Around the Sun

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Around the Sun
Studio album by R.E.M.
Released October 5, 2004 (2004-10-05)
Recorded Early 2003 – early 2004
Genre Alternative rock
Length 55:21
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Pat McCarthy, R.E.M.
R.E.M. chronology
Perfect Square
(2004)
Around the Sun
(2004)
iTunes Originals – R.E.M.
(2004)
Singles from Around the Sun
  1. "Leaving New York"
    Released: September 27, 2004 (2004-09-27)
  2. "Aftermath"
    Released: November 29, 2004 (2004-11-29)
  3. "Electron Blue"
    Released: February 28, 2005 (2005-02-28)
  4. "Wanderlust"
    Released: July 11, 2005 (2005-07-11)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 56/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[2]
BBC Unfavorable[3]
Blender 2/5 stars[4]
Robert Christgau (2-star Honorable Mention)[5]
Entertainment Weekly B−[6]
NME 6/10[7]
Pitchfork Media 5.2/10[8]
PopMatters 4/10 stars[9][1]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[10]
Spin Average[11]
Village Voice Favorable[12]

Around the Sun is the 13th studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in October 2004 on Warner Bros. Records.

Description[edit]

"The Outsiders" features a guest appearance by rapper Q-Tip. When the song is performed live, Michael Stipe carries out the rap, as he does on a later b-side release of the song.

"Final Straw" is a politically charged song. The version on the album is a remix of the original version, which was made available as a free download on March 25, 2003 from the band's website. The song was written as a protest of the American government's actions in the Iraq War.

Around the Sun is also the first R.E.M. album to contain a title track.

Commercial performance[edit]

Around the Sun generally received lukewarm reviews, and despite hitting #1 in the UK, it became their first studio album to miss the U.S. Top 10 (reaching #13 with 7 weeks in the Billboard 200) since 1988's Green and is still awaiting a gold record. As of March 2007, Around the Sun has sold 2 million copies worldwide and 232,000 units in the U.S.[13] This is less than R.E.M. had previously sold in the first week of an album's release while in their early to mid-1990s commercial peak.

Lead single "Leaving New York" became a UK Top 5 hit, with additional singles "Aftermath", "Electron Blue" and "Wanderlust" becoming minor hits there as well. Around the Sun did not have any singles success in the United States, however. It's the band's first studio album to fail to have a song chart on the Hot 100 since Fables of the Reconstruction in 1985.

After the release of their following album, Accelerate, guitarist Peter Buck said that for him Around the Sun "... just wasn't really listenable, because it sounds like what it is, a bunch of people that are so bored with the material that they can't stand it anymore." [14] The album's songs were largely excluded from the band's live setlists after the release of Accelerate.

Reissue[edit]

In 2005, Warner Brothers Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of Around the Sun which includes a CD, a DVD-Audio disc containing a 5.1-channel surround sound mix of the album done by Elliot Scheiner, and the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes.

A remix of the song "Final Straw" appeared earlier in 2004 on the compilation album Future Soundtrack for America.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe.

  1. "Leaving New York" – 4:49
  2. "Electron Blue" – 4:12
  3. "The Outsiders" (feat. Q-Tip) – 4:14
  4. "Make It All Okay" – 3:43
  5. "Final Straw" – 4:06
  6. "I Wanted to Be Wrong" – 4:34
  7. "Wanderlust" – 3:04
  8. "Boy in the Well" – 5:22
  9. "Aftermath" – 3:52
  10. "High Speed Train" – 5:03
  11. "The Worst Joke Ever" – 3:37
  12. "The Ascent of Man" – 4:07
  13. "Around the Sun" – 4:29

Personnel[edit]

R.E.M.
Additional personnel
  • Chris Bilheimer: Packaging
  • Oswald "Wiz" Bowe: Assistant Engineer
  • Jimmy Briggs: Assistant Engineer
  • DeWitt Burton: Technical Assistance
  • Jamie Candiloro: Engineer, Mixing, Musician
  • Alex Dixon: Assistant
  • Bertis Downs: Advisor
  • Thomas Roman Dozol: Photography, Cover Photo
  • Bryan Gallant: Assistant
  • Ted Jensen: Mastering
  • Patrick McCarthy: Producer, Mixing
  • Scott McCaughey: Musician
  • Kirk McNally: Assistant Engineer
  • Q-Tip: Musician
  • Bill Rieflin: Musician
  • Hahn Rowe: Musician
  • Ken Stringfellow: Musician
  • Javier Valverde: Assistant Engineer
  • Bob Whittaker: Technical Assistance

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[15] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[16] Gold 10,000x
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[17] Gold 20,000^
Germany (BVMI)[18] Gold 100,000^
Italy (FIMI)[19] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Sweden (GLF)[20] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[21] Platinum 40,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Gold 210,000[23]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[24] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Critic Reviews for Around The Sun". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  2. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Around the Sun". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  3. ^ Charles, Chris (2004-09-27). "Music - Review of REM - Around The Sun". BBC. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Around the Sun". Robert Christgau. 
  6. ^ Doug Brod (2004-10-08). "Around the Sun Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  7. ^ Mulvey, John (2004-12-03). "NME Album Reviews - REM : Around The Sun". NME. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  8. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (2004-10-04). "R.E.M.: Around the Sun | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  9. ^ Metivier, Michael (2004-10-18). "R.E.M.: Around the Sun < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  10. ^ Barry Walters (2004-10-10). "Around the Sun | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  11. ^ Hermes, Will (2004-11-15). "R.E.M., 'Around the Sun' (Warner Bros.)". Spin. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  12. ^ Franklin Bruno (2004-10-19). "Boys in the Well - Page 1 - Music - New York". Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-01-14. 
  13. ^ Gundersen, Edna (2007-03-11). "R.E.M.: A 25-year rockin' role". USA Today. 
  14. ^ Harrison, Shane. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jun 16, 2008.
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  16. ^ "Austrian album certifications – R.E.M. – Around the Sun" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter R.E.M. in the field Interpret. Enter Around the Sun in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  17. ^ "Album Top–40: Uge 11 – 2005" (ASP). Hitlisten (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  18. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (R.E.M.; 'Around the Sun')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  19. ^ "Musica: REM, domani a Roma la band di Michael Stipe" (in Italian). Adnkronos. September 9, 2005. 
  20. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2005" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
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  23. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
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  36. ^ R.E.M.-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Around the Sun by R.E.M.". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
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External links[edit]