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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Which Is the Worst R.E.M. Song?

Posted by on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Really, aside from some of the songs off that first record, what the fuck has R.E.M. contributed to society FOREVER? Monster has to be the most-frequently-encountered record in CD-clearance-bin history EVER (I'm keeping my Christmas-present edition.), and Michael Stipe and Co. really ruined a bunch of my MTV adolescence with that god damned "Losing My Religion" video. Also, there is "Stand," and "Everybody Hurts."


Links after the jump in case you need a refresher.

Thusly, I ask you:

"Everybody Hurts"


"Losing My Religion"

"Shiny Happy People"


Comments (52) RSS

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cosby 1
I voted for 'Everybody Hurts', but the true answer is 'Shiny Happy People'.
Posted by cosby on March 31, 2011 at 8:51 AM · Report this
Grant Brissey, Emeritus 2
Ahhh! I must have blocked it out of my memory. Option added posthaste.
Posted by Grant Brissey, Emeritus on March 31, 2011 at 9:06 AM · Report this
cosby 3
I try to block it out of my memory, but that suppressed music memory part of my brain is full. I think 2/3rds of it is allotted to the Spin Doctors.
Posted by cosby on March 31, 2011 at 9:19 AM · Report this
Brian Cook 4
hey now, REM was pretty great in their IRS years. and even those first few albums on Warner Bros were pretty decent if you overlooked the singles.

i voted for "Shiny Happy People", but would've gone with "Radio Song", given the option.
Posted by Brian Cook on March 31, 2011 at 9:19 AM · Report this
flippingthroughrecords 5
Oh great, now I have "Stand" stuck in my head. Help!
Posted by flippingthroughrecords on March 31, 2011 at 9:22 AM · Report this
Vince 6
Shiny Happy People sounds like it was written for retarded people by retarded people. Ooops...did I say retarded? Yes! I guess I did! For shame! I'm so bad! Teehee.
Posted by Vince on March 31, 2011 at 9:28 AM · Report this
Orange Crush. But the real answer is feggoff, R.E.M. are amazing.
Posted by pheedthemonkey on March 31, 2011 at 9:29 AM · Report this
No, really, Losing My Religion is THE WORST EVER, at least up to that point. That's when I stopped listening to REM. Stand, on the other hand, (haha), is absolutely PERFECT for replacing ANY song that's stuck in your head. And there are much, much worse songs that need replacing -- even if you have to use Stand to do it. It works!! I've used this trick for years.
Posted by laurax on March 31, 2011 at 9:35 AM · Report this
pointy 9
Losing My Religion was important in bringing the concept of the mandolin to everyone in the early 90s.
Posted by pointy on March 31, 2011 at 9:41 AM · Report this
gttim 10
All of them! Every damn song they ever recorded.
Posted by gttim on March 31, 2011 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Doctor Memory 11
pointy@9: yes, and reminding them all why they'd never missed it.
Posted by Doctor Memory on March 31, 2011 at 9:49 AM · Report this
Summerisle 12
I just finished listening to Reckoning this morning. Weird. Cosby for the win" Shiny Happy People" is terrible.
Posted by Summerisle on March 31, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
tallchris 13
Grant, you forgot 'Radio Song". Easily the worst REM song.
Posted by tallchris on March 31, 2011 at 9:51 AM · Report this
@8 - If you ever tire of Stand, try Feliz Navidad.

