R.I.P. R.E.M.

The band that defines college rock, R.E.M., has decided to call it quits after 31 years.  R.E.M. was a tight-knit group that only ever comprised the four original members.  The only person to leave the group was drummer Bill Berry.  He suffered a brain aneurysm on-stage during R.E.M.’s 1995 “Monster” tour and retired two years later.  Before he retired, however, he made his band mates promise that they would continue on as R.E.M.  “Bill insisted he would stay, if his leaving meant breaking the band up,” remembers lead singer Michael Stipe.   Throughout the life of R.E.M., they released 15 studio albums and the band has plans to release a career-spanning greatest hits collection later this year, which will include a handful of new songs finished after the band completed Collapse Into Now, which was released last March.  As Stipe so eloquently put it, “it’s the end of the world as we know it.”

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