E.M. released several more albums in the late 1990s and 2000s, including "Up" (1998), "Reveal" (2001), and "Accelerate" (2008).
Breakup: In 2011, R.E.M. announced their breakup after more than three decades of making music together.
Legacy: R.E.M. is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential bands of the alternative rock movement. Their music and lyrics are celebrated for their emotional depth and social consciousness.
R.E.M.'s legacy extends beyond their contribution to alternative rock, as they played a crucial role in shaping the direction of rock music and popular culture in the 1980s and 1990s. Their music remains influential and continues to resonate with listeners of all generations.