5 years ago today (9/21/11), R.E.M. announced that they’re calling it quits after more than 30 years. In a post on their website, the band members write, “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.”
Lead singer Michael Stipe said that he hoped fans realized it “wasn’t an easy decision”: “All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.” In the end, R.E.M. earned induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 and finished with 15 studio albums that included a run in the 80’s to mid 90’s that was practically unrivaled in terms of quality, quantity and influence. Lets go way back and watch the band perform “Harborcoat” off Reckoning live on 6/9/1984 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ.