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Today's ear X-tacy: R.E.M. "Radio Free Europe"

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

On September 21, 2011, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe wrote on the band's website, “A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.”

After 15 albums and 31 years in the music business, the little band from Athens, Georgia called it a day. Over those three decades, R.E.M. released landmark records such as Murmur, Reckoning, Document, Out of Time and Automatic For the People. (add your favorite here)

In a post on their website, the band members wrote, "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening?"

While fans will always hold out hope for a reunion, on the 10th anniversary of the breakup, Michael Stipe emphatically stated, “We will never reunite.”

With that nail in the coffin, we go back to where it all started: “Radio Free Europe,” for today’s ear X-tacy.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org