Most fans like "The Queen Is Dead" and "I Know It's Over" as classics; I just think they're fairly good. "Frankly Mr. Shankly" is a cute novelty tune but not more than that. "Cemetery Gates" is lame lyrically and musically.
Towards the end of R. E. M.'s career, Johnny Marr turned up on stage to play a few songs with them like "Fall On Me" which was cute. I don't know that he made much of a difference sonically, I guess it's nice to hear two jangly guitarists on an 80s R. E. M. tune instead of just one.
I heard Blank Generation like 14-15 years ago because my library had a CD copy laying around (the vast majority of their CD collection was classical recordings that were sitting there collecting dust...arranged alphabetically by record label, which meant you'd find lots of punk-era records under major labels, like Bad Brains, My Aim Is True, Filth, Damaged, etc.) I digress, though--I don't remember much of Blank Generation at all. I know I didn't hate it, but all I think I remember is...was there a Sinatra cover on there? Guess I should do some relistening? I know he's the guy who ripped up his shirt and invented punk fashion? Right? I know he was in Television, but I can't even remember how his voice sounds!