"Radio Free Europe": R.E.M.’s first single made them the darlings of college radio in 1981, and set them on their path towards being the first successful alt-rock band. In 2010, this song was added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry for setting "the pattern for later indie rock releases by breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio's general indifference.”
"The One I Love": This 1987 hit from Document was R.E.M.’s first big mainstream radio hit. Although the classic song is often interpreted as a love ballad, Michael Stipe has called the song “incredibly violent” and said "It's very clear that it's about using people over and over again."
"Stand": This 1989 song from R.E.M.’s Green was a hit song, but most importantly, it was also the theme song to cult TV show “Get a Life,” which starred Chris Elliot.
"Losing My Religion": This classic from 1991’s Out of Time was R.E.M.’s biggest MTV success, based on the song’s infamous music video, which was stylistically influenced by Hindu deities and the works of Caravaggio. The clip won six MTV video music awards, including the top prize for best video of the year.
"It's End of the World as We Know It": This 1987 Document track is known for its ridiculously fast-paced stream of consciousness lyrics that can seem so convoluted even Stipe has forgotten them. ("Eye of a hurricane / Listen to yourself churn / World serves its own needs / Regardless of your own needs.”)
"Driver 8": This fan favorite from 1985’s Fables of the Reconstruction has been covered by some big names including Hootie and the Blowfish, Death Cab for Cute, The Walkmen and The Old 97s.
"Mine Smell Like Honey": This track is from the group’s final album, Collapse Into Now. Until the inevitable reunion, this will stand as the last great single R.E.M. ever releases. Be Sure to Check out: The String Quartet Tribute to R.E.M. Available now at iTunes and Amazon The String Quartet Tribute to R.E.M. Vol. 2 Available now at iTunes and Amazon