The end of R.E.M.

Updated: In a quiet announcement on their web site, the influential band decides to "call it a day"

Emma Mustich
September 21, 2011 9:22PM (UTC)


Today just might mark the end of the world as R.E.M. fans know it.

In a short statement posted on their website on Wednesday, the members of the legendary group announced their decision to "call it a day." Here's the full text of their note:


"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

The band was together for just over thirty years; their final album, "Collapse into Now," was released this March.

To mark R.E.M.'s passing, we've assembled some of the band's memorable videos:

"Radio Free Europe"

 "The One I Love"


"It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

"Losing My Religion"


"Everybody Hurts"

UPDATE: The band's three members have fleshed out their brief original statement with personal notes, which you can read here.


Here's what Mike Mills had to say:

"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."

Emma Mustich

Emma Mustich is a Salon contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @emustich.

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