R.E.M. breaks up: 20 years too late to care

That title may sound a little harsh, but when you think about it, when was the last time Michael Stipe and crew had any significance in the music world?
Yup, that would be the early ’90s, when college rock and grunge ruled the airwaves. And as some R.E.M. fans would argue, their output in that era was mostly commercial, not close to touching the material they had in the late ’80s.
But in 1991, they began a downward spiral of horrendous tripe. That was when “Out of Time” was released and the band became a success.
That would be the album that gave the world “Losing My Religion” and “Shiny Happy People.” The latter is the musical equivalent to torture. I mean, really, what an awful song all around.
So, their break-up should have happened 20 years ago, before they unleashed an album of awful upon the unsuspecting world.
And if I hadn’t had worked in record stores for many years, I’d probably would have been surprised they were still together after 1995.
And to top that, they are releasing yet another greatest hits collection, which seems odd because they already have a hit package and adding the stuff they recorded in the past 10 years to it does not seem interesting at all.
So good riddance to bad rubbish.
Guns ‘N Roses         on tour?
In other weird news, Guns ‘N Roses (really, it’s just Axl Rose with a bunch of other dudes who are not original members) will be on tour this fall, coming to Minneapolis on Nov. 13.
After releasing the unlistenable “Chinese Democracy” back in 2009, Axl went back to his old hijinks. Canceling shows, getting into a fistfight with, of all people, Tommy Hilfiger and generally making a pop culture nuisance of himself.
Now he announced another attempt at touring like a normal band, which it isn’t.
Perhaps Axl should take a cue from old R.E.M. and just quit (also like R.E.M., it would be 20 years too late, but better late than never).
But his Godzilla-sized ego will never allow this. He will probably begin working on a new album that won’t be released until 2025. Just stop, Axl, for all our sake.

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