Orange Crush (song)

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"Orange Crush"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Green
B-side "Ghost Riders"
Released December 1988
Format 7" Single
Recorded 1988
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:51
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Scott Litt & R.E.M.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Finest Worksong"
(1988)
"Orange Crush"
(1988)
"Stand"
(1989)

"Orange Crush" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released as the first single from the band's sixth studio album, Green, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the U.S. despite reaching number one as a promotional single on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks (where, at the time, it had the record for longest stay at number one with eight weeks, beating U2). It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Charts, making it the band's then-highest chart hit in Britain, where they promoted the song by making their debut appearance on Top of the Pops.[1]

The video for the song, directed by Matt Mahurin, won the band its first VMA, for Best Post-Modern Video. "Orange Crush" was also the first song to win in the category.

The song was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. Records compilation In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 in 2003, and a live version appears on the R.E.M. Live album recorded in Dublin in 2005.

The song's title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange manufactured by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical for the U.S. Department of Defense and used in the Vietnam War.[2][3] As a guest on the late-night show Last Call with Carson Daly, Michael Stipe explained that the song was about a young American football player leaving the comforts of home for the war in Vietnam.[citation needed] Also, Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the famous U.S. Army recruiting slogan, "Be all you can be... in the Army."[4]

British indie rock band Editors recorded a cover of "Orange Crush" as the B-side for the re-issue of the "Blood" single.

Track listing[edit]

UK 3" CD W2960CD[edit]

  1. "Orange Crush" (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe) - 3:50
  2. "Ghost Rider" (Suicide cover, written by Martin Reverby, Alan Vega) - 3:45
  3. "Dark Globe" (Syd Barrett) - 1:52

Charts[edit]

Chart (1988/1989) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 15
Irish Singles Chart 21
UK Singles Chart 28
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
Preceded by
"Desire" by U2
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
November 26, 1988 – January 14, 1989
Succeeded by
"Charlotte Anne" by Julian Cope
Preceded by
"It's Money That Matters" by Randy Newman
Billbord Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single
November 26 – December 9, 1988
Succeeded by
"Angel of Harlem" by U2

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gittins, Ian (2007). Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming, and Music - True Adventures of TV's No. 1 Pop Show. London: Random House. p. 126. ISBN 9781846073274. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "...the barbed-wire edge of "Orange Crush." This song, about the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam,..." "R.E.M. FINALLY EMERGES AS HARD-EDGED, FEROCIOUS" Boston Globe, April 10, 1989
  3. ^ "Guitarist Peter Buck has said that "Orange Crush," the first single from "Green" (Warner Bros., all formats), is about Agent Orange..." "Records;Uninspired Folk-Rock Routine Releases From R.E.M. and the Bangles" Washington Post, Nov 9, 1988
  4. ^ Gray, Marcus (March 21, 1997), It Crawled from the South: An R.E.M. Companion (Paperback) (2nd ed.), Da Capo Press, p. 57, ISBN 0-306-80751-3