Thursday, September 22, 2011

R.E.M. Calls It Quits


Bands break up everyday, but when a band has been together for 30 years, I think it is important to reflect for a few minutes on said band. I have loved R.E.M since the first time I heard them. They are one of those rare groups that was able to produce great songs and albums over a long period of time and never really had a dry spell. One of the other great things about them is they were a band that sounded like their albums but without lip syncing. When you went to a R.E.M. show you knew you were going to get everything from the group and that included real vocals. I don't think you get the same energy when there are backing tracks and lip syncing. It is just not the same thing. You might get a good show but you are not going to get that live whatever happens happens kind of vibe. If you go see a Britney Spears show, it might be good, but it is kind of like a ride at a theme park. You buy an expensive ticket, buy some souvenirs, wait in line and get on a ride which is pleasant but the outcome is pretty much known from the beginning and the experience is the same for every rider. That is not how music is supposed to be and R.E.M knew it.



23 comments:

selenakyle said...

This band, among only a few others, defined my college years in the early 80's. Ahhh, good times, good times...

BrandieMarie said...

i think i'm the only one not affected by this. nothing against them. just not my thing. but i can acknowledge their presence in the music community and how long they kept it together.

mikey said...

Bnl1016 - I'm not bothered by it either and I did do the early 80's/college/dating with them. I prefer to think of them as retiring.

BrandieMarie said...

Mikey - That's a really good way to describe it - retiring. It was one of those **shrugs shoulders, it was gonna happen eventually** kind of thing for me.

RocketQueen said...

I respect their longevity and their charity works, but their music was never really my thing, either. Although I really liked "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" and the story behind it.

Lolita Breckenridge said...

Peter Buck signed my thigh on Bourbon Street in 1989, after a concert in N'Awlins. He was wearing the same shirt as he had at the concert (it seemed) and NO ONE recognized him. I was 18 and asked him, "Will you sign my thigh?" and he did - I was wearing jeans. He was kind, not pervy, and lovely. I love REM.

YourNameHere said...

Losing My Religion=Brenda & Dylan from BH 90210.

Krab said...

I loved them and saw them back in the 80s several times, but I haven't liked anything they've done since 1989, so whatevs.

figgy said...

Michael K has a link to Michael Stipe naked pictures, proving that the man was gifted in areas other than music.

Ahem. Oh yeah, I loved them in the 80s too.

Tara said...

I have been a fan since 1983 and have seen them over a hundred times in the last almost 30 years. Great shows but also good people and we all sorta grew up together. Sad to see it all end as the record they released in March was good. I had hoped to see them one more time.
I do wish Enty you had a picture of all the members because one of the great things about REM was that there wasn't a star they all were.

jen said...

HA figgy, I was just about to mention those Stipe pics haha. FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR too much bush for my liking, and his penis looks like a saggy, grumpy old man, but no denying he's got some size goin' there hehe.

Sherry said...

I remember when they hit the scene and played a little club in CLT called Viceroy Park. Everyone was blown away. Musta been 1980..Good times!

Carrie L. said...

I agree, the best concerts are those where the singing is live and is just as good as what you hear through the radio. I've loved REM and will miss future contributions to the history of music, but they've certainly left a lot for us to forever enjoy.

New Life and Attitude said...

Meh - like someone else said, I look at them as retiring (and something that the Rolling Stones should think about). I liked a few of their songs but never saw the big thing about them. And I hated how they got so political. I don't like that with my entertainment. I prefer to get my political entertainment from the politicians themselves (and we all know that they are damned entertaining).

brendalove@gmail.com said...

Rock and roll ethic personified. This last album was a major turkey though.

brendalove@gmail.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lelaina Pierce said...

@YourNameHere - That song will ALWAYS remind me of that scene!

I liked them, but I'm not devastated by the news. I like what they said on their website. At least they didn't break up in turmoil.

It always kind of blew my mind that a band with such longevity came from Athens, GA.

ablake said...

Funny, I always remember a 90210 scene with Steve at the jukebox (Peach pit) when I hear Losing my religion.

As far as Athens Ga bands..B-52's and Black Crowes also come to mind:)

Majik said...

Document remains one of my favourite albums of all time and I STILL know all the words to "It's the End of the World as We Know it (and I feel fine...)".

Good on them for knowing when it's time to stop (Rolling Stones, I'm looking at you....)

Lelaina Pierce said...

Ahh, very good points, Suhyphen!

Bit dams said...

college boyfriend and i had some great times w/ their music. always reminds me of him. long ago...

Em+E said...

Outdoor concert at Midway Stadium, 1999. The cloudy, slightly drizzly night turned into a full-on torrential downpour JUST as they started the last song of the night- End of the World. Most epic concert moment I've ever experienced. While the skies opened up and unleashed their fury, Michael Stipe and the guys stayed up on stage singing into the Armaggedon. I'll bet nobody in that crowd will ever forget that night, that song or that band.

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