R.E.M’s Michael Stipe recalls the success of “Losing My Religion”Rodney
Michael Stipe recalls his surprise success of their hit song “Losing My Religion”
In a recent interview with Apple Music Hits R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe talks about when Losing My Religion became a hit and how it was the “most powerful feeling” of his life.
Stipe recalls “The energy coming off of an audience, a large audience in an outdoor arena, with the first notes … the place would just explode with energy. It all came right towards us. It was the biggest shot in the arm, the biggest jolt of adrenaline – the most powerful feeling that I think I’ve ever felt.”
R.E.M already had a loyal following but after the release of their highly successful album ‘Out of Time’ they moved on to a much larger audience.
“We worked so hard and so long on those songs and the lyrics and figuring out the melodies, and then figuring out how everything’s going to go together. You step away from it, and you don’t really look back.”
The fist time R.E.M invited guests for an album
Out of Time marked the first album R.E.M. invited other musicians to contribute to. “This was the first time that we invited guest vocalists to perform on the records,” recalled Stipe. “And with Kate Pierson, we got some pretty great stuff – Kate from the B-52’s. And then KRS-One … it was really just about how cool he was.”
He mentions Shiny Happy People “The band had just presented me with this really kind of dumb piece of music. And I was like, “I’m going to one up you on this.” So, “you’re giving me that to write, too? Check this shit out.” And then we never looked back.”
Stipe recalls the music video clip to the song “We all showed up on time for the video shoot. And then Kate came in and Kate was in full hair, full makeup, full costume… She was in a whole other universe of pizazz star power… And I remember looking at her and going, “You guys, I’m going to run home. I’ll be right back.” And I went home and I tore through my closet. I was thinking, what do I have that can match Kate? I’ve got to do something.
The lime green cap was to cover Stipe’s balding hair
“I can’t just be in my usual kind of scarecrow clothes, which is how I was dressed. And I had a suit that I had bought in London at one of those cheap and cheerful suit stores. But it was this lime green color. And I had a lime green cap that I wore with it, and I wore it backwards. It was supposed to cover the fact that I was losing my hair, which it didn’t do a good job of. But anyway, I came back to the video shoot, 25 minutes later, dressed basically as a human lime. And I was able to then contrast Kate’s fabulousness. It brought the video and the song to a whole other level.”
Out of Time was released 30 years ago back in 1991. The album took them from a popular indie band to a huge international act. The album won three Grammy Awards in 1992, Best Alternative Music Album and two awards for the single Losing My Religion.
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