Friday, May 7, 2010

Canon Review List-A-Mania: Top Eight R.E.M. Songs

Earlier yesterday, when trying to think of an idea for a post, I suddenly wanted to listen to some R.E.M. So I did, and I thought, what the hey, why not list my favorite R.E.M. Songs. So I am. Here is The Canon Review's list of Athens Georgia's finest band eight finest songs.

8. Radio Song
This song is about the evils of the radio and the stuff that comes out of it. Even though R.E.M. was becoming a huge hit on the radio, they decided to rail against it anyway, although Michael Stipe (lead singer of R.E.M) says it's more tounge-and-cheek than anything else. Whatever, it's a pretty good song, and a little different style from R.E.M. than usual. Interesting note: the song also features the rapper KRS-one, who does the quick rap at the end and provides backing vocals.

R.E.M. - Radio Song (Official Music Video) - Watch more top selected videos about: R.E.M.

7.  Leaving New York

The most recent song on this list, this song, according to Michael Stipe is a tribute to the city he considers his second hometown. You can tell that Stipe really feels strongly about the city, as the lyrics state. Basically, it's a love song towards a city, but it has a nice melody and a somewhat haunting tone.

REM - Leaving New York - The most amazing videos are a click away

6. Orange Crush

Despite the title, this song is not about a soda. Instead it's about the Vietnam War, even though some people think it's about drug use. The "Orange Crush" referenced in this song is actually Agent Orange, which as you may know was a chemical used by the U.S.A. in the Vietnam War for combat purposes. This song is quite haunting, and very difficult to sing on Rock Band, I must say.

5. Crush With Eyeliner

Despite her claims to the contrary, this song is not about Courtney Love. Rather, it seems to be about makeup (like eyeliner) covering up flaws, and how people can fall for an image instead of substance. Or something like that. It's a catchy song with nice instrumentals, yet it is also a song with substance as well.

4. Stand

Unlike most R.E.M. songs, this one wasn't written with a deep meaning behind it. Instead, this song is the result of Michael Stipe trying to write "stupid lyrics" to match Peter Buck's stupid guitar riff. R.E.M. insists there's a meaning behind it, saying that the song is about how people should become more involved in their lives, but mostly this is the result of R.E.M. trying to come up with their own version of "bubblegummy" songs
by bands like The Archies and The Monkees. Whatever it is, it's a catchy tune that will stay in your head for days, even if the music video is totally ridiculous. 

3. Everybody Hurts

This song seems to be the opposite of Stand. Unlike Stand, which didn't seem to have a message, this song was written with a specific message in mind, i.e. Everybody hurts and you should remember that even through your darkest moments. Drummer Bill Berry wrote most of the lyrics as an anti-suicide song, particularly among teenagers. Also, unlike the upbeat Stand, this song is very slow and low-key, and it's definitely not a song that will make you get up and dance. Rather, it's a song designed to make you feel a little better when you are down and putting things in perspective

2. Losing My Religion

One of R.E.M.'s biggest hits, and one of the most popular songs featuring a mandolin as a primary instrument. Losing My Religion is not about Religion, but rather about an unrequited love, where one goes crazy trying to figure out what the other person is actually thinking. Although Stipe and the rest of R.E.M. refer to the success of this song as a fluke, there's no doubt in my mind that this is a great song.

1. Man on the Moon

Our number one song on this list is a song about Andy Kaufman, who was a personal hero of Stipe's. The lyrics are quite interesting, as they seem to raise the possibility that Kaufman faked his own death, a theory that some people believe because it would fit Kaufman's style, so to speak. Nevertheless, this is a powerful song that was such a powerful tribute to Kaufman that the title of this song would later be used as the title for the movie based on Kaufman's life.

Well, thanks for reading. If you're favorite R.E.M. song wasn't included on this list, than feel free to let me know about it. Also, if you have ideas for future posts you would like to see on The Canon Review, than let me know either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at

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