SESAC, the nation's most progressive PRO and the only Music Rights Organization in the country, announces that it has signed for performing rights representation in the United States the entire catalog of R.E.M., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alternative rock band credited with pioneering the genre. The catalog includes the hit singles "Losing My Religion," "Everybody Hurts," "Its the End of the World as We Know It," "Shiny Happy People," "The One I Love," and more.
R.E.M., which recorded 15 albums and toured the world during its 31-year tenure as a band, won multiple GRAMMYs and sold more than 85 million copies of studio albums worldwide, making it one of the best-selling acts of all times.
R.E.M. band members Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe also have signed with SESAC for performing rights representation in the United States.
"We are proud to represent the songs of a band that, without question, changed rock music forever," said John Josephson, chairman and CEO, SESAC Holdings, Inc. "Along with representing the rich, timeless R.E.M. catalog, we also welcome Michael, Peter, Mike and Bill to the SESAC family."
R.E.M.'s journey to becoming one of the most renowned American rock bands of its generation began in April 1980, when the group performed in a vacant church building for a friend's birthday party in Athens, Georgia. Three years later, with the support of college radio, R.E.M. was releasing albums and touring steadily. Its underground fame reached mainstream in 1987 with the hit single "The One I Love." The next year, the band signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Soon, the band was playing large arenas worldwide, which also gave the musicians a platform as advocates for a number of political, social and environmental concerns, roles that they have maintained throughout their careers.
By the early 1990s, the genre known as alternative rock was gaining popularity. Alongside fellow alt rock groups such as U2, Nirvana and Pavement, R.E.M. was widely regarded as pioneers of the new genre. In 1991 and 1992, R.E.M. achieved international stardom with the release of its most commercially successful albums, Out of Time and Automatic for the People, respectively. These two albums yielded numerous chart-topping singles, including "Losing My Religion," "Shiny Happy People" and "Everybody Hurts."
In 2007, in its first year of eligibility, R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The affiliation of R.E.M. is the latest in a string of prominent signings to SESAC's roster, which include Rosanne Cash, Kings of Leon, Randy Newman, Axl Rose, Zac Brown, Green Day, Kesha, George Clinton, REO Speedwagon's Kevin Cronin and Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen.
Image credit: Creative Commons (Padova REM concert July 22 2003)