REM Call It A Day

Alternative rock band R.E.M. have announced that they decided to "call it a day as a band".

REM Call It A Day
8
R.E.M., who are widely considered to be one of the first successful alternative rock groups, have consistently released quality music throughout their career and have had a tremendous effect on many musicians and fans of the genre. But after almost three decades and a total of fifteen studio albums to their credit, R.E.M. have decided that they are now finished as a band. The news was announced via the band's official website, www.remhq.com, with the following message: "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." Each of the group's individual members also personally issued a comment regarding the end of the band. Mike Mills Bass: "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." Michael Stipe Vocals: "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." Peter Buck Guitar: "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."

112 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    sdstevens
    R.E.M. paved the way for so many alternative rocks bands that came after them. There would have been no Nirvana or Pearl Jam without them. They are alt-rock legends.
    bazo666
    I wished they'd atleast do a farewell tour, they're on my must see bands list.
    westley23j
    Lacebad wrote: Skuzzmo wrote: Lacebad wrote: ....I'm sure their fans will be upset but this has brought a smile to my face. This seems like such a dumb statement I must have missed the the point or some sort of 'in joke' so I've gotta ask....why? I do not like the band. If a band I do not like splits up, I am happy, If a band I do like splits I am unhappy. where is the confusion? I am going to tell this piece of news to my friends and there will be high-fives and beers all round. you cannot honestly tell me that there is not one single band or group and the planet you would not like to see split up?
    i see someone just opened a bottle of HATERade.... if a band i dont like breaks up, i let it go. i may smile about it or tell someone who is right next to me, but you make it sound like its gonna be tha basis for your entire day. you, sir, need a life.
    BenjaminFields
    It's a testament to R.E.M.'s genuineness that so many on this board are expressing their love and admiration maturely. Which is a rare thing on ULTIMATEGUITAR. That speaks volumes to the sort of audience they've cultivated the last 30 yrs. *not saying there aren't assh*le rem fans out there. just that there probably aren't a lot. sue me.
    Lion_Slicer
    Aw man. My dad was really into REM and they were literally the first music I ever heard; growing up I knew every single song. Once I got old enough to understand and like music on my own terms I realized that yes, they really are as awesome as I was raised to believe. Very dignified way to bow out, lots of respect. REM, I bow to you. My very favorite song of theirs now seems uniquely relevant: Leave.
    SSaxdude
    This is a very sad day! I've been into REM for a really long time. My dad has been into them since Murmur (from 1983, he has it on vinyl) and I remember being really young and hearing Green, Out of Time, and Automatic For the People in the car on cassette. I've still got those tapes somewhere. They really are one of the most important bands of all time. PS: Hearing about REM splitting made me listen to "Half a World Away", which describes my mood so much right now!
    Root Beer
    Bananaman1jovan wrote: So OPETH is streaming an entire album online and this is the top story? UG u suck at music news, greatest tab resource ever though
    Lemme clear something up for you here: REM is (was) one of the biggest alternative rock bands EVER, and they're breaking up after 31 years. Opeth is a moderately known death metal band who is putting out, what, album 10? I think the right news got the front page here.
    joestrat5000
    wow, I'm a huge die-hard REM fan. I'm sad to hear this, but I'm happy with their intentions. Kudos to them. Some bands should just learn to quit, and understand that'll never be on par with what made them amazing when they first became it. I've always somewhat enjoy a band with a limited catalouge then one with a vast one. And 15 albums in 30 years was pretty solid. Good luck to them. And at least I got my Orange Crush
    Motorhed95
    "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." What a wonderful quote. Beautiful band, sad to know they've split, but very glad to know they've done it before they did a KISS and started to suck.
    fifopher
    pailoong wrote: Who?
    No, not The Who... the disbanded awhile back. This article is about REM...
    BigMacDT
    This makes me a sad panda. I was a pretty big REM fan, I'm even from Athens. And yet, I've yet to see them live. Farewell REM. Stay classy.
    GoToSleep
    They had an amazing unique way of putting words and music together so perfectly. They will be missed.
    therosa69
    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 ."
    for the win.... =/ sadness about the breakup though =[
    frost9191
    So many great amazing things are coming to an end lately :\ Not just in music, but almost in every other field.. especially this year. I love the quote Michael 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'll truly miss them
    Sladey
    Terrible news. For everyone who thinks it's good news, just because you don't like the band, don't be ignorant. Regardless of your disposition towards the band, they've inspired many people to write music, and pick up a guitar. As fellow musicians, you shouldn't ever disrespect that fact. Not liking the band is one thing, celebrating with beers because they've broken up only means you need something better to celebrate, probably because your life is boring and meaningless. Yeah. I think I'm done here.
    BenjaminFields
    Sladey wrote: Terrible news. For everyone who thinks it's good news, just because you don't like the band, don't be ignorant. Regardless of your disposition towards the band, they've inspired many people to write music, and pick up a guitar. As fellow musicians, you shouldn't ever disrespect that fact. Not liking the band is one thing, celebrating with beers because they've broken up only means you need something better to celebrate, probably because your life is boring and meaningless. Yeah. I think I'm done here.
    Nicely put.
    TrashVampire666
    Bananaman1jovan wrote: So OPETH is streaming an entire album online and this is the top story? UG u suck at music news, greatest tab resource ever though
    you obviously dont know how much REM did for alternative rock music.
    Lost Dog
