After over three decades and 15 studio albums together, R.E.M. have decided to call it quits.
In a statement posted to their official website, the band told fans that Collapse Into Now (which was released earlier this year) would be the last thing the band recorded as a unit.
“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,” the announcement said. “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.”
The Athens, Georgia quartet (founded by singer Michael Stipe, drummer Bill Berry, bassist Mike Mills, and guitarist Peter Buck) soldiered on as a trio after Berry left the band in 1997 due to health problems.
All told, R.E.M. have sold over 25 million albums, amassed a bevy of awards, put out dozens of iconic music videos, and left behind a body of work that includes some of the most iconic songs of the end of the 20th century.
UPDATE: Stipe, Mills, and Buck each wrote their own individual comments about the break-up.
“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. READ FULL STORY