500 Greatest Albums of All Time

197

R.E.M., 'Murmurs'

I.R.S., 1983

The founding document of alternative rock, released just as Gen X was heading off to college. Though "technically limited," according to co-producer Don Dixon, R.E.M. packed their songs with cathartic mystery. Peter Buck's guitar chimes and Michael Stipe unspools his low-talker lyrics like they constitute a new language.

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