Day of “Reckoning”: Celebrate 30 Years of R.E.M.

Photo:Roberts /Redferns

Thirty years ago today, a fledgling unnamed band of University of Georgia kids performed their very first concert at a friend’s birthday party. That date was April 5th, 1980, that band was eventually called R.E.M. Fast forward three decades and 14 albums later, and R.E.M. have gone from college radio darlings to mainstream rock fixtures to Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. Over on the R.E.M. HQ official site, the band is presenting a rundown of all the celebrations going on around the country in honor of their anniversary.

In 1983, Rolling Stone named R.E.M.’s debut album Murmur the best album of the year, beating out even Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and for the past three decades R.E.M. have continued to be among the most popular and acclaimed acts in rock, influencing artists like Thom Yorke, Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder. To applaud 30 years of R.E.M., from “Radio Free Europe” to Accelerate, look back at the careers of Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Peter Buck and Bill Berry in the RS archives: cover stories, interviews, an album guide presented by the band themselves, photo galleries and much more. So put on Automatic for the People and gorge yourself on all of our R.E.M. features below:

From Art School to the Hall of Fame: R.E.M. Give a Tour of Their Discography
R.E.M. Look Back
Cover Story: R.E.M.’s New Adventures
Cover Story: Monster Madness
The Rolling Stone Interview: Michael Stipe
Photos from R.E.M.’s Career
R.E.M. Rock Hard on New Songs, Rarely Played Tracks at the Hollywood Bowl