It’s time again for Friday on My Mind. Our weekly blog post where we look at videos centered around one common theme. This is a collaborative effort between KEXP and King 5 News.
Michael Stipe, the well-known frontman for the now disbanded seminal alt-rock band R.E.M., will be celebrating his 54th birthday tomorrow. Born John Michael Stipe in Decatur, Georgia, Stipe fronted R.E.M. from their start in 1980 until they called it a day back in October 2011. The band has had a significant impact on on all of their fans and countless artists who have come after them. Even bands that they brought along with them during their many tours over the years, who were little known to many of us at the time, ended up proving to be staples of our music libraries soon after, such as The Replacements, Wilco, and a little band known as Radiohead.
In celebration of Michael Stipe’s birthday and the impact of R.E.M, here are a few of our favorite R.E.M. videos from their expansive career:
R.E.M. – Shiny Happy People
The song appeared on their 1991 album Out of Time and was released as the second single from this breakthrough album. Fellow Athens, Georgia, native Kate Pierson of the B-52’s helped out on vocals for this one. The band performed another version of the song, “Furry Happy Monsters” during an episode of Sesame Street in 1999. Kate Pierson’s Muppet doppelganger sings her part. Check it out:
And now that you have your Muppet fix, here is the original:
R.E.M. – Stand
Our next choice is “Stand” from the 1989 release, Green. When asked about the meaning behind “Stand”, Stipe has talked about it being both about finding and making change in your life direction but also about really taking notice of all around you that you experience in day to day life. In R.E.M.’s history, “Stand” can be argued as one of their most accessible singles. It was their second top 10 single, and it also made it to number six on the Billboard charts.
R.E.M.- It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Our third choice is everyone’s favorite song to sing along to without really knowing the lyrics. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” can be found on multiple R.E.M. albums including Document from 1987, and the compilations Eponymous, from 1988, and And I Feel Fine… The Best of the I.R.S Years 1982–1987, from 2006.
R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts
From R.E.M.’s 1992 album, Automatic for the People, our next choice is “Everybody Hurts”. Reminiscent of a similar opening scene in Federico Fellini’s 1963 avant-garde classic, 8½, the official video for this single involves a traffic jam which was filmed on I-10 in San Antonio. The band, as well as many other people, are stuck in traffic. As everyone waits at a standstill, we as the viewers get to see everyone’s thoughts literally spelled out for us via subtitles. When the video ends, everyone leaves their cars by foot and disappears.
R.E.M. – Fall on Me
The official music video for “Fall on Me” was directed and filmed by Michael Stipe himself. For the duration of the entire video we get to see the lyrics of the song, although Stipe probably should have looked into a proofreader for the video since the word “foresight” was misspelled. Check it out at the 1:02 mark…