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R.E.M. Breaks Up — Sad News!

Wed, September 21, 2011 3:40pm EDT by William Earl 1 Comment
R.E.M. Break Up

After 31 years and 25 million albums sold, the band decides to call it a day!

Classic alternative rock group R.E.M. has split up — and we’re super-sad!

The band, which released their first album, Murmur, in 1983 and their last, Collapse Into Now, earlier this year, took to their official website to deliver the news.

“To our fans and friends,” they wrote. “As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

Each member also gave their own personal response to the split.

Mike Mills wrote, “During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves ‘what next?’ Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of working together. We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word – brothers who truly love, and respect each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this – there’s no disharmony here, no fall outs, no lawyers squaring off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably, and with each other’s best interest at heart. The time just feels right.

Peter Buck said, “One of the things that has always been so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to the fans as they do to us. It was, and is, still important to us to do right by you. Being part of your lives was an unbelievable gift. Thank you. Mike, Michael Bill, and Bertis and I walk away as friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone who has followed us and supported us through the years. Even if it’s only the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of a club; watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world.”

Michael Stipe wrote, “A wise man once said – the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave. We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it. I hope our fans know this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.”

What’s your favorite R.E.M. song, HollywoodLifers?

— William Earl