R.E.M. was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by singer
Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. One of
the first popular alternative rock bands, R.E.M. gained early attention because of Buck's
ringing, arpeggiated guitar style and Stipe's unclear vocals. The group signed to
Warner Bros. Records in 1988, and began to espouse political and environmental
concerns while playing large arenas worldwide.
Through some changes in musical style, the band continued its career into the next
decade with mixed critical and commercial success. In 2007, the band was inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. R.E.M. disbanded amicably in September 2011,
announcing the split on its web site.