Thursday 14 July 2022

Pop Song 89

Trust Me #39 - Pop Song 89 by R.E.M.

Should we talk about the weather?

Should we talk about the government?

So asks Michael Stipe on Pop Song 89, from R.E.M.'s seminal Green album, a song that still sounds fresh and vital all these years down the line. And after revisiting it lately I had to laugh at the two genius questions asked in the hook. 

I was fortunate enough to spend 2-weeks in Portugal recently. I phoned my Mum back in Scotland regularly and she was always moaning about the weather - more so than the government!

And then ... chaos ... what a f**king mess the country is in. Should we talk about the government? Yeah we should because they are a shambles, an embarrassment and something has to change.

Hopefully that change will come in the form of independence for Scotland. We're sick of Westminster, sick of the Tories who just don't give a f**k about people, they don't care and that was sadly evidenced right at the top and very prominently by Boris Johnson.

It's not just our government. The world is overheating and there seems to be no urgency from governments across the globe in relation to the climate crisis. Action could be too late. We need to talk about both - seriously!

Back to music, my saviour, my escapism. Probably yours too if you're reading this.

Pop Song 89 bursts into life with an urgent rhythm guitar over Motown-esque beats, before Peter Buck starts what sounds like a complicated but playful guitar riff. Then Michael Stipe is in with a verse that sounds like it could be a chorus. 

Hello, I saw you, I know you, I knew you

I think I can remember you name, name

Hello, I'm sorry I lost myself

I think I thought you were someone else

And then it's into the aforementioned chorus, the 1st verse is repeated and then the chorus. So, very quickly, you find yourself singing the song. The repetition, the hello intro, the catchy chorus, the guitar riff ... it works so well. 

This all happens within 90-seconds, there is then an instrumental that leads back to Buck's riff, then a verse, chorus and 30-second outro.

R.E.M were remarkably prolific through the 80's and 90's. 6 albums in the 80's, starting with their debut Murmur in 1983, bookended by Green. And then they smashed the 90's with Automatic For The People in 1991 through to Up in 1998.

Anyway, I'm pretty fed up talking about the government. Lets talk about the weather!

REM Pop Song 89 official video

REM Pop Song 89 live on The Late Show 1989

A list of all previous songs I've blogged about in my Trust Me feature are listed below, along with links to each blog.

I've also collated them all into a playlist on Spotify that you can find by searching for Everything Flows - Trust Me , or you can CLICK HERE

Previous Trust Me blogs

1. Something On Your Mind by Karen Dalton
1A. Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells
2. I Am, I Said  by Neil Diamond
3. Where's The Playground Susie?   by Glen Campbell
4. If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lighfoot
5. Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon
6. Gone With The Wind Is My Love by Rita and the Tiaras
7. In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans
8. The Music Box by Ruth Copeland
9. The Ship Song by Nick Cave
10. Sometimes by James
11. I Walk The Earth by King Biscuit Time
12. Didn't Know What I Was In For by Better Oblivion Community Centre
13. When My Boy Walks Down The Street by The Magnetic Fields
14. The Man Don't Give A F**k by Super Furry Animals
15. All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun by Jeff Buckley and Liz Fraser
16. Are You Lookin' by The Tymes
17. A Real Hero by College & Electric Youth
18. Feelings Gone by Callum Easter
19. Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground
20. Did I Say by Teenage Fanclub
21. Don't Look Back by Teenage Fanclub
23. Belfast by Orbital
24. Clouds by The Jayhawks
25. Dreaming Of You by The Coral
26. Everlasting Love by Love Affair
27. Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke
28. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
29. Shaky Ground by Sneeze
29. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
30. I Can Feel Your Love by Felice Taylor
31. The State We're In by The Chemical Brothers w/ Beth Orton
32. Sunshine After The Rain by Ellie Greenwich
33. Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
34. Mondo 77 by Looper
35. Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
36. Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats
37. How High by The Charlatans
38. I Can't Let Go by Evie Sands

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