REM’s 31 year career in pop music in perspective

Following the sad news yesterday that REM have announced their split, we thought we would try in some way to put their impact on popular music & culture into perspective by comparing the length of their active career to that of some of the world’s biggest musical influencers. Of course, length of career isn’t directly correlated to impact (and thank god for it looking at the first entry on this list) but it nevertheless indicates their popularity:


REM’s career is a merely 58% of that of Sir cliff, active from 1958 to the present day and recently celbrating a change to music royalty law he shows no sign of disappearing anytime soon.

REM had a career 1.29 times  longer than the The King of Rock who was active between 1953-77 until his tragic death at the age of 42.

Love him or loathe him (we loate for the record) there’s no denying Robbie Williams has had a big impact on popular culture spanning his active years from 1990, through the Take That years and into his solo career to the present. However, REM have been around 1.48 times longer and are approximately 7.23 times better.

Despite their ubiquity and anuual greatest hits re-release The Beatles were only active between 1960-1970 giving REM a career 3.1 times longer. That doesn’t stop McCartney flogging some shite at any possible opportunity though.


Arguably the most poweful force in popular culture right now, Lady Gaga has defintiely made her mark but the question on everyone’s lips is will she last the test of time? I guess we’ll find out in 5.1 times her career span to date.

The undeniable popular behemoths of the 90s, The Spice girls only lasted around 6 years before splintering off to pursue solo careers. Good move girls.

So there we have it, a pretty pointless but hopefully interesting insight into the impressive length of REM’s career.

1 comment

  1. Haha, very interesting indeed. Goes to show that, if nothing else, the span on your career has almost nothing to do with your relevance in pop culture (see: Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Cobain, et al). Of course, death helps. Have at it, Bieber!

    Ohhh…poor taste. Kidding!

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