It was bound to happen sooner or later. Old band, used to doing things their way, butting heads with the vapid new corporate machine. Can't say I blame them for throwing up their hands and walking away. And it's not like they haven't earned a break.
The band may be over, but we'll always have their music. Think I'll play me some Orange Crush in remembrance.
Gotta say, I loved Weird Al's parody song "Spam" which is a parody of Stand. I'm glad Weird Al is still lasting. I guess we'll have to make light to new bands and artists, this is 2011 and I won't be surprised to see whatever pop culture phenomenon happens because it's all the same.
Sucks their quitting, but is it better to fade out than burn away? I don't know if this quite applies to REM. I've been a long time fan. I remember listening to nothing but their album Monster and Weezer's Blue album all throughout sixth grade. They've made a lot of good music in their time and I still have that.