It’s the end of the band as we know it . . .

. . . and they feel fine!

In case you didn’t understand the allusion, the ‘alternative rock‘ band R.E.M. announced yesterday that they were breaking up after 31 years together. For those who don’t know the group’s background or music very well, Slate has a good overview of their career. It concludes:

So in the end, R.E.M. bowed out gracefully. Given the world into which they were born, all of the band members must have been conscious that, however big their tour income, they weren’t putting out significant albums anymore. What idealistic post-punk wanted to be that cliché? Instead they chose to cap off a career with as much grace and integrity as any other I can think of. The band never sold their songs to a soft-drink company; they never tried to do larger-than-life stadium tours like U2. Artists from Kurt Cobain to Warren Zevon to Uncle Tupelo to Patti Smith have found them generous with their time and influence. R.E.M. left behind six or eight albums that rank with the best of their era, and the members got to do what few can claim: watch an artistic revolution they helped spark change the world.

There’s more at the link.

Here, in commemoration of thirty-one years of music, are three of R.E.M.’s greatest hits.

Thanks for the music, guys.



  1. Humor, cynicism, sentimentality, nobody does it like R.E.M. "Superman," "Ignoreland," "Everybody Hurts." How did they get away with it? ONCE, I heard their cover of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." B side of "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight?" Blew me away, and I can't find it to download. I hope Michael
    Stipe continues to sing for us; there is something so compelling about his voice.

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