“R.E.M. changed the world in so many ways with their 1981 seven-inch “Radio Free Europe.” Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry broke every rock-game rule: They were from a nowhere town (there’s an Athens in Georgia?), on the local label Hib-Tone, no power chords, no keyboards, no machismo, no clichés. A low-budget, high-energy DIY sound that was clearly Southern — not a hint of New York or L.A. or London in it.”
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