Friday, October 12, 2012

Rock Mandolin: Losing My Religion

Charting at #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100, R.E.M.’s “Losing my Religion” came about when guitarist Peter Buck was fooling around with a mandolin. The title is a Southern expression that can be equated with anger that gets out of hand.

The single appeared on R.E.M.’s 1991 “Out of Time” album. While it did very well in the US, it was only a top 20 hit in Canada, the UK, and Australia. Warner Brothers, however, didn’t believe in the song for a single release – but the band failed to relent. To test the waters, Warners pushed the song to college radio, alternative, and AOR stations before promoting it to Top 40. It appears that their fears were unfounded.

Live Version

Buck, by the way, plays a Flatiron F-style mandolin in this live video from 1995.

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