It's in your head now isnt it!
Posted by longball on March 31, 2011 at 9:52 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 15
WHAT WHAAAT? Shiny Happy People is the BEST R.E.M. song!!! Kate Pierson, people!!!!
Posted by More, I Say! on March 31, 2011 at 9:52 AM · Report this
shw3nn 16
10 Even "It's the End of the World"? I'd have thought even the biggest R.E.M. haters would like that one.
Posted by shw3nn on March 31, 2011 at 9:53 AM · Report this
You people are harsh.
Posted by bernie on March 31, 2011 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Posted by More, I Say! on March 31, 2011 at 9:55 AM · Report this
WFM 19
You mean "Which is the worst R.E.M. *hit* song", because there is far worse dreck on Up, Reveal, Around the Sun. Really, whenever I need to describe anything that is good but not great because it lacks a key ingredient, all I have to say is "It's like R.E.M. without Bill Berry."
Posted by WFM on March 31, 2011 at 9:55 AM · Report this
vinylsaurus 20
"Stand" gets a pass because it was used in the credits for "Get A Life" thereby making it awesome.
Posted by vinylsaurus on March 31, 2011 at 10:00 AM · Report this
WFM 21
Although... the "Shiny Happy People" video is priceless, because the disgusted scowl on Peter Buck's stubbled face is one of the greatest things ever recorded.
Posted by WFM on March 31, 2011 at 10:01 AM · Report this
@20: Yay, you must have been the other person who watched that show along with myself.

The weakness in "Everybody Hurts" is being overused like versions of "Hallelujah" by L. Cohen for mopey TV scenes.
Posted by hominidX on March 31, 2011 at 10:06 AM · Report this
Banna 23
Obviously this is a "worst R.E.M. songs I hear on the radio" poll, as the worst song is actually Airportman, the first song on Up, which sounds like someone dropping empty coke bottles throughout a classic Star Trek episode.
Posted by Banna on March 31, 2011 at 10:19 AM · Report this
God, I hate Stand. Thanks a crap-ton for reminding me about it.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on March 31, 2011 at 10:24 AM · Report this
cosby 25
@20 + 22:
I only think of "Get A Life" when I hear 'Stand', thankfully.
Posted by cosby on March 31, 2011 at 10:29 AM · Report this
Fnarf 26
@16, that's the only one I hate. Dreadful stuff. I always conflate it in my mind with Timbuk 3's "The Future's So Bright (I Gotta Wear Shades)", from the same time, which is even worse.

"Shiny Happy People" is a great song. "Losing My Religion" is OK too.
Posted by Fnarf on March 31, 2011 at 10:29 AM · Report this
@14, yep, it's there now. Thanka and gracias.
Posted by laurax on March 31, 2011 at 10:30 AM · Report this
schmacky 28
REM bashers are pretty funny. They're only one of the top two or three most important bands in the history of alternative rock...but whatever.

Also, Shiny Happy People is meant to be IRONIC. You know what irony is, right Mr. Hipster Hipsterman?
Posted by schmacky on March 31, 2011 at 10:40 AM · Report this
REM is a kick ass band. Everybody Hurts is not ironic, not catchy, not particularly touching, and not particularly inventive. Maximum suck.
Posted by Niloc Yessirb on March 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM · Report this
shw3nn 30
@26 You mean "better", right? Not "worse". Better.
Posted by shw3nn on March 31, 2011 at 10:48 AM · Report this
Banna 31
Also to agree with @28: R.E.M. pre-Bill Berry=awesomesauce. R.E.M. post-Bill Berry=not as good, but still good and better than 95% of what has been put out during their tenure. The best critique came from Sound Opinion's latest review, which basically said "Michael Stipe has run out of things to sing about".
Posted by Banna on March 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM · Report this
All of the above.
Posted by Kyleen on March 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM · Report this
julie russell 33
Everybody Hurts: My first mental health job some quack AODA counselor had the adolescents write down their "deep pains", then made them sit in silence while she played that horrible song, then she lit their papers on fire....I hid behind a folder trying not to laugh at the cheeseball absurdity and nearly peed my pants
Posted by julie russell http:// on March 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM · Report this
blip 34
I don't give a shit how "important" they are. I can't think of a single REM song I like. "Stand" is pretty awful but for the life of me I can't remember what it sounds like right now because I have the chorus from "Shiny Happy People" on a constant loop in my head. Even Michael Stipe hates that song.
Posted by blip on March 31, 2011 at 11:40 AM · Report this
"It's the End of the World" is a good tune, but I can't get past Michael Stipe calling The Beatles "elevator music" - as Ringo rejoined "if it wasn't for The Beatles, Michael would still be taking the stairs"
Posted by myr on March 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM · Report this
Go fuck yourself. Best American band of the 1980s. They've been pretty spotty since New Adventures in Hi-Fi (their last masterpiece), but what 30-year-old band isn't?

