Athens, Ga., has a long and storied musical history that dates all the way back to the Civil War. So when a young art student named Michael Stipe met a record store clerk named Peter Buck, it was only natural that they put a band together to join in the already thriving music scene in town. After Mike Mills and Bill Berry filled out the band’s rhythm section, the quartet played their first show in 1980 at a birthday party. The following year, they recorded ‘Radio Free Europe’ and took their first steps toward becoming one of the biggest bands in the world. Relentless touring and recording earned the band attention from college radio stations. By the time the ‘90s rolled around, the single, ‘Losing My Religion,’ insured the band’s position in the mainstream. Although R.E.M. disbanded in 2011, they left behind a rich and extensive catalog capable of keeping even the most ardent music fans busy for quite a while.
How R.E.M. Threw Out the Rule Book Then Became Superstars With 'Out of Time'
Gutsy and creatively free, 'Out of Time' did things other R.E.M. albums hadn't.
10 Years Ago: R.E.M. Draw to a Close on 'Collapse Into Now'
They didn't fall apart amid the usual rock-band squabbles; they left the world's stage on their own terms.
R.E.M.'s Farewell: Answering Five 'Collapse Into Now' Questions
UCR contributors debate the album's musical merits and speculate about the band's future (or lack thereof).
20 Years Ago: R.E.M. Find Their Way as a Trio With 'Up'
When they returned with their 11th studio album, they sounded like an entirely different band.
Listen to R.E.M. Perform 'E-Bow the Letter' With Thom Yorke
Another preview from the upcoming 'R.E.M. at the BBC' box set.
How R.E.M.'s Small-Scale Ambitions Came Up Big on 'Murmur'
Their debut album was perfectly titled: R.E.M. did indeed arrive like a murmur, something you heard in passing more than really saw coming.