Up (R.E.M. album)

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Up
Studio album by R.E.M.
Released October 26, 1998 (1998-10-26)
Recorded January–July 1998
Genre Alternative rock, jangle pop, electronic
Length 64:31
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Pat McCarthy and R.E.M.
R.E.M. chronology
R.E.M.: In the Attic – Alternative Recordings 1985–1989
(1997)
Up
(1998)
Man on the Moon
(1999)
Singles from Up
  1. "Daysleeper"
    Released: October 12, 1998 (1998-10-12)
  2. "Lotus"
    Released: December 7, 1998 (1998-12-07)
  3. "At My Most Beautiful"
    Released: March 8, 1999 (1999-03-08)
  4. "Suspicion"
    Released: June 28, 1999 (1999-06-28)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [1]
Chicago Tribune (Mixed) [2]
Entertainment Weekly A− [3]
Houston Chronicle 2.5/5 stars [4]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[5]
NME (7/10) [6]
Nude as the News (favorable) [7]
Robert Christgau (neither) [8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [9]

Up is the eleventh album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was the band's first album without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the group amicably in October 1997 to pursue his own interests. In his place, R.E.M. used session drummers and drum machines.

Details[edit]

Up saw R.E.M. move into electronic music-influenced territory after delivering New Adventures in Hi-Fi in 1996. Ending a 10-year relationship with co-producer Scott Litt, the band engaged the production assistance of Pat McCarthy, who was assisted on most tracks by engineer Nigel Godrich, Radiohead's producer. The single "Daysleeper" became a Top 10 UK hit, and "Lotus", The Beach Boys-influenced "At My Most Beautiful" and "Suspicion" were also released as singles.

"There are certain things I set out to do," Michael Stipe noted. "Rough ideas that I wanted to play around with. One of them was the religious-spiritual versus science-technology-modern-age. There are several songs on the record that, to me, address that. I don't know how other people are going to take them. It's taking off a little bit from 'Undertow' and 'New Test Leper', with the freedom of 'E-Bow the Letter' and 'Country Feedback' – songs that just come out. What I really wanted was more of that automatic, unconscious stuff… greatly inspired by Patti Smith and various others… Bert Downs said the record's about people falling down and getting back up again. He said there's a lot of that imagery. I'm like, 'Really?'"[10]

Breaking with a tradition that stretched back to the band's 1983 debut, Murmur, Stipe elected to have his complete lyrics included in Up's CD booklet, a practice he would maintain on all subsequent R.E.M. studio albums. "[Mike Mills] was reading the lyrics," he explained, "and he said, 'These are really great – we should print them on the record sleeve.' It was a really good night and there were eight or nine songs on the wall. I said, 'Yeah, we will'… I thought it was a nice way of saying that we are a different band now."[10]

R.E.M. subsequently admitted that they came close to breaking up while recording the album.

Sales and critical reception[edit]

Up reached #3 in the U.S. (with 16 weeks on the Billboard 200) and #2 in the UK, but didn't have the staying power of the band's more-recent albums, and thus the band's lowest sales in years. "The things that we have to do creatively for the band may not be the most commercial things," Mike Mills observed. "That isn't the point. The point is to keep it fresh and interesting and alive."[10]

"It will certainly sound strange to those who only own Automatic For The People and repeat-play the hits," wrote Danny Eccleston in a 4|5 review for Q. "Conversely, anyone who has a healthy number of R.E.M. records – let's say four – and plays them regularly, should manage to listen to Up without his head exploding or tossing herself off a tall building or any of the weird things people are meant to do when faced with music they don't quite understand. This is R.E.M. after all. We couldn't even hear the lyrics until album five."[11]

Although R.E.M. initially intended not to tour for the album, after many successful promotional concerts upon the album's release, the band quickly arranged a four-month arena tour of Europe and America during the summer of 1999. As of March 2007, Up has sold 664,000 units in the U.S.[12]

In 2005, Warner Bros. Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of Up 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.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe unless otherwise stated.

