Is R.E.M. underrated by new music nerds?

I've been in a R.E.M. phase in late 2018, they kept me going through the toughest period of my life. A lot of their stuff especially in their incredible 1987-1996 run means a lot to me and have been pivotal in growing my music taste but emotion aside I think quality-wise they were one of the greatest rock band of all time, if not one the best band. I actually think this is not a hot take.

What I think is an interesting thing to discuss is how R.E.M. are relevant to new audiences of my age (I'm 20 btw) like all the music nerds that grew on the Internet (RYM or /mucore) or the music channels or profiles on YouTube and Instagram that review or examine music.

I think that in this demographic area R.E.M. are underrated or more specifically they are put inside the categories of "Gen X bands" like U2 or similar. And i think it's a shame because they have one the best musical palettes of all time provided by really skilled musicians and an incredible and eclectic vocalist and songwriter like Michael Stipe. A band that even when they became globally famous they managed to stay coherent to their sound (until at least the early 90s) and political ethic. Their material should get more recognition among younger audiences like mine considering the huge influence they had on a lot of artist.

What do you think?


@seola30, I welcome your posting here and encourage you to do more.  Not everyone will agree about musical taste and preferences, but that really shouldn't be surprising.  What can come out of this type of discussion are other musicians that you might like.  For instance, Dreams So Real was another group out of Athens, GA.  Search them out and give a listen.  Peter Buck was involved in the earliest recordings.

There are always going to be haters, but talking about music is far more interesting than talking about power cords.

A shout out to Don Dixon's wife, Marti Jones, who should have been bigger. I read that the record label only had the money to push one artist and chose Tracy Chapman instead.  Nothing wrong with Tracy at all, but it shows how which artists become household names and which ones fall through the cracks is a crapshoot. 

@roxy54 @bdp24 i fully concur that the byrds had great material through notorious byrd brothers (i like clarence white, too, but i don't think they were writing many memorable songs by that time). for my money, tho, their vocal sound  was fully formed on the debut, and their best material was far-and-away gene clark's (first two records + eight miles high). likewise the ramones had great stuff through "road to ruin," but i was never grabbed by the more polished (albeit better-played) poppier stuff that followed.

as for the cars and candy o, it's a good record and "dangerous type" and "all i can do" are classics but i it always sounded a little bit like a slightly muted xerox of the first record, which is wall-to-wall hits.

@mikeydred I forgot to mention the “Chronic Town” EP which ranks amongst their greatest releases. It’s definitely worth hunting down the “Dead Letter Office” CD which contains “Chronic Town” in its entirety along with interesting unreleased tracks and outtakes from their early years. “Life’s Rich Pagent” and “Document” are also great. I was fortunate enough to see R.E.M. in concert in 1986 and experience their greatest material live.