R.E.M – Out Of Time (1991)

FrontCover1.jpgOut of Time is the seventh studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on March 8, 1991 by Warner Bros. Records. With Out of Time, R.E.M.’s status grew from that of a cult band to a massive international act. The record topped the album sales charts in both the U.S. and the United Kingdom, spending 109 weeks on American album charts and enjoying two separate spells at the summit, and spending 183 weeks on the British charts and a single week at the top. The album has sold over four and a half million copies in the U.S. and over 18 million copies worldwide. The album won three Grammy Awards in 1992: one as Best Alternative Music Album, and two for the first single, “Losing My Religion.”

Out of Time combines elements of pop, folk and classical music heard on their previous album Green, with a new concentration on country elements that would continue on 1992’s Automatic for the People.

Preceded by the release of “Losing My Religion”, which became R.E.M.’s biggest U.S. hit, Out of Time gave them their first U.S. and UK No. 1 album. The band did not tour to support the release. In Germany, it is the band’s best-selling album, selling more than 1,250,000 copies, reaching 5×gold.

The album was featured in Time magazine’s unranked list of The All-Time 100 Albums.

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In July 2014, radio show 99% Invisible said that because of this packaging, Out of Time is “the most politically significant album in the history of the United States.”[7] They said that three weeks after the album’s release, “they had received 10,000 petitions, 100 per senator, and they just kept coming in droves,”[7] and a month following its release, the campaign’s political director and members of KMD “wheeled a shopping cart full of the first 10,000 petitions into a senate hearing.” The bill was eventually passed in 1995 by Bill Clinton; one commentary later said this happened “in no small part because of R.E.M.’s lobbying.” (by wikipedia)

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Hiding political tics behind faux-formalist boilerplate, pop aesthetes accused them of imposing Solidarity and Agent Orange on their musical material, but in fact such subjects signaled an other-directedness as healthy as Michael Stipe’s newfound elocution. Admittedly, with this one beginning “The world is collapsing around our ears,” I wondered briefly whether “Losing My Religion” was about music itself, but when Stipe says they thought about calling it Love Songs, he’s not just mumbling “Dixie.” Being R.E.M., they mean to capture moods or limn relationships rather than describe feelings or, God knows, incidents, and while some will find the music too pleasing, it matches the words hurt for hurt and surge for surge. The Kate Pierson cameos, the cellos, and Mark Bingham’s organic string arrangements are Murmur without walls–beauty worthy of DeBarge, of the sweetest soukous, of a massed choir singing “I Want To Know What Love Is.” (by Robert Christgau)

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Personnel:
Bill Berry (drums, percussion, bass, piano, background vocals)
Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin)
Mike Mills (bass, keyboards)
Michael Stipe (vocals, melodica)
+
Peter Holsapple (bass guitar on 01., + 03., guitar on 02., 06., 07. + 09.)
Ralph Jones (bass on 01., 03.- 06., 08. + 09.)
Kidd Jordan (saxophone)
John Keane (pedal steel guitar on 09. + 10.)
Kate Pierson (vocals on 04., 06. + 11.)
Cecil Welch (flugelhorn on 05.)
+
violin:
David Arenz – Ellie Arenz – David Braitberg – Dave Kempers
+
cello:
Andrew Cox – Elizabeth Murphy
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viola:
Reid Harris – Paul Murphy
+
KRS-One – rapping on 01.)
Scott Litt (echo-loop feed on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. Radio Song (featuring KRS-One) 4.16
02. Losing My Religion 4.29
03. Low 4.56
04. Near Wild Heaven 3.20
05. Endgame 3.50
06. Shiny Happy People 3.46
07. Belong 4.07
08. Half A World Away 3.28
09. Texarkana 3.40
10. Country Feedback 4.09
11. Me In Honey 4.06

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe

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Oh, life is bigger
It’s bigger than you and you are not me
The lengths that I will go to the distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I set it up
That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you and I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper of every waking hour I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool, fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I set it up
Consider this, consider this, the hint of the century
Consider this the slip that brought me to my knees, failed
What if all these fantasies come flailing around?
Now I’ve said too much

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

[Pre-Chorus]
That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you and I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no, I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough

But that was just a dream
Try, cry, why try?
That was just a dream, just a dream
Just a dream, dream

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