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It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

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Title: It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Road Movie (video), Great Big Sea, Finest Worksong, Drive (R.E.M. song), Lotus (song)
Collection: 1987 Singles, 1987 Songs, 1988 Singles, 1991 Singles, 1998 Singles, Great Big Sea Songs, I.R.S. Records Singles, List Songs, Patter Songs, R.E.M. Songs, Song Recordings Produced by Bill Berry, Song Recordings Produced by Michael Stipe, Song Recordings Produced by Mike Mills, Song Recordings Produced by Peter Buck, Song Recordings Produced by Scott Litt, Songs Written by Bill Berry, Songs Written by Michael Stipe, Songs Written by Mike Mills, Songs Written by Peter Buck
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It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
Block text in all capitals spell out
Cover of the USA 7" release.
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Document
B-side "Last Date"
Released November 16, 1987
Format Vinyl record (7" and 12"), tape cassette, CD
Recorded 1987 at Sound Emporium, Nashville, Tennessee
Genre Alternative rock, post-punk[1]
Length 4:07 (Album version)
3:29 (Single version)
Label I.R.S.
Writer(s) Bill Berry
Peter Buck
Mike Mills
Michael Stipe[2]
Producer(s) Scott Litt and R.E.M.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"The One I Love"
(1987)
"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
(1987)
"Finest Worksong"
(1988)

"Radio Song"
(1991)

"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
(1991)

"Drive"
(1992)

"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" is a song by the rock band R.E.M., which appeared on their 1987 album Document, the 1988 compilation Eponymous, and the 2006 compilation And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S Years 1982–1987. It was released as a single in November 1987, reaching No. 69 in the US Billboard Hot 100 and later reaching No. 39 in the UK singles chart on its re-release in December 1991.

The song originated from a previously unreleased song called "PSA" ("Public Service Announcement"); the two songs are very similar in melody and tempo. "PSA" was itself later released as a single in 2003, under the title "Bad Day." In an interview with Guitar World magazine published in November 1996, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck agreed that "End of the World" was in the tradition of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues."[3]

Contents

  • Music video 1
  • Track listing 2
    • Initial release 2.1
    • Re-issue 2.2
  • Lyrics 3
  • Sales chart performance 4
    • Commercial performance 4.1
    • Charts 4.2
  • Cover versions 5
  • References 6

Music video

The music video was directed by James Herbert, who worked with the band on several other videos in the late 1980s. It depicts a young skateboarder, Noah Ray,[4] rifling through an abandoned, collapsing farmhouse and displaying the relics that he finds to the camera.

Track listing

Initial release

  • "7: IRS IRM 145 (UK):
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "This One Goes Out" (live acoustic version of "The One I Love") – 4:19
  • "7: IRS IRS-53220 (US); cassette: IRS IRSC-53220:
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "Last Date" (Floyd Cramer cover) – 2:13
  • "12: IRS IRMT 145:
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "This One Goes Out" (live acoustic version of "The One I Love") – 4:19
  3. "Maps and Legends" (live acoustic)
  • "12 Promo: IRS 7363 (US):
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "Disturbance at the Heron House (Live from cassette 5.24.87 McCabes Guitar Shop)" – 3:41

Re-issue

  • CD: IRS DIRMT 180:
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "Radio Free Europe" – 4:03
  3. "The One I Love" (Live Acoustic) – 4:19
  • CD: IRS DIRMX 180:
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "Radio Free Europe" (Hib-Tone version) – 3:46
  3. "White Tornado" – 1:59
  4. "Last Date" – 2:13
  • "7: IRS IRM 180; cassette: IRS DIRMC 180:
  1. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:04
  2. "Radio Free Europe" – 4:03

Lyrics

The track is known for its quick flying, seemingly stream of consciousness rant with a number of diverse references, including a quartet of individuals with the initials "L.B." (Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs).[5] In a 1990s interview with Musician magazine, R.E.M.'s lead singer Michael Stipe claimed that the "L.B." references came from a dream he had in which he found himself at a party surrounded by famous people who all shared these initials.

Sales chart performance

Commercial performance

Before the supposed Mayan apocalypse on December 21, 2012, sales for the song jumped from 3,000 to 19,000 copies for the week.[6]

A Radio Station in Calgary, Canada (CFEX x92.9 FM) on December 21, 2012 played the song 156 times in a row back to back to coincide with the Mayan apocalypse event.[7]

Charts

Chart (1987/1991) Peak
position
Irish Singles Chart 222
UK Singles Chart 391
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 69
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 16
  • 1 – The single originally reached No. 87 in the UK. It reached No. 39 in 1991 after the song was re-released.
  • 2 – Only charted in 1991 after the song's re-release.

Cover versions

References

  1. ^ The Los Angeles Times: 20 Essential R.E.M. Songs Retrieved 5 October 2015
  2. ^ "R.E.M.HQ: Albums". Remhq.com. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "YuppiePunk » Podcast #8: List Songs". Yuppiepunk.org. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Jim. "Video takes local kid's life for a turn". Online Athens: REM in the hall.  
  5. ^ Ventre, Michael (2005-10-29). "Turn up the volume and cast your vote: Songs to inspire you for Election Day 2004".  
  6. ^ "'"Non-Apocalypse Spurs Sales (Up 612%), Airplay Gains For R.E.M.'s 'End Of The World. Billboard. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "x929 plays R.E.M. 156 times". SongFacts. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Ableson, Jon. "Chris Carrabba To Release "Covered In The Flood" Solo Album". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "BuffettNews.com • View topic - Buffett Covers R.E.M.". Buffettnews.com. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
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