The Classic Midnight Album – REM’s Out of Time

Tonight (March 20) on the famous classic album at midnight on Radio Nova we play REM’s Out of Time.

The album is presented in its entirety without commercials or interruptions on vinyl, courtesy of The Record Hub.

REM was formed in Athens, Georgia in 1980 when Wuxtry Records store employee Peter Buck befriended a customer, Michael Stipe. Vocalist Stipe and guitarist Buck were joined by drummer Bill Berry and bassist Mike Mills and eventually settled on the name REM for their band.

After building a live following with extensive touring of the southern states of the United States, REM’s debut album, 1983’s Murmur, received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone calling it the album of the ‘year. Despite good reviews, it did not have much commercial impact. This pattern continued with subsequent albums, leading to REM leaving their label, IRS, for Warners.

The move to Warners proved fruitful for REM, with their debut album for the label, 1988’s Green, bringing them the success that had previously eluded them. It reached number 12 in the US and number 27 in the UK.

In the summer of 1990, REM began work on their seventh album, Out of Time. On Green, the band had started using non-traditional rock instruments like mandolin, organ, and acoustic guitar. For Out of Time, they used such instruments in the writing process. A country music influence would begin to seep into REM’s writing on Out of Time and would continue on their next album, Automatic for the People.

REM would be joined in their recording sessions by a range of musicians including rapper KRS-One, B-52 singer Kate Pierson and jazz saxophonist Kidd Jordan.

In its original version, Out of Time offers 11 tracks. On side A, Radio Song; Losing my Religion; moo; Close to Wild Heaven; and Endgame. On side B are bright, happy people; Belong; Half a world away; Texarkana; Feedback from countries; and me in honey. On vinyl and cassette releases, side A was labeled Time Side while side B was known as Memory Side.

Released on March 12, 1991, Out of Time would propel REM to superstardom. It topped the US and UK album charts, with 109 weeks on the US chart and 183 weeks on the UK chart. It will sell over 18 million copies worldwide.

Aided by heavy rotation on MTV, the album produced two US/UK Top 10 singles in Losing My Religion and Shiny Happy People. The latter reached No. 2 in Ireland, making it the band’s highest charting single in that country. Radio Song was also a Top 10 hit in Ireland, peaking at number five.

In 1992, Out of Time won three Grammy Awards, including two for Losing My Religion and Best Alternative Music Album. It was also well received by critics, with Q Magazine naming it the best album of 1991.

We hope all of you bright, happy people will join us at midnight to listen to Out of Time in its entirety.

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