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R.E.M. Call It A Day
Legendary band call time on a historic career.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 21 Sep 2011
After 31 years together, R.E.M. have decided to call it a day. They made the announcement in a brief note that appeared on their website earlier today.
It read: “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.”
Regarded as one of the most important and most influential bands of the last 30 years they formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 with original members, frontman, Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry. With a jangly “Rickenbacker” guitar sound, heavily influenced by the Byrds and Big Star, among others, they released their seminal debut album Murmur in 1983 on the IRS label. Their international breakthrough came with Document released in 1987 while their 1992 album Automatic For The People featured classics such as ‘Everybody Hurts’ and ‘Man On The Moon’ and made them superstars.
They were regular visitors to Ireland, their first appearance being at Dublin’s SFX Centre in December 1984 while they headlined Slane Castle in 1995. They made two live albums in this country, Live In Dublin recorded at The Point in February 2005 and Live At The Olympia recorded during a five-night stint at the Dublin theatre in 2007. Drummer Bill Berry quit in 1997 following a health scare but remained on friendly terms with the band. Their most recent album, Collapse Into Now was released earlier this year to a generally positive response while the 25th anniversary Deluxe Edition of their 1986 classic, Lifes Rich Pageant was also well received.
Each of the three remaining original members later posted their own thoughts on the band’s website about the decision to split.
Michael Stipe: "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."