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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Farewell to R.E.M. (and "Happy")

I was sad when I heard the news this week that R.E.M. had called it quits. It's true that I haven't paid much (if any) attention to their last few releases, but they made a lot of great music over a whole lot of years.

I won't claim to have been a *huge* R.E.M. fan - I never saw them play live, and I was never that big a fan of some of their biggest radio hits, but I really love a lot of their music, and a few of their discs are prominent in my iPod's rotation. I'll put "Automatic for the People" on my list of ten CD's to take to a desert island, and "Everybody Hurts" was a real comfort to me during a very painful time.

I particularly like Michael Stipe's quote:
"A wise man once said--'the skill in attending a party is knowing when it's time to leave.' We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we're going to walk away from it."
I think that's right - there *is* wisdom in knowing when it's time to move on from something that's no longer working, no matter how good it was in the past. It's also one of the most difficult things - at least for me.

Since it's Saturday, that means "dash of happy", and I'll have to go with an R.E.M. song today. Here's "Finest Worksong", which never fails to get me tapping my foot - and maybe even playing a little air guitar along with it.

Happy Saturday!

4 comments:

  1. They were, back in the day, frequently played in my car on repeat. (that means I had to eject the cassette tape, flip it, re-insert it and press play. No loop or shuffle options for me.)

    I hadn't heard they called it quits, but like you, I hadn't really follwed them recently.

    They had a very good run. I think I'll look for those tapes......

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  2. They were still together? Hmmm...

    The are still in rotation on my iPod though, inevitably, they have drifted ever lower on my list, but for some reason, "Losing my Religion" stays up at the top.

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  3. Oh, I am a huge fan of REM and it made me sad to know they're not together anymore. And yes, 'everybody hurts' is simply gorgeous!
    About this:
    '...there *is* wisdom in knowing when it's time to move on from something that's no longer working, no matter how good it was in the past. It's also one of the most difficult things - at least for me.' I couldn't agree more, my friend.
    Thanks for this post, and for the song!

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  4. Yes, like you max, not a huge fan . . . But, have great respect for their body of work, and really love some of their songs . . . Ciao

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