The End of the World as We Know It: R.E.M Is Breaking Up
Time to cue up "Everybody Hurts", especially if you happen to be a fan of the best-selling band R.E.M. Today the long running band announced that they are officially calling it quits. After 31 years playing together Michael Stripe, Peter Buck and Mike Mills are disbanding.
“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.”
This may seem like "The End of the World the World As We Know It" to R.E.M. fans but I'm pretty sure fans don't feel fine. Social media sites have lit up with sadness over the ending of an era that began in 1983 when the band released their first album "Murmur". Since then they've sold over 25 million albums in the US alone.
After the inital statement, the band updated their site with additional statements from each of the iconic band's three members, explaining their decisions. You can find these three statements below:
"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.
"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 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."
"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 realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.
"We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It's been amazing."
"One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by you. Being a part of your lives has been an unbelievable gift. Thank you.
"Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great 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 in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of the club: watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world."
What do you think of the news that R.E.M. is splitting up for good? Are you going to be listening to "Everybody Hurts" on repeat like Dwight Schrute once did on the "The Office"? Sound off with your thoughts and favorite R.E.M. songs in the comments!