Tonight (March 20th) on the world famous Classic Album at Midnight on Radio Nova we’re playing REM’s Out of Time.
The album is presented in full with no 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 America’s Southern states, REM’s debut album, 1983’s Murmur, was critically acclaimed, with Rolling Stone calling it the album of the year. Despite great reviews, it failed to make much impact commercially. This pattern continued with subsequent albums, leading REM to leave their label, IRS, for Warners.
The switch to Warners proved fruitful for REM, with their first album for the label, 1988’s Green, bringing them the success that had previously eluded them. It reached number 12 in the US and 27 in the UK.
In the summer of 1990, REM began work on their seventh album, Out of Time. On Green the band had begun to use non-traditional rock instruments like the mandolin, organ and acoustic guitar. For Out of Time, they employed such instruments in the writing process. A country music influence would begin to seep into REM’s songwriting on Out of Time, and would continue on their subsequent album, Automatic for the People.
REM would be joined in their recording sessions by a range of musicians including rapper KRS-One, B-52’s singer Kate Pierson and jazz saxophonist Kidd Jordan.
In its original release, Out of Time features 11 tracks. On Side A are Radio Song; Losing My Religion; Low; Near Wild Heaven; and Endgame. On Side B are Shiny Happy People; Belong; Half a World Away; Texarkana; Country feedback; and Me in Honey. On the vinyl and cassette releases, Side A was labelled as Time Side while Side B was known as Memory Side.
Released on March 12th, 1991, Out of Time would propel REM to superstardom. It topped the album charts in both the US and UK, with 109 weeks in the US chart and 183 weeks on the UK chart. It would go on to 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 number two in Ireland, making it the band’s highest charting single in this country. Radio Song was also a Top 10 hit in Ireland, peaking at number five.
In 1992, Out of Time scooped three Grammy Awards, winning two for Losing My Religion and the award for Best Alternative Music Album. It was also well received by critics, with Q Magazine naming it the Best Album of 1991.
We hope all you shiny happy people out there will join us at midnight to listen to Out of Time in full.