Song of the Day #2,911: ‘Radio Song’ – R.E.M.

outoftimeR.E.M.’s 1991 album Out of Time is a truly bizarre smash hit. It’s the band’s best-selling record and the one that transformed them from a critically admired alternative rock band into a global pop rock superpower, but half of its tracks are the sort of thing I can’t imagine ever playing on the radio.

That goes for powerful, mournful tracks like ‘Country Feedback’ and ‘Low,’ the instrumental ‘Endgame’ and the largely spoken word ‘Belong.’

The breakout hit, of course, was ‘Losing My Religion,’ itself an unlikely chart-climber. ‘Shiny Happy People’ is the sort of song a band hopes to forget, even after it hits the top ten.

‘Radio Song,’ today’s Random SOTD, is another somewhat embarrassing track, though I think both the band and guest rapper KRS-ONE are in on the joke.

[Intro: KRS-One]
Hey, I can’t find nothing on the radio
Yo! turn to that station

[Main part: Michael Stipe – R.E.M., (KRS-One)]
The world is collapsing
Around our ears
I turned up the radio
But I can’t hear it

When I got to the house
And I called you out
I could tell that you had been crying, crying
It’s that same sing song on the radio
It makes me sad
I meant to turn it off
To say goodbye
To leave in quiet
That radio song
Hey, hey, hey
(Ha, ha, c’mon, c’mon)

I’ve everything to show
I’ve everything to hide
Look into my eyes
Listen
(Yeah!)

When I got to the show
Yo, ho, ho
I could tell that you had been crying, crying
It’s that same sing song and the DJ sucks (DJ SUCKS!)
It makes me sad
I tried to turn it off
To say goodbye, my love
That radio song
Hey, hey, hey

The world is collapsing
Around our ears
I turned up the radio
But I can’t hear it
Yeah

(Yeah, baby, baby, baby, baby)
(C’mon, c’mon)

I tried to sing along
But damn that radio song
(Yeah, hey, hey, hey)
Hey, hey, hey

I’ve everything to show
I’ve everything to hide
Look into my eyes, listen to the radio
I turned up the radio
But I can’t hear it
No, I can’t hear it
Hey, hey, hey (Say what?)
Hey, hey, hey (Let me do that thing)
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey (Yeah, POOM!)
Hey, hey, hey (Say what, say what, say what)
Hey, hey, hey (Check it out!)

[Outro: KRS-One]
What are you saying
What are you playing
Who are you obeying
Day out day in?
Baby, baby, baby, baby
That stuff is driving me crazy
DJs communicate to the masses
Sex and violent classes
Now our children grow up prisoners
All their lives RADIO LISTENERRRRRRRRRRRS!!!!

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,911: ‘Radio Song’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana says:

    Yes, I think this one was done with a wink and a nod to what was evolving as the pop song with the ubiquitous rap break.

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