To The One I Love – R.E.M.

R.E.M. -- Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry

Year: 1987
Artists: R.E.M.
Album: Document
Other Hits: Losing My Religion, It’s the end of the world…, Everybody Hurts, Stand, Shiny Happy People


In morning of September 22, 2011,  I woke up and tuned in to CNN and this is what I saw — R.E.M. CALL IT A DAY… “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.” R.E.M.

This is the kind of news that you wouldn’t expect from a band who’s been together for 31 years and so all you could ever do is sigh and uttered “now I can never hear them perform live, ever!” So what are they doing here in my blog? They are not new wave and in fact, in the early 1980s, the alternative rock of R.E.M. stood in contrast to the post-punk and new wave genres. Simply because, they are REM and they are the first alternative rock bands that paved way for other bands such as Nirvana, Live, etc. I grew up listening to their songs and remember liking their mid-tempo and enigmatic musical style long after the release of ‘Losing my Religion.’

Formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry.  Michael Stipe met Peter Buck in the Athens record store where Buck worked. The pair discovered that they shared similar tastes in music, Stipe and Buck soon met fellow University of Georgia students Mike Mills and Bill Berry, who had played music together since high school. The quartet agreed to collaborate on several songs; Stipe later commented that “there was never any grand plan behind any of it” and yet, R.E.M. achieved a mainstream hit in 1987 with the single “The One I Love” and in 2007, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The name of the band was selected at random from a dictionary by Stipe. By definition, Rapid eye movement or REM is a normal stage of sleep characterized by the random movement of the eyes. We usually experience about four or five periods of REM sleep; they are quite short at the beginning of the night and longer toward the end.

I like popular people and groups who basked in their glory but never just sit there and looked pretty. This band is always active in politics and environment — According to the Los Angeles Times, R.E.M. is considered to be one of the United States’ “most liberal and politically correct rock groups.” The band’s members are “on the same page” politically, sharing a liberal and progressive outlook. R.E.M. has helped raise funds for environmental, feminist and human rights causes, and has been involved in campaigns to encourage voter registration. Stipe was involved with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

It’s a shame that after 31 years it ended; REM is no more…