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The Most Ground-Breaking American Rock Bands
R.E.M. were one of the coolest US bands making music in the early 1980s. In those days, no-one knew what the hell Michael Stipe was singing (he was quite a mumbler) and everyone had to make up their own minds on what the enigmatic songs were about. And they made guitar music cool in an era of tacky synth pop. When they hit the big time in 1991 with the release of Out Of Time, they'd definitely paid their dues.