R.E.M. bid adieu to its fans after three decades of delivering extraordinary music. The group’s edgy and experimental music earned them a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The group’s joint statement reads: “To all our fans and friends: as REM, 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.”
Here is a list of the top 10 R.E.M songs that glorified the group’s musical capabilities.
Losing My Religion: “Losing My Religion” was released as the first single from the group's 1991 album “Out of Time.” The song, based around a mandolin riff, was considered as an unlikely hit for the group whose music video became critically acclaimed. The song was also R.E.M.'s highest-charting hit in the United States and was later nominated for several Grammy Awards. The song won two for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and Best Short Form Music Video.
Radio Free Europe: Radio Free Europe was released as R.E.M.'s debut single on the short-lived independent record label Hib-Tone in 1981. The single received critical acclaim, and its success earned the band a record deal with I.R.S. Records.
The song is ranked number 379 on Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Man on the Moon: The song was released as the second single from its 1992 album Automatic for the People. The song made a host of references to the performer Andy Kaufman, including his Elvis impersonation and working with wrestlers Fred Blassie and Jerry Lawler.
The title, video, and lyrics of the song are a reference to the conspiracy theory that the American moon landing was faked.
Orange Crush: “Orange Crush” was released as the first single from R.E.M.'s sixth studio album, Green, in 1988. However, the song was not commercially released in the US despite reaching number one as a promotional single on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks.
The video for the song was directed by Matt Mahurin and won the band its first VMA for Best Post-Modern Video.
Everybody Hurts: The song, originally released on the band's 1992 album Automatic for the People, was written by drummer Bill Berry. Although R.E.M. shared songwriting credits among its members, it is unknown how much he actually wrote.
In 2005, Buck told the BBC: If you're consciously writing for someone who hasn't been to college, or is pretty young, it might be nice to be very direct. In that regard, it's tended to work for people of a lot of ages.
Watch the video here.
Supernatural Superserious: The song originally debuted during the band's working rehearsals at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin between June and July, 2007. Supernatural Superserious, in an unfinished form, was called Disguised. The title was later changed on the advice of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
The song was used by ESPN as part of their coverage of Major League Baseball's 2008 Opening Day, and its music video was shot by director Vincent Moon in various locations around New York City.
Nightswimming: Nightswimming is a ballad featuring singer Michael Stipe accompanied only by bassist Mike Mills on piano, former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, and Deborah Workman in the latter part of the piece.
Stipe, here, sang about a group of friends who go skinny dipping at night and draws similar experiences from the band's early days, and the song was originally recorded in demo form during the sessions for R.E.M.'s 1991 album Out of Time.
It's the End of the World As We Know It: The song originated from a previously unreleased R.E.M. song called PSA (Public Service Announcement). PSA was itself later released as a single in 2003, under the title Bad Day.
The video depicts a young skateboarder, Noah Ray, rifling through an abandoned, collapsing farmhouse and displaying the relics that he finds to the camera.
Stand: “Stand” talks about finding direction in one's life. The song was released as the second single from the album Green in 1989 and was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. Records best of album “In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003” in 2003.
Stand was used as the opening theme to the early 1990s Fox comedy “Get a Life”, starring Chris Elliott.
Drive: Despite “Drive” was one of the most successful and popular songs of R.E.M., it was left out of the band's Warner Bros. Records best of compilation “In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003.”
The song's video, directed by Peter Care, was shot over two nights in late August 1992 at Sepulveda Dam in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles.