It’s the end of the world as we know it.
Athens band R.E.M. is breaking up. The sad news was announced via the R.E.M. web site. It was apparently overloaded because we received error messages when trying to access it.
The Athens Banner Herald posted the news release on its site, though. Here’s what it says:
“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.”
Response from our Twitter followers ranged from acerbic wit (”REM is still alive?” - Katie Smith) to lamentation (”Crap! And their last album was GREAT!” – Ferrd R.) to lyrical (”Everybody hurts.” – Greg Payne).
The news is burning up music blogs such as the one at Rolling Stone’s site, which notes that “in just over three decades as a band, R.E.M. released 15 albums including landmark works such as Murmur, Reckoning, Document, Out of Time and Automatic For the People. The band’s final album, Collapse Into Now, was released in March of this year.”
Are you surprised at the news? Are you, ahem, (Orange) Crushed?