Daily Dose: ‘Drive’ by R.E.M.

Breaking the electro cycle to correct a alight oddity in my writing history: unless I’m somehow mistaken (and inevitably it’s going to turn out I am and I’ll have to go back and edit this), I’ve never written about an R.E.M. song on this website. That’s unusual because at various stages in my life R.E.M. have been either my favourite band or very close to it, on a couple of occasions much to the chagrin of random people that I have been occasionally forced to have musical based discussion with (some people just want to be difficult for the sake of being difficult, which is a fairly mediocre goal). I’d say that I think about music sort of differently now, but I’m still very fond of them as a band. So then, allow me to witter about the opening track from what popular consensus generally regards as their best album (I guess I’d have to grudgingly agree), Automatic for the People (5th October, 1992). Regarded as something of an alt-rock masterpiece, it yielded a bunch of singles and single-worth songs, including this one, which I happily wager you wouldn’t have guessed was the lead single, because I certainly didn’t. I’d be prepared to bet most people would have guessed ‘Man on the Moon’ or ‘Everybody Hurts’ as the leadout, but they were the second and fourth singles respectively, proving that even back then record executives had absolutely no clue what they were doing. The song itself is a subtle homage to the bands support for the increased federal attempts to increase voter engagement through legislation at the time, a very worthy goal, as well as being a general “up the kids” anthem, although something of a classic rock one these days. It’s a really excellent song, and if for some reason you haven’t heard it (or the album), at some point you really should make the time and take in what is as close to a seminal alternative rock song as is possible to get.

This may also be the last one for today due to my utterly ridiculous lethargy, I’ll try to do another burst on Monday to further close the gap.


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