Previous to this album, R.E.M. was a good low-key band who seemed to get a little more popular with each album they released. But this album catapulted them into becoming one of the biggest bands in the world.
The first single off the album, Losing My Religion, is probably most responsible for their success. I think that without it they would have still become a big band, but I don't think they would have been nearly as huge. When the song was first released it was all over the radio and the accompanying video was a mainstay on MTV.
Although it was a big hit, the song Shiny Happy People is just awful. I can barely bring myself to listen to this song, which features guest vocals by Kate Pierson of the B-52's. Radio Song is more tolerable for me, but I just don't like the guest rap on it by KRS-One.
This is a strong collection with many different sounds.