R.E.M. were a huge band at the end of the ’80s, but they didn’t truly become crossover pop stars until 1991’s Out Of Time, an album that opened with a track that essentially made fun of pop stardom. “Radio Song,” the opening track from Out Of Time, featured a sparkling dance-pop groove and an appearance from KRS-One, of all possible people, and it fit squarely within the long tradition of snarky R.E.M. quasi-pop songs. As previously reported, R.E.M. are planning a big 25th-anniversary deluxe edition of Out Of Time, and it’ll include a previously unreleased demo version of “Radio Song” that sounds a whole lot more like a standard-issue R.E.M. song. (There is, for example, no KRS, and no string section.) Check it out below, via NPR.
The Out Of Time 25th Anniversary reissue is out 11/18 via Concord Bicycle.