R.E.M, one of the most influential indie groups of all time, have announced via their website that they’re calling it a day after releasing 15 studio albums and selling an estimated 85 million records worldwide.

A statement issued on REMhq.com reads “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.”

Singer Michael Stripe is quoted saying “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.”

Bassist Mike Mills was keen to point out that there was no bad feelings or fall out involved in the decision making saying “We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this–there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”

R.E.M. will release a career-spanning Greatest Hits album through Warner Brothers in November.

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