100 Greatest Guitarists
R.E.M.'s guitarist was a less-is-more master who never needed much more than swarming melodies and spangled riffs. From the laser-guided arpeggios on "Radio Free Europe" to the supersize power chords of "The One I Love," his sound was both gorgeous and matter-of-factly aggressive – a DIY style that helped Eighties underground rockers push beyond punk rock. "They created 50,000 guitar bands after them," noted Billy Corgan, "America was inundated with jangly R.E.M. type bands."
Key Tracks: "Radio Free Europe," "The One I Love"