REM Calls It Quits After 3 Decades Of Making Music

After 15 albums and 31 years in the music business, the band REM is breaking up. In a farewell to fans, frontman Michael Stipe wrote on the band's website that a wise man once said "the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave."

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DAVID GREENE, host: Some fans of the band REM may be relating to his song today.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY HURTS")

MICHAEL STIPE: (Singing) Everybody hurts, sometimes...

STEVE INSKEEP, host: That song, "Everybody Hurts" is from the 1992 album "Automatic for the People," one of the 15 albums that REM released over three decades, and now the band will, in its words, call it a day.

GREENE: In a low-key message on their website, Singer Michael Stipe, Guitarist Peter Buck, and bass player Mike Mills explain they're walking away with a great sense of gratitude, finality, and astonishment at what they've accomplished. The underground band from Athens, Georgia formed in 1980 and become stars of the decade's alternative rock sound.

INSKEEP: They say they will part as friends. Michael Stipe's message to fans puts it this way: a wise man once said the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY HURTS")

STIPE: (Singing) Everybody hurts, sometimes. Everybody cries. Everybody hurts...

INSKEEP: This is REM News.

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