Thursday, February 23, 2017

"So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" by R.E.M.

Song#:  1950
Date:  06/23/1984
Debut:  95
Peak:  85
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  With their debut album Murmur being selected as album of the year by Rolling Stone and the college kids all over these guys, anticipation was high for their next effort. After an extensive tour, the band quickly got in the studio and recorded the songs that would make up their second album, Reckoning. This first single introduced the LP and it got to #45 at Rock while just barely making the Pop chart for a few weeks. Despite the lack of mainstream support, college radio ate it up and the LP did better than their debut getting to #27 on the Pop Album chart. It also spent nearly a year on the chart and it would eventually be a certified gold seller. 

ReduxReview:  I bought Reckoning back in the day after reading about it in Rolling Stone. I was not impressed, to say the least. However, I did gravitate towards this track and it was the first R.E.M. song that I hooked into. I had zero idea what Michael Stipe was singing about, but I liked his mournful voice singing "I'm sorry." The opening guitar lick is great and the whole song almost sounds like a lost tune from a 60s band like The Zombies or Love. Although I liked the song a lot, it took me several more years before I really became a fan of the band. In retrospect, Reckoning is a good album, but I think Murmur and their early 90s albums were superior.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  On October 6, 1983, R.E.M. made their national television debut on Late Night with David Letterman. This was a couple months before the recording sessions began for Reckoning. The first number they performed was "Radio Free Europe," which was probably their most recognizable song at the time. After a brief interview with Letterman, the band was ready to perform another tune. Letterman asked them what the title was and Mike Mills said "it doesn't have one, it's too new." The song they performed was "So. Central Rain."


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