Page last updated at 00:07 GMT, Thursday, 3 November 2011

REM: Why we decided to split after 31 years

To their millions of fans the news that REM were splitting up after 31 years was a real moment of sadness.

Their music was usually called alternative rock but it was also coupled with political activism for a variety of causes in the United States and worldwide.

Lead singer Michael Stipe and bassist Mike Mills told Newsnight's Gavin Esler why they decided to call it a day.

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