I remember growing up and I think I was about 8 years old at the time when I first heard R.E.M.‘s ‘Losing My Religion’ and to be honest, if it weren’t for my older sister, I doubt I would have developed the taste for alternative rock that I have today. I guess I was privileged in music selection to discover R.E.M through their magnum opus Out Of Time, the ground breaking album that catapulted a little indie band from Athens, Georgia into global stardom.
OUT OF TIME officially released March 12, 1991, went four times platinum, gave R.E.M their first No. 1 album in the United States and United Kingdom, and won the band three Grammy Awards. The massive success of the bands lead single ‘Losing My Religion’ would essentially go on to be the bands highest ever charted single.
However, in order to do this, R.E.M had to break their own rules on Out Of Time, which meant as band bassist Mike Mills told Gigwise in 2016… “One of the rules we had when we started writing songs for the record was ‘there will be no more R.E.M songs,’”…”If it sounds like an R.E.M song that could have been on any of the last two or three R.E.M records, we tossed it.”
According to Rolling Stone magazine, the album created a sound, which inspired other bands to not fear rejection in being true to creating and exploring new frontiers with regard to the music they wanted to make. In fact one Rolling Stone headline stated “How R.E.M. Invented the Nineties with ‘Out of Time”,indicating that if the band broke up before releasing Out Of Time, they would have been celebrated today like the Smiths or the Pixies, bands that changed the world with a handful of classics.
WATCH MTV’s R.E.M. Producing ‘Out Of Time’ at Paisley Park (1990)
However, thank goodness that never happened, resulting in Out Of Time starting a snowball effect for the band, as they followed up their magnum opus with the release of four critically acclaimed albums in the 90’s. So what I am basically trying to say is that this album finally made major record labels see that people actually liked this music.
The album was completely different from previous R.E.M releases, with this offering being completely experimental as lead singer Michael Stipe once said “It’s not a rock album… After the Green tour, the other guys just got really tired of playing their own instruments. So they all jumped on the wrong instruments.” The result, 3 Grammy’s, global stardom and Out Of Time featured in TIME magazines unlisted list of 100 Albums Of All Time, not too shabby, I would think?
The albums break out singles were Losing My Religion, Half a World Away, Country Feedback, and Near Wild Heaven, considered beautifully written songs along with the feel good Shiny Happy People, (which unfortunately received negative reviews by die-hard fans along with Radio Song featuring KRSONE), which Michael Stipe stated as “ if you associate R.E.M with Shiny Happy People, then you know nothing about us”.
REM – SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE FT KATIE PIERSON
To celebrate the bands 25th anniversary of Out Of Time, a special deluxe edition of the album was released, which includes a two-CD, three-LP, and “deluxe” four-disc box set of the remastered album as well as demos, B-sides, and a previously unreleased song, and more.
WATCH MTV’s R.E.M.’s Past Present Future Documentary