Sometime last week, I found out that R.E.M had decided to disband after 31 long years of making music. Though I knew they've been around for a long, long time, the knowledge that it was 31 years actually took me by surprise.
I got to know R.E.M back in 2001 when the song Imitation of Life was repeatedly played. The video, a pool side party in a reversed sequence was equally fascinating. I suppose that song made them popular in these parts, and two years later while Bad Day was receiving lots of airplay due to In Time, I actually won this CD of theirs in a promotional contest organised by a music TV station, which I listened to a lot back then due to my *limited CD collection (Channel V - which for some strange reason has ceased airing it's programmes here since last year) In a freak accident while cleaning up, the CD fell off the shelf and broke into two.
Eventually, over the noughties, I ended up being exposed to a lot of their stuff to the point that at one time, my MP3 player was actually dominated by R.E.M songs. Even iTunes, recently, in an attempt to allow it some independence in picking music for me, decided that I should listen to R.E.M among some other stuff it picked out for me.
Now, I can't really say I'm a great big fan of R.E.M - if i was, I'd have probably known that they've been making music for 31 years. I just like them, and find their music among those I like to listen to, not just the songs from In Time, but other songs as well. But somehow, the knowledge that they have decided to call it quits seems to be like an end of something, and it made me think something like - 'there goes another band that I actually like to listen to'. They will be missed. Indeed.
* CDs are insanely expensive here, hence the limited collection.