Alt Rock
Alt Rock
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REM

REM

There is something about Michael Stipe's voice that is both simple and complicated all at the same time. His lyrics are straightforward, but it is the way that he sings them that can make you quake at the knees. REM had its first success with the song Radio Free Europe. Not much of a mainstream artist to begin with, REM had a strong following with the college radio crowd. They had their first mainstream success with 1987's album Document featuring the single, The One I Love. They also received serious airtime on MTV with Its the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine). In 1988 REM signed with the major Warners Brothers' label and began to produce more radio-friendly hits like Losing My Religion and Shiny Happy People. Despite all their commercial success, REM can still be heard being played on college radio stations and filed under alternative rock.



The Smiths

the Smiths

Almost 20 years later the Smiths have a cult-following. There is just something about their music that resonates with its listeners. Maybe it is Morrisey's deep voice with its flat affect, or maybe it is his clever lyrics. Whatever it is, the Smiths still have a following that is as strong as ever. The Smiths are credited with influencing many other important alternative and indie artists like the Stone Roses and Blur. Driven by the egotistical and controlling Morrisey, the Smiths produced eight albums in only five years, only to go their seperate ways. Their albums were known for their cover art which featured pictures of celebrities and models. One of the most famous is the cover for the Shoplifters of the World Unite single that featured a picture of Elvis.



The Pixies

the Pixies

The Pixies are credited with creating the type of alternative rock that later became identified with groups like Nirvana. Their style was disjointed and noisy, their lyrics equally hard to follow. But there is something in all that chaos that comes out sounding almost heavenly, you just have to listen hard for it. Their sound combined punk and surf music and was characterized by the drumming of David Lovering. With the release of Surfer Rosa, the Pixies received acclaim from music critics and also were able to sign to the Elektra label. The band split in 1993 because of problems between the band members, but they still remain a highly influential rock group.