By now, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]R.E.M.[/lastfm] fans know the news: After 31 years and 15 albums together, the bandmembers have mutually agreed to call it quits. As they blazed trails for American alternative rock in the ’80s, they also created some of the most memorable hit songs and music videos of the past three decades.

Let’s have a look at three of the greatest works from alternative rock royalty.

“The One I Love”

from Document (1987)

This is the single the first launched R.E.M. into the mainstream, with its chorus and hook delivering a simple shout-out, but to a person just about all of us has in our lives. It’s no wonder the song (and its video) touched so many people.

“Losing My Religion”

from Out of Time (1991)

Still considered one of the greatest and most beloved music videos ever created, “Losing My Religion” represented a band taking the music video, then mostly considered a commercial/promotional vehicle for a single, and turning it into a work of art. It also earned R.E.M. several major prizes at that year’s MTV Video Music Awards show, including Video of the Year for 1991.

And finally….

“Everybody Hurts”

from Automatic for the People (1992)

There are tons and tons of melancholy alt-rock ballads out there, but rarely is it truly done well. R.E.M. undoubtedly piled on the sappy lyrics and made “Everybody Hurts” a borderline tearjerker.

But the way Michael Stipe sings his heart out and the gripping main guitar riff by Peter Buck makes this song “hold on” in our minds, as Stipe urges the listener to do during the song’s climax.

“Everybody Hurts” would turn out to be the band’s final major hit before their commercial success declined, but the song is timeless and so is the band’s influence on bands that came after them.

What’s your favorite R.E.M. video? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

R.E.M. Calls It Quits

R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs talks about Life’s Rich Pagaent (exclusive interview)

Mike Mills and Peter Buck interview from 1986

First Listen: R.E.M. Re-Issue ‘Lifes Rich Pageant’ Album Stream

Video: R.E.M. Take Over YouTube With “Every Day Is Yours To Win”

Video: Michael Stipe Performs Alex Chilton’s ‘The Letter’ At Big Star Tribute Concert

Watch R.E.M. Play “Mine Smell Like Honey” Live In-Studio

Free MP3 Download: The Decemberists Cover R.E.M.’s “Cuyahoga”

Download: The Baseball Project – ‘Volume 2: High and Inside’


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