If you were in college, or were a music fan in the 1980s and 1990s, it would have been hard been hard to escape the influence of the band R.E.M.
Formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980, R.E.M. was the yin to U2’s yang, and their sound featured jangly guitars, the instantly recognizable voice of singer Michael Stipe and a sense of political awareness rarely found in artists with such wide-reaching popularity.
Over their 30-year career, the band nearly singlehandedly created the genre of college rock and influenced countless artists heard on the radio to this day. They also became one of the biggest musical acts in the world and still somehow retained their everyman humanity. Wednesday, R.E.M. decided to unplug their guitars and call it a day with an announcement on their website.
What are your favorite R.E.M. songs and memories? What will be the lasting influence of R.E.M.?
Simon Vozick-Levinson, Associate Editor for Rolling Stone magazine