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* BeamMeUpScotty: The song "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" was named after the phrase that an attacker of news anchor Dan Rather repeatedly screamed while attacking him. However, what the attacker (later identified to be William Tager, who thought that the media were beaming signals into his mind and that if he could find the right frequency he could block the signals) actually said was "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" according to Dan Rather himself.
* BlackSheepHit: See the note on Creator Backlash and "Shiny Happy People" below.
* BreakthroughHit: "The One I Love".
* CreatorBacklash: The band (especially Stipe) all ''hate'' "Shiny Happy People" and refuse to play it in concerts. They originally refused to add it to compilation albums. However, the song was announced to be a part of the track list of their career-spanning greatest hits release, ''Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 19822011'', most likely being the "Part Garbage" mentioned in the title.
** Though in the booklet that accompanied ''Part Lies...'', Peter Buck mentions that, despite how much the other members regret the song, as well as how dumb and silly he thinks the song is, he has come to appreciate it. Just below Buck's comment, Stipe mentions that despite his feelings about the song, he does realize that the fans do enjoy it which ultimately led to him finally including it in a compilation album. Mike Mills has said that it is a happy song, which is not representative of their usual music.
** They also have a low opinion of their album ''Around the Sun''.
* CreatorBreakdown:
** ''Fables of the Reconstruction'' and ''Up'' were recorded on two separate occasions that the band was on the verge of breaking up -- the former because of intolerable conditions in [[strike:Britain]] general in 1985; the latter because of the fallout from Bill Berry's retirement.
** ''Around The Sun'' was recorded when the band were depressed about 9/11 and the Iraq War, and exhausted from touring; they almost broke up then. Their utter boredom is evident in most of the songs. However, they were so disappointed in ''Around The Sun'' that they did not want it to be their last album, and so stayed together to return to their rock roots and gave us that epic CrowningMomentOfAwesome that is ''Accelerate''.
* DevelopmentHell: Surprisingly common.
** "Just A Touch", the first song the band ever wrote (from early 1980), didn't get released until ''Lifes Rich Pageant'' in 1986.
** "Romance" was written and performed before ''Murmur'' and recorded for it, but it would not be released until the ''Made in Heaven'' soundtrack in 1987.
** "All the Right Friends" was one of the band's earliest songs, performed as early as 1980. The band tried recording it in 1983 for ''Murmur'', but this version would not be released until 1993 when it appeared as a bonus track on the ''I.R.S. Years'' CD re-release of ''Dead Letter Office''. The band ended up rerecording it in 2001 due to the producer of ''Vanilla Sky'' wanting an old style R.E.M. track, and the band having revisited it live around that time.
** "Pretty Persuasion" and "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" both originate from 1980 but would not appear on an album until 1984's ''Reckoning''.
** "Get On Their Way" was written near the end of 1980, but would not appear on an album until ''Lifes Rich Pageant'', under the title "What If We Give it Away?", in 1986. Apparently, the song is a bit of an OldShame for the band.
** The fan-titled "Ha (We Still Get Paid For It)", from around 1981, was never officially released. Parts of it were turned into "Burning Hell" and "Old Man Kensey" in 1984 (the former found on ''Dead Letter Office''; the latter on ''Fables''), and the other half formed the basis for ''Document'''s "Oddfellows Local 151" in 1987.
** "Hyena" was recorded for ''Reckoning'' and ''Fables'', but was discarded due to the band not agreeing on the song's tempo. It was finally released on ''Lifes Rich Pageant''.
** "When We Were Young" (aka "Throw Those Trolls Away") had been performed live on the band's 1984 tour for ''Reckoning'' and was recorded for ''Fables'', with the title even written on the inner sleeve. The band decided not to include it at the last minute. It was reworked into "I Believe", which appeared on ''Lifes Rich Pageant''.
** The band's cover of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was recorded in studio 10 years after they had started performing it live.
** "Bad Day", which was recorded in 1986 but not released because Michael Stipe thought it was too personal. Parts of the song ended up being reworked and used in "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", though the band ended up re-recording it for the 2003 greatest hits album ''In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003''.
** "Low Desert" originated during the ''Monster'' sessions, under the name of "Swamp", but it wouldn't be released until the following album, ''New Adventures in Hi-Fi''.
** "Daysleeper" started out as a demo during the ''New Adventures in Hi-Fi'' sessions, but just barely missed being on the album. It eventually became the BlackSheepHit of the album ''Up'', in 1998.
** "Until the Day Is Done" started life as an untitled instrumental demo recorded in 2003, during the ''Around the Sun'' sessions. It would eventually be released on ''Accelerate'' five years later.
** "Magnetic North" was recorded for ''Around the Sun'', but ultimately was never finished. It appeared on the band's 2007 Christmas Fan Club single.
** The two-disc ''Live at the Olympia'' set, chronicling the band's 2007 "live rehearsals" in Dublin, saw the first official releases of "Staring Down the Barrel of the Middle Distance" and "On the Fly", both of which were written for, but ultimately left off of, ''Accelerate''.
* NamesTheSame:
** No, "Time After Time (Annelise)" is not a cover of the Music/CyndiLauper song. Mike Mills has (facetiously) expressed disdain at this coincidence in interviews.
** Mike Mills the R.E.M. bassist/multi-instrumentalist is not to be confused with Mike Mills the director and graphic designer. The latter frequently directs music videos and designs album artwork, and played guitar in the short-lived band Butter 08.
** Also, one might think the (French ambient group) Air song "Mike Mills" is named for R.E.M.'s bassist. Nope, it's really named for the ''composer'' named Mike Mills, who is one of Air's biggest influences.
** Peter Buck did not co-found the restaurant chain Subway prior to being the guitarist in R.E.M.
* RetroactiveRecognition: The cinematographer for the music video to "The One I Love" was Alton Brown, who later went on to make the groundbreaking cooking show ''Series/GoodEats''.
* ScrewedByTheNetwork: One of the reasons the band moved to Warner Bros. was that I.R.S. had poor distribution overseas.
* ThrowItIn: Listen carefully to the end of "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?", and you might notice the song slows down near the end. It wasn't intentional; Mike Mills was taken ill from appendicitis and slowed down involuntarily, and the rest of the band slowed down to match his pace. They never bothered to re-record the song.
** Early live performances saw Michael Stipe changing up the lyrics on an almost-regular basis during certain songs, often using them to quote passages, give {{Shout Out}}s, and various other things. "Radio Free Europe" was a particular target of this.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** The release of ''In Time'' delayed the band's work on ''Around The Sun'', and by the time they got round to recording it they were burned out, plus they had contributed two of the best tracks to the compilation. Had it not been for this, the album might have been better, though it's not as though the compilation was a waste of time.
** A line in "Welcome to the Occupation", off ''Document'', originally read "Hang your freedom fighters." Stipe had intended for it to have [[DoubleEntendre two meanings]] -- "hang" as in "lynch" and "hang" as in "frame on a wall like a picture" -- but Bill Berry requested it be changed due to the {{unfortunate implications}} it would have had (the line in the finished product reads "Hang your freedom ''higher''").
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