Today marks a sad day for R.E.M fans after the band decided to close the curtain on 31 years in the music business.
The band, famed for melodramatic hits including Everybody Hurts, Losing my Religion and To the One I Love, released a statement in Athens, Georgia announcing the decision.
Bassist Mike Mills said that during the band’s last tour and the recording of recent album Collapse Into Now, R.E.M realised that they had come to the end of the road.
Mills said the latest collection of songs drew “a natural line under the last 31 years”.
Along with fellow members Michael Stipe and Peter Buck, the band decided that the “time just feels right” to call it a day.
The group maintain that the split is unique in that there has been no fall out and that they remain the friends they were when R.E.M formed in Athens in 1979.
During their long career R.E.M released no fewer than 15 studio albums.
However, the group almost suffered a premature end in the mid 1990s when drummer Bill Berry, the fourth member of the original line-up, fell ill.
Berry suffered a brain aneurysm onstage in 1995 but said he would only leave if the other members promised to continue on as R.E.M.
“Bill insisted he would stay, if his leaving meant breaking the band up,” Stipe explained.
Commenting on the split, Stipe 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.
“I hope our fans realise 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.”
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