I first heard REM way back in the mid 1980's. My mate Dave would get me stoned when he was up from Portsmouth Poly, and I'd listen, spellbound to Murmur, Document, Reckoning, Life's Rich Pageant. Even Fables of the Reconstruction and Dead Letter Office had their moments.
I have to admit, when Green was released, I found that I was losing my affinity for what they were doing. At the time, I blamed myself for kneejerking against them signing up with Warner Brothers, but listening back, Green really doesn't stand up there with their best releases.
Since then, I've only really listened to their new output sporadically. I retain a certain soft spot for New Adventures in Hi fi, but I couldn't name most of their 21st century stuff.
Michael Stipe is, of course, a much broader artist than just REM. He's also very much visually creative. I think he has much in common with David Byrne, although Byrne tends towards static works, while Stipe is associated with TV and film.
They've split, without acrimony, at a time of their own choosing. I wonder what they will do next?
So many memories of blissed out times. Thank you REM.