|Although slipping lately in the US, this smart and politically savvy rock band remains on the highest commercial level just about everywhere else.|
R.E.M. is an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by Michael Stipe , Peter Buck , Mike Mills, and Bill Berry. R.E.M. was one of the first popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's unclear vocals. R.E.M. released its first single, "Radio Free Europe", in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band's first release on I.R.S. Records. In 1983, the band released its critically acclaimed debut album Murmur, and built its reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio. Following years of underground success, R.E.M. entered the mainstream in 1987 with the hit song "The One I Love". The group signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.
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