The Editors, The Decemberists, The Shout out louds – you could go on forever. All of these creative, new bands have covered R.E.M. songs in recent years. March 11th, 2009 summed it all up and was a day to celebrate R.E.M.’s greatness at Carnegie Hall, NYC: R.E.M. is an outstanding, unique band which has influenced so many awesome artists in almost 30 years. From the start, critics have loved R.E.M.’s eclectic and distinct sound with magazines like Rolling Stone giving the band from Athens, Georgia third place in the Top Band category behind U2 and the Police in 1983.
From personal experience I can hardly tell how R.E.M. impacted the early 1980s indie music scene. When R.E.M. as a band celebrated their first birthday I was only three days old. Yet I can very well see that R.E.M.’s influence on indie music was tremendous. As I stated earlier they have and will always inspire alternative bands to believe in their ideals, create their very own sound, and not succumb to the temper of the time.
My boyfriend, who plays bass in a hardcore band, confessed to me the other day: “I have been listening to R.E.M. a lot lately and I can really understand why they revolutionized the music scene in the 1980s so much. They just did their thing and invented their own style with so much credibility. That’s very cool.”
Very cool – that’s exactly what I think of R.E.M. Peter Buck once said about his band: “We’re the acceptable edge of the unacceptable stuff.” Well, so much more than that. Thanks, guys!