On Oct. 15, 1994, the Athens, Ga., band scored its second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, and its only record to soar straight to the top of the chart.

As alternative rock became mainstream in the early to mid-1990s, (thanks to grunge acts like Nirvana), R.E.M. rode the wave with its more jangly, pop-­leaning variation of the genre.

On the Billboard 200 dated Oct. 15, 1994, the Athens, Ga., band -- singer Michael Stipe, ­bassist Mike Mills, guitarist Peter Buck and drummer Bill Berry -- notched its second No. 1, and only No. 1 debut, as its ninth album Monster soared to the summit. Befitting its title, the record sold 344,000 first-week copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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