    Sladey wrote: Terrible news. For everyone who thinks it's good news, just because you don't like the band, don't be ignorant. Regardless of your disposition towards the band, they've inspired many people to write music, and pick up a guitar. As fellow musicians, you shouldn't ever disrespect that fact. Not liking the band is one thing, celebrating with beers because they've broken up only means you need something better to celebrate, probably because your life is boring and meaningless. Yeah. I think I'm done here.
    This. Also, I'm glad that they explained everything to the fans and did it in a dignified manner.
    Evews333
    Like almost everyone else here, I'm not a big fan, but it did make me me really sad to hear about this. I really hope they all continue to make music. RIP R.E.M.
    Root Beer
    Not a huge fan, but I do like them, and it's saddening to see a band who's been around for such a long time, put out so much material, and touched so many people's hearts come to an end. I'm glad that they're still friends, and I'm glad they didn't just try to run on fumes. They knew when it was time to hang it up, stand back, smile, and say "Wow, we did that." I really respect that. RIP REM.
    DanielN
    Fantastic-sounding band and huge influence to rock n roll music as a whole. They will be missed, but at the same time they left when they had to.
    awisinger
    It's sad to see a band that actually played music end. However, they did it in a very good manner of not causing drama or hinting at any reunion. While I don't doubt that could be in the works, you have to think maybe they're done traveling the world and playing shows all the time. Finally a chance to be with their families, and enjoy life. Thanks for the good tunes! Sincerely, a 20 year old.
    Echoplex
    Everybody should read Stipe's statement as if it were part of "Country Feedback" or "The Voice of Harold." It makes the whole thing a lot better.
    swave75
    Sad day in the music world. I always loved them. Luckily I got to see them once. I bought 7 shirts at that concert.
    drunkass
    Its too bad theyre breaking up. I met Mike Mills a couple months ago at a bar i was working at. I did a couple shots of tequila with him. He was a very nice guy.
    Calibos
    I like the songs i've heard from them, never listened to an album of their's though, think i'll go out and buy one. Major respect for what they accomplished and the way they went out.
    WholeLottaIzzy
    It's sad to hear they've broken up, but it's good to see it was all on good terms and they were professional and honest about it. Nice to see a band just saying they're calling it a day without someone dropping out, getting fired or whatever.
    BenjaminFields
    Cyanide81 wrote: Sad to hear. This really should be bigger news.
    Yes and no...I know what you mean. But 31 years, wow, incredible. Pretty much set the blueprint for balancing indie credibility with mainstream success. And they really never released a bad record (other than Around the Sun and even that one had a couple of good songs). It's awesome to see a band last that long and still have energy and integrity. Their last album was solid, so who knows how much they still had left in their tank. Chili Peppers, U2, Metallica...your move.
    Like I Is
    REM was a truly revolutionary band. They didn't need screaming guitar solos or thundering, convoluted drum fills. They just made great music, plain and simple. Never any scandal, never any controversy, and never any (significant) issues with fellow bandmates, which are all things that most modern bands are dealing with every day. REM was straight class, and while I'm very, very sad to hear about this, I can't imagine it happening in any other way. Everyone should check out their "In Time: Greatest Hits" album at some point.
    Holoogamooga
    I never really got into REM aside from "End of the World" and "Losing My Religion," but the last line of the article made me smile. I like these guys.
    Sparda93
    Although i really like some of their songs, i don`t consider myself a fan, but i KNOW these guys had enough talent to go on another 10 years, i think they will come back in a few years, real musicians just can`t quit and not want to play, believe me. R.E.M deserve some chilling time.
    PeenieMcGee303
    RockinZiemak19 wrote: I've never really listened to them. What's some good songs by them?
    Angel of Death is my fav.
    starfire666
    sad sad news... great band, great songs... I bet half of you wannabe shredders started by playing R.E.M., I know I did...
    StratDune
    Now this is class. But please make something together in future.. a reunion tour / a song in a movie soundtrack ... something!!
    Pagan_Poetry
    Terrible news. However, this was probablu the best way a band can break up. I just got into them too not too long ago. Their first two albums are brilliant.
    oPINionHEAD
    It's sad that REM is over, but you gotta respect 'em for knowing when their time has come. It's always disappointing to see great bands release crappy records just for the sake releasing records. I often wonder what would have happened had the Beatles not broken up early, or had Kurt Cobain not died young. Could it be that they would have released sub-par albums that would have blemished their God-like achievements?? :O I think that the scarce existence of these two magnificent bands is a part of why people are so mystified by them. REM, however, doesn't need to quit early to maintain a five-star status. 30+ years of Alternative magic, and they're still going strong. (Well, until now anyways. ) ...Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die....
    lank81
    They'll definitely be missed. They came from such a great time in music and started to bring them selves back up from where Reveal and Up were. Hopefully we get some more great bands such as R.E.M in the near future. Just one less quality band I'll be waiting to release new, quality material.
    agent_toast
    Very sad to hear about it, but at the same time I am glad that they enjoyed their work, they did it for as long as they could (I mean WOW, 31 years!!! :O)and when the moment came they saw that it was time to "call it a day". Everybody gets old one day, they couldn't have played on for another 20 years or so... but the way they finished it all was something other bands can look up in the future... very classy and professional. You guys never disappointed me. Thank you.
    elcapitan1800
    For anyone who "never got into REM" listen to their second to latest CD Accelerate. It's outstanding. And its too bad these guys are going away, they continued to put out quality music. At least its a clean breakup, nice to see that there isnt any drama
    Bobby-Dean
    Most dignified end to i great band, respect for all the members and the mass amounts of pleasure their music has and will give me for years to come. When the time is right the end will come peacefully to each and everyone, if only every band could manage such a infinite and respectable conclusion. And yes i have been drinking, but shut up