I was away when REM announced they were calling it a day. In homage to one of the world's greatest ever rock bands, I downloaded their end of career retrospective yesterday. Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982 to 2011 is a collection of 37 previously released tracks and three new ones. And they are all blinders!
Some critics suggest that REM went off the boil after Automatic for the People but I rate this year's Collapse into Now as one of the best records they ever made. It seems they quit at the top of their game. These 40 songs remind us what a potent force they were, Peter Buck's guitar the perfect foil for Michael Stipe's sometimes fragile, sometimes gritty vocals.
Listening to this retrospective makes me grateful for all the music and sad that they'll not do another album.