The 40 Best Songs by R.E.M.

While reviewing and cataloging all music, I was curious about certain groups and artists and how I feel about their music today. I decided to rank the songs of some of the greats and after kicking things off with the Beatles, Zeppelin, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, The Stones and CCR – next up is R.E.M.

Now this is a band with staying power. The burst onto the scene in the mid-80s, but they burst onto ‘my’ scene in 1988 with Stand. I had a friend who was really into R.E.M. and enjoyed Documents, Life’s Rich Pageant and Murmur. So I picked up a compilation of their earlier stuff via the album Eponymous. It turned out to be one of my favorite albums of all time.

With those two albums holding a big place in my heart, I was quick to buy their next three – Out of Time, Automatic for the People and Monster. They became a big part of my late high school/early university years. I remember playing a lot of What’s Your Frequency, Kenneth? during a New Year’s party my housemates and I held back when I was 20.

A few good ones that missed the Top 40 include Ignoreland (1992), Aftermath (2004), Leaving New York (2004) and Monty Got A Raw Deal (1992).

Here are my 40 favorite songs from R.E.M., one of the best classic rock bands of all time:

40. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight (1992)

39. Daysleeper (1998)

38. Belong  (1991)

37. Radio Song  (1991)

36. Sweetness Follows (1992)

35. Try Not To Breathe  (1992)

34. Can’t Get There From Here  (1985)

33. Bad Day (1986)

32. The Great Beyond  (1999)

31. Get Up  (1989)

30. Turn You Inside Out (1988)

29. Imitation Of Life  (2001)

28. Find the River (1992)

27. Bang and Blame  (1994)

26. Bittersweet Me (1996)

25. Pop Song ’89  (1988)

24. It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)  (1987)

23. Shiny Happy People  (1991)

22. Man On the Moon  (1992)

21. Talk About the Passion  (1983)

20. Gardening at Night (1982)

19. Orange Crush  (1988)

18. The One I Love  (1987)

17. Radio Free Europe  (1983)

16. Me In Honey  (1991)

15. Don’t Go Back To Rockville  (1984)

14. Drive  (1992)

13. Finest Worksong  (1988)

12. E-Bow the Letter  (1996)

11. Nightswimming  (1992)

10. Superman  (1986)

9. Crush With Eyeliner  (1994)

8. So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)  (1984)

7. Driver 8  (1985)

6. Stand  (1988)

5. Losing My Religion  (1991)

4. Everybody Hurts  (1992)

3. Strange Currencies (1994)

2. Fall On Me  (1986)

1. What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?  (1994)

I put this full playlist on YouTube here.

The Top 40 songs by R.E.M.

1What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? R.E.M.1994
2Fall On Me R.E.M.1986
3Strange CurrenciesR.E.M.1994
4Everybody Hurts R.E.M.1992
5Losing My Religion R.E.M.1991
6Stand R.E.M.1988
7Driver 8 R.E.M.1985
8So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry) R.E.M.1984
9Crush With Eyeliner R.E.M.1994
10Superman R.E.M.1986
11Nightswimming R.E.M.1992
12E-Bow the Letter R.E.M.1996
13Finest Worksong R.E.M.1988
14Drive R.E.M.1992
15Don’t Go Back To Rockville R.E.M.1984
16Me In Honey R.E.M.1991
17Radio Free Europe R.E.M.1983
18The One I Love R.E.M.1987
19Orange Crush R.E.M.1988
20Gardening at NightR.E.M.1982
21Talk About the Passion R.E.M.1983
22Man On the Moon R.E.M.1992
23Shiny Happy People R.E.M.1991
24It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) R.E.M.1987
25Pop Song ’89 R.E.M.1988
26Bittersweet MeR.E.M.1996
27Bang and Blame R.E.M.1994
28Find the RiverR.E.M.1992
29Imitation Of Life R.E.M.2001
30Turn You Inside OutR.E.M.1988
31Get Up R.E.M.1989
32The Great Beyond R.E.M.1999
33Bad Day R.E.M.2003
34Can’t Get There From Here R.E.M.1985
35Try Not To Breathe R.E.M.1992
36Sweetness FollowsR.E.M.1992
37Radio Song R.E.M.1991
38Belong R.E.M.1991
40The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite R.E.M.1992


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