Before Out of Time R.E.M. had a large following, but it was not the biggest rock band in the world.
With its release, and specifically the single “Losing My Religion” the group soared to a level of mainstream success it had never previously approached. Now, 25 years later, the group has reissues the album which helped break alternative music into the American mainstream and turned R.E.M. into a worldwide phenomenon.
R.E.M.’s Out of Time is out again
‘Out Of Time’ was released for the second time on November 18 in three different formats. The two CD Set includes a remastered version of the original album alongside demo versions of every album track, as well as demos for two non-album b-sides and a previously unreleased song. The three LP Set includes remastered vinyl versions of the original album and the demos. The 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of Out Of Time include 4 discs, featuring the remastered album, demos, recordings from the band’s performance at Mountain Stage in 1991 (a rarity for the time, as the band did not tour to promote ‘Out Of Time’), and a Blu-Ray disc with hi-resolution audio and 5.1 Surround Sound versions of ‘Out Of Time,’ all of the music videos from the album, and the 1991 electronic press kit ‘Time Piece,’ featuring in-studio footage, exclusive performances and more.
The demos, recorded at John Keane Studio in early 1990 and featured on all versions of the Out Of Time reissue, provide key insight into the band’s creative process: from early instrumental passes to versions of “Losing My Religion” and “Texarkana” with different lyrics, and even a version of “Radio Song” that features a rare moment with drummer Bill Berry on lead vocals for a verse. While recording them, it was clear to Keane that R.E.M. were “at their peak in terms of creativity.”
How big was R.E.M.?
By 1991, R.E.M. (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe) had amassed a sizable following in the United States, but Out Of Time brought the Athens, GA band unprecedented global recognition. It was the group’s first album to top both U.S. and UK charts, selling 12 million copies worldwide, and garnered 7 Grammy nominations, including wins for Best Alternative Music Album, Best Short Form Music Video (“Losing My Religion”), and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (“Losing My Religion”).
Instant classic songs like “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People,” “Near Wild Heaven,” and “Radio Song” broke new ground, artistically and commercially. Reviewing ‘Out Of Time,’ Rolling Stone simply said, “This may well be America’s best rock & roll band.” Earlier this year, Pitchfork called the album “arguably their most important record,” while Time Magazine named Out Of Time one of it’s All-Time 100 Albums, saying it contains “ethereal beauty rarely heard on a rock record.”