Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's the End of R.E.M. As We Know It

Earlier today, it was announced via their website that alt-rock's elder statesmen R.E.M. are calling it quite after more than 30 years together. The announcement undoubtedly comes as shock to many fans considering R.E.M. put out an album earlier this year, Collapse Into Now that many felt was their strongest in over a decade.

Starting with 1983's Murmur, R.E.M. came to encapsulate the entire sound of college/alternative rock. After five well-received indie releases, the band made the jump to Warner Bros. where they exploded into the mainstream off the success of Automatic for the People, which spawned six singles including "Man on the Moon," and "Everybody Hurts." Original drummer Bill Berry left the group in 1997, reducing the group to a trio in a move that many saw as the "end of the band." However, the band soldiered on for an astounding 14 more years before making this announcement today. In an interview, Kurt Cobain himself once said, "I don’t know how that band does what they do. God, they’re the greatest. They’ve dealt with their success like saints, and they keep delivering great music." As for the band, lead-singer Michael Stipe had this to say, "A wise man once said--'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.' "

"Everybody Hurts"- Automatic for the People

"It's The End of the World As We Know It"- Document

"Man on the Moon"- Automatic for the People

"Losing My Religion"- Out of Time

"Nightswimming" (live)- Automatic for the People

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