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Week In Review: So Long, R.E.M.

Also: Nirvana, Arcade Fire, Jon Stewart and more

September 23, 2011 3:05 PM ET
R.E.M. rem stipe break up germany 2008
Michael Stipe performing with R.E.M. in Germany.
Stefan M. Prager/Redferns

The big news of the week was the announcement that R.E.M. would call it quits after more than 30 years. Rob Sheffield wrote a sweet appreciation of the band, and we confirmed that Stipe and Co. will release a career retrospective in November featuring some of their most recently recorded material. 

Also, Rolling Stone squeezed in to see the Killers and Snoop at the private party at Facebook's big f8 conference in San Francisco, celebrated the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind at Seattle's Experience Music Project, checked out Arcade Fire's closing set at Austin City Limits and learned that Pearl Jam is halfway done with a new album.

Plus, Chris Martin of Coldplay stopped by the Rolling Stone studio to talk about the band's upcoming album, and we unveiled our list of the 100 Greatest Beatles Songs of All Time. We also analyzed this week's pop charts, looked back on this week in rock history and, as always, reviewed all the week's biggest releases.

On the pop culture front, we reviewed Brad Pitt in Moneyball, talked to Jon Stewart about how The Daily Show gets made, wrapped up the Emmys and recapped the season premieres of Glee and  The Sing-Off.

We also posted a gallery of your favorite television theme songs of all time as determined by your votes. Our question for you this week is: What is the best R.E.M. song of all time? You can answer on our website, at facebook.com/rollingstone, or on Twitter using the #weekendrock hashtag.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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