Murmur and Reckoning gave fans of “alternative” or less commercial music a band that most could agree on. They were unique albums that were enjoyed by punks, kids who liked to dance and even country fans. R.E.M. had the most single most unique sound I had ever heard, and I wanted to know more about the influences that made them sound like that. Needless to say that lead me to Wire, Gang Of Four and even the Byrds. Live shows in that era had obscure country covers that again had me searching out artists I would never have listened to at that age. When R.E.M. played songs like “Broken Whiskey Glass”, “King of the Road”, “Skip A Rope” and even “Behind Closed Doors” the songs gained credibiliy to me because they played them. Because of those two records (and Fables later) many, me included, grew to appreciate an indie spirit and a form of country/roots music that I did not know existed, and would not without R.E.M. I still listen to a lot of that style of music today.