R.E.M. is an American rock band formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 by Bill Berry (drums), Peter Buck (guitar), Mike Mills (bass guitar), and Michael Stipe (vocals). R.E.M. was one of the first popular alternative rock bands, and gained early attention due to Buck's "jangly" guitar style and Stipe's cryptic vocals. R.E.M. released its first single, "Radio Free Europe" in 1981 on independent record label Hib-Tone.