Formed in Athens, Georgia, in early 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and vocalist Michael Stipe.
Throughout the 1980s, the band released an album per year for seven consecutive years, from their debut EP in 1982 (Chronic Town) through 1988's Green. They also toured constantly, playing a variety of venues, from theaters to backwoods dives. Along the way, their sound influenced many bands, from jangle pop groups of the mid-'80s to alternative rock bands of the '90s. The band became admired for its slow, steady rise to stardom. REM found itself established as a key element of the burgeoning alternative rock scene of the 1980s. Upon attaining major-label success at dawn of the '90s, the band was able to put forth broader political and environmental concerns while playing large arenas worldwide, and retaining most of its artistic credibility.
In 1997, Bill Berry amicably left the band, leaving the band as a three-piece. Through some reinvention REM continued their career into the next decade with mixed critical and commercial success. Their next album is expected to be released sometime in 2007.
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