Buck was pivotal in the development of the Alternative Rock music and to this day a huge influence among guitar players and songwriters
The influential R.E.M. guitar player Peter Buck was born on this day in 1956
Peter was born on December 6, 1956 in Berkeley, California,but it’s in Athens, Georgia that he started his career as a musician. While in Athens, Buck worked at the Wuxtry Records store, where he met Michael Stipe, together they formed R.E.M. The band has a quick success among Indie and Alternative Rock fans during the 1980’s. They released their first album, “Murmur” in 1983 that included “Radio Free Europe” a minor hit for the band. Despite their following growing bigger and bigger during that decade, it wasn’t up until the early 1990’s that R.E.M finally made it into the mainstream with their 1991 album “Out Of Time” that featured several hits for the band such as “Losing My Religion”, “Shinny Happy People”, “Radio Song” and “Near Wild Heaven”. The early 90’s offered R.E.M. the perfect conjuncture to present their music to a larger audience as it was the time for the Alternative Rock started to rule the charts around the world. Praised often by bands such as Nirvana who listed them as one of their main influences, R.E.M. presented in 1992 their masterpiece “Automatic For The People” that includes the memorable songs “Drive”, “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”, “Everybody Hurts”, “Man on the Moon” and “Nightswimming”. In 1994 the band switches musical direction on the album “Monster” which features a more prominent distorted and heavier guitar sound by Peter Buck and it’s presented as a darker tone album, mainly due to the recent deaths of two of the band’s friends Kurt Cobain and actor River Phoenix. Though distinctively different from R.E.M.’s signature and classic sound, “Monster” still was a sales success for the band and scored them hits such as “What’s The Frequency Kenneth?”,”Crush with Eyeliner”, “Strange Currencies” and “Bang and Blame”. After the big boom of their popularity in the early 1990’s, R.E.M. started to increasingly distance themselves from the lime light by refusing to continue their classic songwriting success formula. After drummer Bill Berry leaves the band in 1997, retiring from music, R.E.M. went on as a three piece. The band’s popularity never went down, however, from the late 1990’s up until the 2000’s, they started to distance themselves from the band and begun focusing more on solo projects, though still remaining close friends. In 2011 they officially disbanded. Ever since, Peter Buck has formed several bands and collaborate on numerous musical projects either as a musician or a producer. Peter Buck has been pivotal as an influence on modern Alternative and Indie rock, his songwriting as well as his distinctive guitar playing have been influencing musicians for over 30 years, today, the new generations of Alternative and Indie Rock artists, have blend together all his playing styles and techniques, being the 1980’s till early 1990’s R.E.M.’s sound or the mid 1990’s to the 2000’s one. Buck was inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007 as a member of R.E.M. One of the best and most creative musicians of all time, today Peter Buck turns 63 years old.
Look back at the 1991 “Losing My Religion” iconic music video by R.E.M
Watch and listen to R.E.M at their very best on this 1991 MTV Unplugged concert
Listen to some of R.E.M.’s best songs on Spotify
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