Spinner is reporting that college rock legends R.E.M. have called it quits. The band made the announcement on their website on Wednesday September 21st stating
"To our Fans and Friends: 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."
Bassist Mike Mills put the announcement into context and perspective stating
"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 our working together."
According to the band’s record label, Warner Brothers, R.E.M. will be releasing a “career-spanning Greatest Hits album” this November. This will be the first greatest hits collection that the band has released that covers both the IRS and Warner Brothers years. It will be interesting to see what this collection brings to the table since they have already released greatest hits packages for the IRS years and for their first ten years on WB.
While I recognize the fact that R.E.M. hasn’t been a relevant band for at least 10 to 15 years, they were still a band that had a huge impact on my life and the person I’ve become and because of that it makes me sad to hear that they have called it quits, if for no other reason than I shall never get to see them perform live. I’ve written a lot about R.E.M. over the years and would rank their 1991 classic Out of Time in my top 5 all-time favorite albums. Having been a fan of their music for over 20 years, hearing that this band that saw me through high school, multiple treks into college, marriage, and becoming a father is no more fells like one more nail in the coffin of youth.
Thank you Bill, Peter, Mike, and Michael for all of the great music, your collective voice will be missed.
Here are some videos of my favorite R.E.M. songs.