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Losing My Religion
The song that signalled REM’s breakthrough to the mainstream was anything but a mainstream song. Featuring a typically enigmatic lyric from Michael Stipe and a melody played gently on a mandolin by Peter
Song facts
Composer REM
Genre Rock
Album Out Of Time
Year of Release 1991
UK Chart Position 19
Buck, the track is a world away from the catchy pop of “Shiny Happy People”, the band’s next single and the one which their record label predicted would crack the charts.
The title refers to a saying common in the American South and means to be at the end of your tether, although many people took it as a personal statement from Stipe. But while it may not have been an obvious hit - it has no chorus, for a start - the song’s overall message, a heartfelt plea for privacy at the height of the age of celebrity, clearly touched a nerve with the public, and it soon made the top ten in the US. The track’s video, which featured a rather strange dance from Stipe, was integral to its success and picked up nine nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards. At the ceremony the band walked away with six awards, including one for Best Video.

Michael Stipe talks about the meaning behind "Losing My Religion"
Michael Stipe
Michael Stipe on the meaning of the title: "I didn't want to call the song that because it would be too controversial, but the band insisted on it . . ."


It's got everything. The lyrics are stupendous, the music simply splendid - the sound of a band in perfect unison and doing what they want to do


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