Up Side
  1. "Airportman" – 4:12
  2. "Lotus" – 4:30
  3. "Suspicion" – 5:36
  4. "Hope" (Leonard Cohen, Buck, Mills, Stipe)1 – 5:02
  5. "At My Most Beautiful" – 3:35
  6. "The Apologist" – 4:30
  7. "Sad Professor" – 4:01
  8. "You're in the Air" – 5:22
Down Side
  1. "Walk Unafraid" – 4:31
  2. "Why Not Smile" – 4:03
  3. "Daysleeper" – 3:40
  4. "Diminished" – 6:01
    • Includes a brief piece entitled "I'm Not Over You" starting at 4:59, with Stipe soloing on acoustic guitar, after the song's conclusion.
  5. "Parakeet" – 4:09
  6. "Falls to Climb" – 5:06

Notes[edit]

1 Cohen was not directly involved in the writing of "Hope" but was given a writing credit by the band due to similarities in melody and lyrical pattern to his "Suzanne".

Studio B-sides[edit]

Two non-album tracks from the Up sessions appeared as single-only releases, as well as four alternate versions of album tracks.

  • "Emphysema"
  • "Surfing the Ganges" – 2:25
  • "Why Not Smile" (Oxford-American version)
  • "Sad Professor" (Live in the Studio)
  • "Suspicion" (live in the studio) (Toast Studios, San Francisco, 1998 – "Lotus"single)
  • "Suspicion" (live in the studio) (Ealing Studios, 29-10-1998 – Suspicion single)
  • "Lotus" (Weird Mix)

Personnel[edit]

R.E.M.
Additional musicians
Technical staff

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[13] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[14] Gold 25,000x
France (SNEP)[15] Gold 103,300[16]
Netherlands (NVPI)[17] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[18] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[19] Platinum 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[20] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[21] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[22] Gold 25,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[24] Gold 664,000[12]
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[25] 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. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (1998-10-27). "Up – R.E.M.". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  2. ^ Van Kot, Greg (1998-10-25). "Recordings: Pop: R.E.M. Up (Warner)". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  3. ^ David Browne (1998-10-30). "Up Review | Music Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  4. ^ Racine, Marty (1998-10-25). "Directionally impaired / R.E.M. weighs in with sullen `Up'". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  5. ^ Boehm, Mike (1998-10-25). "Album Review". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Album Reviews - Up". nme.com. NME. September 21, 1998. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  7. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20030114104328/http://www.nudeasthenews.com/reviews/648
  8. ^ "Cg: R.E.M". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  9. ^ Powers, Ann (1998-10-20). "Up : R.E.M. : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2012-08-27. 
  10. ^ a b c Cavanagh, David: 'Come On, He Was Only The Drummer', Q #146, November 1998, pp96–104
  11. ^ Q, December 1998
  12. ^ a b Gundersen, Edna. "R.E.M.: A 25-year rockin' role". USA Today. March 11, 2007.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  14. ^ "Austrian album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 2012-03-05.  Enter R.E.M. in the field Interpret. Enter Up in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  15. ^ "French album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select R.E.M. and click OK
  16. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  17. ^ "Dutch album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  18. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – R.E.M. – Up". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  19. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  20. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados > 1995-1999". Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392. 
  21. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  22. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (R.E.M.; 'Up')". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – R.E.M. – Up". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-03-05.  Enter Up in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  24. ^ "American album certifications – R.E.M. – Up". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-03-05.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  25. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1998". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  26. ^ "australian-charts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  27. ^ "austriancharts.at R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  28. ^ "ultratop.be R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  29. ^ "ultratop.be R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  30. ^ a b "allmusic ((( Up > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  31. ^ "dutchcharts.nl R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
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  33. ^ "lescharts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  34. ^ "Album Search: R.E.M. – Up" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  35. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1998" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  36. ^ R.E.M.-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Up by R.E.M.". oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  37. ^ "charts.org.nz R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  38. ^ "norwegiancharts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
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  41. ^ "Chart Stats – R.E.M. – Up" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  42. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 2001" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
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  44. ^ "JAAROVERZICHTEN – ALBUM 2001". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
  45. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2012-03-05. 
Preceded by
Einfach geil by Wolfgang Petry
German Media Control Chart number-one album
November 6, 1998
Succeeded by
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie by Alanis Morissette
Preceded by
One Night Only by Bee Gees
Austrian Chart number-one album
November 8, 1998
Succeeded by
The Best of 1980–1990 by U2
Preceded by
...Hits by Phil Collins
European Top 100 number-one album
November 14, 1998
Succeeded by
Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
by Alanis Morissette
Preceded by
Where We Belong by Boyzone
Norwegian VG-lista Chart number-one album
45 / 1998