R.E.M. Loses More Than Their Religion; Annouces Breakup

Posted September 22, 2011 by J Matthew Cobb in News

After 30 years of music, R.E.M. loses their religion of music after announcing band’s breakup

With three decades of music, fifteen studio albums and with 85 million albums sold worldwide, R.E.M. – led by Michael Stipe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills – have announced that they are finally calling it quits as a band.

R.E.M. posted the status of their breakup on their official website and even released a brief press release to the public about the sad news:

“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.”

The Athens, Ga. band rose to stardom in the late ’80’s when they recorded “The One I Love,” which rose to No. 9 pop and No. 16 on the UK Singles’ Charts. 1991’s “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People” and 1993’s “Everybody Hurts” continued their chart-topping momentum. Since their career exploded with grand success, sparked by sold-out tours and their ingenious blend of activism into their enigmatic folk-rock, most of their album releases have gone gold or platinum, including  their 1983 debut Murmur, 1984’s Reckoning, 1991’s Out of Time and 2001’s Reveal.

In 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This year, the band released their last album, Collapse Into Now, earning a healthy dose of critical acclaim (see our album review) and debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, despite the band performing the new songs in subsequent live concerts.

The band acknowledges that they ended their work relationship on good terms and that the final decision was mutual. “During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’?,” bassist Mike Mills wrote on the R.E.M. site. Mills added: “There’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”

“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way,” says frontman Michael Stipe.

Thirty years is quite along time for any artist, more less a band. R.E.M. ends their career on a high note, although their presence will definitely be missed.

So what do you think?
Sad about the news?
Did you pick up Collapse Into Now?
What’s your favorite R.E.M. song?

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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