R.I.P. R.E.M.: Goodnight To The Men On The Moon

Categories: Miles-tones

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remhq.com
Feeling Gravity's Pull: R.E.M., 1980-2011
Sad news out of Athens, Ga. today:

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.

- R.E.M., via their Web site

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.

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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.


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7 comments
Etotheg
Etotheg

Damn, this sucks! I've seen pratically every R.E.M. tour from "Fables" at Cullen Auditorium to "Accelerate" at the Hollywood Bowl, and was hoping for a final reunion tour with Bill Berry. Oh well.

The song Perfect Circle still brings me to tears.

KAC
KAC

Is anyone going to mention Green? There were so many good songs on that album. Orange Crush is one of my all time faves on that album.

Skippy
Skippy

Glad to see "World Leader Pretend" on your list. Would've been my pick if it hadn't made your cut. Just about every song on Green is a fovorite for one reason or another. Of course, there's so many more, the list could go on quite a bit longer. Another song that stands out for me is "Driver 8". They're one band I hadn't gotten to see in concert and now might not ever(save for the hope of a reunion tour several years from now) . I now wished I had made a greater effort to catch one of the previous shows.   

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

"Can't get there from here" "Radio free Europe", and my all-time favorite "Begin the Begin".  I quit listening to them after they left I.R.S. records.  Also, haven't they pulled a Brett Favre and broken up several times before now?

rocksoffsr
rocksoffsr

Not really, besides Berry leaving and long periods of extreme band inactivity.

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

I see, like I said, I kind of gave up on them once they got signed to Warner Bros.  Not because I thought they had "sold out" or anything, I just thought the music was better in their early years.

rob
rob

E bow the letter off new adventures in hi fi has always been a favorite of mine. It was even a single and had Patti smith on backing vocals. Not everyday would you hear Patti on an alt rock radio station. It was always a breath of fresh air to hear that song come on. R.I.P.

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