R.E.M. gained fame in the 1990s.

And to say they did it their way is an understatement.

They bypassed the traditional route of getting noticed – their music being hyped and played by radio stations.

Instead it was word of mouth, bootlegged tapes and college radio, that was the key to their success.

And they were prolific – from 1981 to 2011 – releasing 15 studio albums, four live albums, 14 compilation albums, one remix album, the list goes on and on.

They were credited with developing the alternative rock genre – a deviation from the prevalent commercial or mainstream rock of the 1970s.

R.E.M.’s style inspired other alternative rock bands and musicians .

The group has sold more than 90 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best selling music artists ever.

They broke up amicably in 2011.

Today they still remain one of the biggest rock bands in the world.