Editors' Notes Some called this jangle pop, thanks largely to Peter Buck’s countrified guitar; others called it college rock, due to its lo-fi production. However you slice it, R.E.M.'s 1983 debut is alternative rock perfection. It sees one of the driving forces of late 20th-century pop music going big, bold and anthemic on propulsive rockers (“Radio Free Europe”), gentler Americana-tinged numbers (“Talk About the Passion”) and pensive ballads (“Perfect Circle”). For the fledgling alt-rock scene, this was no mere murmur.

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