Forming in the early 1980’s, R.E.M. was a key player in the evolution of what is now alternative rock, one of those bands that influenced many other bands beyond them. Like many bands of their type, R.E.M. actually eschewed mainstream success, and tried to avoid it for as long as possible. “The One I Love,” widely considered to be the band’s breakthrough single, was actually off their fifth album Document (1987). While other songs like “Losing My Religion” and “Everybody Hurts” are better known, “The One I Love” is generally where things took off for the band. R.E.M. went on to record 15 studio albums before finally officially disbanding last year.
As to influencing other bands—just for fun, below the video for “The One I Love,” I’ve included a live performance of The Decemberists’ “Down By the Water,” which has some remarkable similarities. The Decemberists have openly claimed R.E.M. as an influence, and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck even appeared on several tracks on the band’s recent studio recording The King Is Dead. Enjoy both videos!