REM: Three Decades of Greatness

What makes someone successful? Is it longevity? Popularity? The amount of money someone or something makes? Is being successful a subjective term? The reason this question exists is because the following music group has had each and every one of qualifications of being successful, yet they always seemed humble and honored to be noticed.

REM: Three Decades of Greatness

Photo Credit: Wikipedia


REM started out in 1980 in Athens, Georgia as a band of regular guys who wanted to play music. The group consisted of singer Michael Stipe, bassist Mike Mills, guitarist Peter Buck, and drummer Bill Berry. They released “Radio Free Europe” in 1981 and have never looked back. The album “Murmur” in 1983 was a hit on college radio and by 1987 their single “The One I Love” hit the mainstream when it was featured on Mtv.

REM and Bill Berry

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The group became more and more popular as the years went by as the albums were becoming popular and each song was more popular than the next. Their 1991 album “Out of Time” and 1992’s “Automatic For The People” were gold mines. 1994’s “Monster” proved the band had what it takes to be a top act in the music industry.

By 1996, REM signed on with Warner Brothers for $80 million dollars and became the highest paid contract in music at that time. Sadly, in 1997, drummer Bill Berry left the band due to health reasons (brain tumor) and the band continued on as a trio.

In 2007, REM was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and in 2011 the band officially split up.

After thirty years in the business, REM remained strong the entire time and went out on top. Not many people know when to go out when it’s time.

In return for their tireless work ethic and numerous albums and singles, we honor REM with some of their greatest songs.

REM and Out of Time Album

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Losing My Religion – Out of Time

“That’s me in the corner…”, REM’s first breakthrough hit from the “Out of Time ” album. This is also the song that people usually have misheard lyrics from.

Nightswimming – Automatic For The People

Nightswimming is a haunting song about an innocent day in the life of a teenager and his friends. It also hits upon reflection. This song “deserves a quiet time…”.

It’s the End of the World As We Know It – Document

This is their most unintelligible song in their library. Everyone tries to sing the song as fast as Michael Stipe, but no one succeeds. It also had a revival at the end of 1999 when the “world was ending”.

Man on the Moon – Automatic for the People

REM's Michael Stipe and Peter Buck

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

If you are a wrestling fan, this song is for you. With references to Fred Blassie and Andy Kaufman, one can assume that Michael Stipe is as big a wrestling fan as Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan. “Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match (Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)” Indeed.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? – Monster

This song doesn’t just rock, it rips through the air and doesn’t stop until the end. The video is very unique to their style. It’s more Metallica than REM, but it’s one of their best.

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