R.I.P. R.E.M.: Goodnight To The Men On The Moon
Sad news out of Athens, Ga. today:
remhq.com Feeling Gravity's Pull: R.E.M., 1980-2011
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.
Rocks Off's interest in R.E.M. peaked about the same time a lot of other people's did - 1991's Out of Time and '92's Automatic For the People were two of the main soundtracks to our high-school years.
From there on into college, they were one of our absolute favorite bands, especially after we retroactively discovered and devoured 1984's Reckoning and '86's Life's Rich Pageant, which remain our two favorite R.E.M. albums. The one time we saw them live, at the 2003 Austin City Limits Music Festival, was pure magic.
Our interest in R.E.M. waned after that, but not our appreciation of those records, and reignited somewhat after 2008's Accelerate. This year's followup Collapse Into Now, sadly, was most successful as a prophecy.
The band's influence is vast and their accomplishments are many, from being the first band to break out of the American college-rock underground into the Top 10 with "The One I Love" in 1987 to the unswerving integrity that no doubt cost the band millions of dollars - such as opting not to tour after Out of Time or Automatic.
Their commitment to social causes was legion, as was their patronage of other artists, but in the end they deserve to be remembered for their songs. Few bands of their era, or any other, close the books on a catalog that is as deep and enduring as Messrs. Berry, Buck, Mills & Stipe.
Rocks Off picked out a few of our favorite R.E.M. songs to say goodbye, and could have picked a lot more. Sorry about the ads in a couple, but it's worth it. Tell us yours.