One of the great alternative music bands has decided to call it a day. R.E.M. announced on its website that the band is no more.
“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.” R.E.M.
The move ends more than three decades of collaboration, which began in Athens, Georgia, and brought the band into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Grammy-winning group was comprised of vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills. Drummer Bill Berry left the group in 1997.
R.E.M. broke out with the burgeoning alternative rock music scene with its debut album, Murmur, in 1983, garnering love from critics and college-radio, especially with the catchy tune “Radio Free Europe.”
By the early 90s, the band had moved from critical darlings to mass success, scoring hits with such songs as “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” “Losing My Religion”, “Stand,” and “Everybody Hurts.” Their videos were staples on MTV, and Stipe and band were superstars.
The band continued to make music, but they said that the time to end it was now, basically since they had simply run out of ideas. The three remaining members thanked their fans and said, “The time just feels right” to walk away. Apparently, there will be no farewell tour – not surprising from a band that built its audience with an alternative, grassroots style.
Warner Bros. will be releasing the greatest hits retrospective of the band in November.