RYM Rough Guide for R.E.M.

"R.E.M. is really an anomaly. There must be something special about a band that can rework their formula as many times as they want and not sound tiresome in the process. From their earlier, punkier, underground sound, full of promising, nervy energy; to their sublime pop exercises in Automatic for the People and New Adventures in Hi-Fi, they never changed their signature, hugely influential sound and managed to become one of the few '80s bands that could be recognized at any time. The driving rhythm section of Bill Berry and Mike Mills supported brilliantly the melodic arsenal of the great Peter Buck and, although I hardly understand what Michael Stipe is singing sometimes, I always love his gentle, sincere tone, capable of sending you his message without using words, making you remember that people can still enjoy listening to pop music without thinking of it as a guilty pleasure, and forget that you were actually witnessing the roots and evolution of alternative rock." - sergegrone

"From the depths of the buried bargain bins of Athens, Georgia, emerged a whole new thing called R.E.M. One part Peter Buck - he of the cool, jangly, bluesy, country riffs from anywhere on the music map; one part Bill Berry - he of the 'play it with a feel which is halfway between the solid soul grooves of Stax and the raucous rhythms of '60s frat rock'; one part Mike Mills - he of the Flying Burrito set of cowboy swing and cool harmonies; and one part Michael Stipe - he of the artsy, sensitive and keen phrasings of the shy outsider wanting to belong. Add a touch of serendipity, a few hundred drunken, hard won lessons around the college circuit, and, voila, you have the perfect recipe for one of the greatest group triumphs in music history and the founders of indie rock - who still remained as indelible, integral and unforced a musical force as ever. This, despite the fact that they sold millions of records the world over and people really began to embrace that otherworldly almost unintelligible sense which Michael Stipe created as his touchstone." - elayblooze

"R.E.M. was the group that got me into alternative rock. They made the term 'college rock' go into the mainstream. The first song I heard from them was "Stand" and I wasn't too impressed. But, I heard "Man on the Moon" and thought it was great. I was a big metalhead, hence the name Thrashisawesome, but R.E.M. made me change my tastes. I must thank R.E.M. for expanding my musical tastes. I know that R.E.M. had a huge influence on today's artists, like maybe Radiohead and I know they were friends with Nirvana. R.E.M. will always be one of my favorite alternative bands of all-time." - Thrashisawesome

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