After 31 years together, the Athens, GA–based band R.E.M. has announced it is breaking up. Here are some highlights of the group's career:

  • 1980: The band selects the name R.E.M. after deciding Really Excellent Music is a little too straightforward
  • 1983: Really start getting into themselves after a friend lets them borrow a copy of their debut album Murmur and it sounds like no rock music they've ever heard before
  • 1984: The group shares a collective ironic laugh over the picture of a baby angel smoking on the cover of Van Halen's 1984
  • 1994: Kurt Cobain lists Michael Stipe as one of his biggest influences seconds before shooting himself in the face
  • 2004: R.E.M. and John Kerry begin appearing together at campaign events, with both sadly believing the association will boost their popularity
  • 2007: After entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, band members agree to stay together another four years so it won't be obvious they were just holding out for induction
  • 2011: The band books the Staples Center for a future reunion concert, for which Michael Stipe has prepared a long speech about his lifelong love of showbiz and razzle-dazzle