R.E.M. breakup: Band members call it quits after 31 years of making music

By on Sep 22, 2011 in Entertainment, Music, United States Comments

The 80s band R.E.M. officially breakup on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 after 31 years, with the band members issuing statements expressing their thoughts on their decision.

R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe in
Losing My Religion music video

Image Credit: REMHQ/YouTube

As noted at REMHQ.com, the official website of the R.E.M. band, the American rock band which rose to fame back in the 80s for their unique brand of music, decided to call it quits.

Apparently, the R.E.M. breakup came as a surprise to their fans around the world since the band has been in the music industry since 1979 and had 15 albums under their name.

“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.” A statement of their official website wrote.

Each original band member also issued separate statements about the R.E.M. breakup and why they decided to call it quits after 31 years of being one of the first alternative rock bands in history.

“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’?” R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills said on the press release.

“Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.” Mills added.

“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.” R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe wrote.

“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.” Stipe added, who also thank all the people who helped them to be R.E.M.

“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.” R.E.M. guitarist and co-founder Peter Buck said.

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.” Buck added.

Back in 1995, Bill Berry, the band’s drummer, collapsed on stage during a concert in Switzerland and decided to leave the band in October 1997, but noted that he will still continue his close friendship with R.E.M.

Bertis Downs, often referred as the fifth member of R.E.M., became both counselor and manager of the band and is usually credited simply as the band’s “adviser” since he originally provided legal counselor for the group.

Among the popupar songs of the R.E.M. band includes “The One I Love” and the highly-acclaimed “Losing My Religion“, with its music video nominated in 9 categories at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards.

The “Losing My Religion” music video won six awards including Video of the Year, Best Group Video, Breakthrough Video, Best Art Direction, Best Direction and Best Editing.

R.E.M. – Losing My Religion Music Video
Video Credit: REMHQ/YouTube

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