Contact Us

R.E.M.’s Biggest Influences

From ’90s alternative rockers to current indie groups, R.E.M. has had a major impact on multiple generations of artists. The band from Athens, Ga., is frequently cited as a major influence by some of the most important acts in rock, but what about the musicians who had an effect on them? We’re taking a look at R.E.M.’s Biggest Influences.

Each member of R.E.M. brought a unique musical perspective to the band. Sometimes their tastes united – Michael Stipe and Peter Buck formed a friendship over punk LPs, and all four guys were fans of the Velvet Underground. And sometimes, their favorites clashed – Buck and Mike Mills shared a devotion to ’60s pop/rock titans while Stipe eschewed the Rolling Stones for the Archies (and Bill Berry appeared to enjoy whatever was on the radio).

But mostly, the various – and varied – influences of Berry, Buck, Mills and Stipe combined to create something both familiar and strange in R.E.M.’s music. Buck’s love for British folkies Nick Drake and Richard Thompson could ride alongside Stipe’s weakness for country crooners while Mills looked to Fleetwood Mac‘s John McVie for bass guidance and Berry landed on a groove worthy of Booker T. and the M.G.’s. Inspiration struck from both close to home (fellow Athens band Pylon) and universes that seemed vastly removed from the band members’ reality (the British glam greats of the ’70s). That conglomeration of sounds, and the way it was combined, made R.E.M. one of the most interesting bands of their era.

This gallery is a rich pageant of musicians that left the most significant impression on R.E.M. and its members – from punk poets to krautrockers, from new wavers to singer-songwriters, from country music legends to jangle-pop revivalists. These are the building blocks of R.E.M. Click on the above gallery to begin.

Next: R.E.M.'s Most Underrated Songs

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Diffuser

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!