Song of the Day #3,207: ‘I Wanted To Be Wrong’ – R.E.M.

‘I Wanted To Be Wrong’ has the dubious distinction of being the best song on the worst album by one of the best bands of all time.

2004’s Around the Sun was R.E.M.’s unlucky 13th album, the third without drummer Bill Berry and their most uninspired effort. Only this song and one or two others are worth hearing.

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Song of the Day #3,042: ‘World Leader Pretend (Live)’ – R.E.M.

remWhen I first heard R.E.M. was contributing a song to the 30 Days, 30 Songs anti-Trump project, I was giddy. I figured the prospect of a racist, misogynist narcissist ascending to the highest office in the world is what it took to reunite one of my favorite bands ever.

Alas, their offering turned out to be not a new song but a previously unreleased live version of a track from their 1988 album, Green.

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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.’

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Song of the Day #2,903: ‘Sing For the Submarine’ – R.E.M.

accelerateR.E.M.’s 2008 album Accelerate received the best reviews of any record they released after drummer Bill Berry’s departure. Personally, I’d rank it below Up but I agree it’s a high point of the late phase of their career.

That said, today’s Random SOTD, ‘Sing For the Submarine,’ is not among my favorites. It has its moments it’s way too melodically unsophisticated for my taste.

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Song of the Day #2,841: ‘Star 69’ – R.E.M.

monsterR.E.M.’s Monster was a true WTF album. Following the mega-success of the warm, elegant pop albums Out of Time (1991) and Automatic For the People (1992), this 1994 release hit fans like a bucket of cold water.

Steeped in grunge and drowning in reverb and feedback, Monster was the loudest and least pretty collection R.E.M. ever recorded. But listening to it 22 years later, it doesn’t seem all that scary.

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