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Reckoning, their second album, “confirms R.E.M. as one of the most beautifully exciting groups on the planet” wrote the NME in 1984. Twenty-five years later, Reckoning remains a fan favorite for capturing R.E.M. during the youthful freshness of a new, fiercely independent American music scene.
R.E.M. was one of the pioneering popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck's ringing, arpeggiated guitar style, as well as Stipe's unclear vocals. R.E.M. released its first single, "Radio Free Europe" in 1981 on the independent record label Hib-Tone. The single was followed by the Chronic Town EP in 1982, the band's first release on I.R.S. Records. Following the release of the critically acclaimed Murmur, the band continued to build their reputation over the next few years through subsequent releases, constant touring, and the support of college radio.