REM have announced that they are to split up after 31 years together.
REM are most commonly associated with their frontman Michael Stipe but have, since 1996 when drummer Bill Berry left, included bassist Mike Mills and guitarist Peter Buck.
They have been one of the most successful bands of the modern era with 3 REM albums going quadruple platinum in the US alone.
They have released 15 albums together with the last one released in march 2011 called ‘Collapse Into Now’. They also hold 3 Grammy awards from their work in the early 1990′s.
A statement on the official REM website said:
“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.”
REM Songs & Music
Probably REM’s most famous songs come from their early 90′s period. Their outstanding hit ‘Losing My Religion’ capturing everybody’s attention across the world, catapulting them into music’s big league.
REM’s ‘Losing My Religion’ was the lead single off the ‘Out of Time’ album released in 1991, ‘Out of Time’ to sold over 12 million copies in the next 5 years.
The album also garnered 3 Grammy awards in 1992 including 2 for ‘Losing My Religion’. What’s the betting that we will see that song back in the charts very soon?
That same year REM released another album that would equal Out of Time’s success.
It was called ‘Automatic for the People’ and included another one of their most well known songs, ‘Everybody Hurts’. The album overall was a melancholy affair and REM attributed this to having to face turning 30.
In 1994 REM returned to a much more rockier style with the album ‘Monster’ and it was their most commercially successful record, although perhaps not their best loved.
The subsequent tour also brought about difficulties with Berry collapsing on stage, Mills having to have surgery and Stripe suffering from a hernia.
After Monster, REM have released another 6 albums including ‘Collapse into Now’ in 2011.
REM Band Member Statements
REM: Michael Stipe
“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.”
REM: Peter Buck
“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.”
REM: Mike Mills
“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.”
I am sure it won’t be the last we hear of the now former REM band members…. but for REM…. it is goodnight.