R.E.M – ” Out Of Time ” Released 12th March 1991

Posted: March 13, 2015 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,


On this day in 1991, R.E.M. released its seventh album, ‘Out of Time,’ featuring the singles “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People,” “Near Wild Heaven” and “Radio Song”

“Out of Time” was the seventh studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on Warner Bros. Records in 1991. R.E.M.’s status grew from that of a cult band to a massive international act. The record topped the album sales charts in both the U.S. and the UK, spending 109 weeks on American album charts and enjoying two separate spells at the summit, and 183 weeks on the British charts, and spending a single week at the top. The album has sold over four and a half million copies in the US and over 18 million copies worldwide. The album won three Grammy Awards in 1992: one as Best Alternative Music Album, and two for the first single, Losing My Religion.”

Recorded between September to October 1990 at,Bearsville Studios, Woodstock,New York, United States; John Keane Studios, Athens, Georgia, United States (recording); Soundscape Studios, Atlanta, Georgia, United States (strings);Prince’s Paisley Park Studios,Chanhassen, Minnesota, United States (mixing), produced by Scott Litt and R.E.M.

“Out of Time” combines elements of pop, folk and classical music  as heard on their previous album “Green, with a new concentration on country elements that would continue on 1992’s “Automatic for the People“.

Preceded by the release ofLosing My Religion“, which became R.E.M.’s biggest U.S. hit, Out of Time gave them their first U.S. and UK #1 album. The band did not tour to support the release. In Germany, it is the band’s best-selling album, selling more than 1,250,000 copies, it was also the first R.E.M. album to have an alternative expanded release on compact disc, including expanded liner notes and postcards. Check out this different demo for the song ” Near Wild Heaven

The third single from 1991’s Out Of Time chronicles a relationship at loose ends: “Whenever we hold each other, we hold each other/ There’s a feeling that’s gone/ Something has gone wrong.” Despite the gloomy outlook, “Near Wild Heaven” sounds surprisingly upbeat. (Consider it the musical equivalent of winter’s chilly sunshine.) Chiming guitars, daybreak piano and lead vocals from Mike Mills provide graceful levity, while the chorus boasts Beach Boys-caliber harmonies dotted with longing falsetto and gorgeous counter-melodies. “Near Wild Heaven” both exemplifies Out Of Time’s plush instrumental palette and illuminates R.E.M.’s inventive perspective.

The supporting tour for Green had exhausted R.E.M., and they spent nearly a year recuperating before reconvening for the recording session for Out of Time. Where previous R.E.M. records captured a stripped-down, live sound, Out of Time was lush with sonic detail, featuring string sections, keyboards, mandolins, and cameos from everyone from rapper KRS-One to the B-52’sKate Pierson. The scope of R.E.M.‘s ambitions is impressive, and the record sounds impeccable, its sunny array of pop and folk songs as refreshing as Michael Stipe‘s decision to abandon explicitly political lyrics for the personal. Several R.E.M. classics — including Mike Mills Byrds-y Near Wild Heaven,” the haunting “Country Feedback,” and the masterpiece “Losing My Religion” — are present, but the album is more notable for its production than its songwriting.

In the hands of many bands, “Half a World Away” — a song about the persistent ache of distance, in both the romantic and traveling sense — would sound far too busy. R.E.M.’s lush arrangements, however, have the perfect balance of texture and velocity. “Half a World Away” is dominated by harpsichord and mandolin, which are braided together to create an ornate melodic foundation, and Michael Stipe’s conspiratorial vocal tone. Swaying organ provides oceanic swells underneath. And, near the end of the song, proud strings jump into the fray to underscore the music’s sweet melancholy.

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