How R.E.M. Changed American Rock Forever

Tim Sommer of Real Clear Likes takes a look at how the band “Changed American rock forever.”

How R.E.M. Changed American Rock Forever

They weren’t necessarily the best selling or the most loved, but they altered music immensely.

R.E.M. was the American Sex Pistols.

Um. Okay.

Part I: Do Not Trust Nostalgia, Vinyl Nor Hot Topic

Nostalgia and wishful thinking has caused us to forget that the Sex Pistols were, essentially, a failure in the United States at the time of their initial album release in October of 1977. Likewise, the American punk movement in the mid/late 1970s, although it had many adherents and produced some extraordinary music, remained a cult. In the shadow of punk, the American music industry did not press re-set; it hit the snooze button.

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