Bad Day (R.E.M. song)

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"Bad Day"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003
B-side "Favorite Writer"
Released October 2003
Format CD single, DVD single
Recorded 2003
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:07
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Pat McCarthy, R.E.M.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"I'll Take the Rain"
(2001)
"Bad Day"
(2003)
"Animal"
(2004)

"Bad Day" is one of two previously unreleased songs on and the lead single from R.E.M.'s 2003 compilation In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003.

The song first appeared in 1985, when Michael Stipe sang a few words of it during a concert in Albany, New York, as part of the Reconstruction tour. Then, around the time of Lifes Rich Pageant, the song emerged in a more polished version with the title "PSA"—an abbreviation for "public service announcement".[citation needed] An anti-media rant inspired by a day Stipe found a camcorder lens in his face when he answered the front door, the song was never released but did serve as a sort of forerunner to "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", a song with a similar cadence and delivery. In 2003, Stipe saw that the song still had contemporary resonance, and the band finally recorded it for In Time, with only slightly updated lyrics and under the new title "Bad Day".

An outtake version of the song originally recorded for Lifes Rich Pageant finally appeared on EMI's 2006 compilation, And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987. A demo version from the same sessions appeared on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Lifes Rich Pageant in 2011. The arrangement of the song is slightly different in each version.

Music video[edit]

The song's music video[1] was directed by Tim Hope and shot in Vancouver. It is a spoof of media news and was produced by Passion Pictures. It appears on In View, the DVD companion of In Time, and is also found on the main CD of In Time. In the video, Stipe appears as the Morning Team's news anchor Cliff Harris; Mills doubles as roving reporter Ed Colbert and meteorologist Rick Jennings; and Buck as climate expert Geoff Sayers and the reporter Eric Nelson. News stories shown include a monsoon contained within an apartment, a senator's office flooding, and a tornado inside a boy's bedroom.

In other media[edit]

The song can be heard in a third-season episode of Alias and in the Scrubs episode "My Advice To You".

The song is included on R.E.M. Live.

Track listing[edit]

  • CD (Warner 16533-2) (US)
    1. "Bad Day"
    2. "Favorite Writer" (Hopper, Morris)
    3. "Out in the Country" (Williams, Nichols)
    4. "Adagio" (Buck, Mills, Stipe)

Sales chart performance[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 22
Irish Singles Chart 11
UK Singles Chart 8

References[edit]

Black, Johnny (2004). Reveal: The Story of R.E.M. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-776-5.