But the answer is most definitely "Radio Song."
Posted by Hutch on March 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM · Report this
@ 28. Its meant to be ironic? How astute of you.
Posted by No shit sherlock on March 31, 2011 at 12:07 PM · Report this
REM was my antidote to the early 80's glam/headbanger/poop-pop shit, but I stopped listening to their new stuff after #5 Document. They DID rock in the early years, and I still find the line "I'd like it here if I could leave and see it from a long ways away" to be a great descriptor of how memory works.

I'd also like to change my vote from Shiny... to Everybody Hurts (UGH)
Posted by I Love IPA on March 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM · Report this
I don't care, I love REM. But Drive is ass.
Posted by Prettybetsy on March 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 40
Night Swimming.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on March 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM · Report this
cosby 41
"They've been pretty spotty since New Adventures in Hi-Fi (their last masterpiece), but what 30-year-old band isn't?"

Killing Joke.
Posted by cosby on March 31, 2011 at 1:26 PM · Report this
I had to vote for "Stand," for sentimental reasons.

In one of those lame Greek-Week competitions, the fraternities had to have a musical competition. Because, you know, rushing a fraternity or sorority obviously meant musical talent was present. It was always very amusing.

One year in the early 1990's, one fraternity got up and for one minute, repeated "I know a song that gets on everybody's nerves" to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Then they played "Stand."

Though, yes, it should be "Shiny Happy People"
Posted by Chasmosaur on March 31, 2011 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Not only is "Radio Song" the worst R.E.M. song by leaps and bounds, it's a contender for worst song of its decade. And that decade included Deadeye Dick's "New Age Girl", in case you forgot.
Posted by danmohr on March 31, 2011 at 1:47 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 44
"radio song" and "ignoreland" are tied for worst, but since they weren't on the list i went with "stand."
Posted by mr. herriman on March 31, 2011 at 2:05 PM · Report this
@43: Reminding people of Deadeye Dick is just abusive. Goddamnit.
Posted by crackedmachine on March 31, 2011 at 2:11 PM · Report this
madamecrow 46
I enjoy all of those songs, even Shiny Happy People. I remember calling KUBE to request it when Out of Time was first out. I love Up, but I'll subscribe to the Better With Berry way of thinking. Green loses me in the last three songs or so.
Posted by madamecrow on March 31, 2011 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Does anyone else get the sense from this post that Grant might not even know any REM prior to "Out of Time" except for that "first record" whose name he can't even remember?

Too busy listening to that musical genius Rick Springfield, maybe.
Posted by virginia mason on March 31, 2011 at 4:08 PM · Report this
TreGibbs 48
"Stand" got my vote - if it's not the worst song, it's DEFINITELY the worst video.
Posted by TreGibbs on March 31, 2011 at 4:15 PM · Report this
...see, I like all of those songs. I guess I like 'Shiny Happy People' least, but I don't hate it. Their real worst is probably some album track that would never stick in my mind.
Posted by Matthew E on March 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM · Report this
J. Burns 50
Radio Song. Easy.

"When I went to the show/yo ho ho" is one of the worst couplets ever.
Posted by J. Burns on March 31, 2011 at 10:15 PM · Report this
dan10things 51
All of them!
Posted by dan10things on April 1, 2011 at 11:18 AM · Report this
tallchris 52
@43: Jesus, Deadeye Dick? Thanks a fucking lot for reminding me about that.
Posted by tallchris on April 1, 2011 at 11:59 AM · Report this

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