Thirty years ago today, R.E.M. emerged from the corner and into the spotlight.
Out of Time, the seventh studio effort from Michael Stipe and company, was released March 12, 1991. The record launched the band from alternative darlings to one of the biggest bands in the world.
With the help of lead single “Losing My Religion,” Out of Time became R.E.M.’s first number-one album on the Billboard 200, spending two non-consecutive weeks on the chart in May and June of ’91. The album would eventually be RIAA-certified four-times Platinum.
The mandolin-driven “Losing My Religion” was R.E.M.’s highest-charting single ever on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #4. The song also won two Grammys, and its video was honored at the MTV VMAs with the Video of the Year trophy. Out of Time also won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.
The album also yielded another top-10 hit with the catchy “Shiny Happy People,” which featured Stipe duetting with Kate Pierson of The B-52s.
A year after Out of Time, R.E.M. dropped another record, 1992’s Automatic for the People. While both albums were huge, R.E.M. didn’t tour in support of either of them. They finally returned to the road in 1995 following the release of their grungy 1994 record, Monster.
R.E.M. would continue to release albums throughout the ’90s and into the 2000s, despite the departure of drummer Bill Berry in 1997. The band broke up in 2011.
By Josh Johnson & Matt Friedlander
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