(Don't Go Back To) Rockville

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"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"
A crude drawing of a horse
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Reckoning
B-side"Catapult" (Live)
ReleasedOctober 16, 1984 (1984-10-16)
3:55 (single version)
R.E.M. singles chronology
"So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)"
"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"
"Cant Get There from Here"
Alternative cover
A black-and-white photo of the band
European release

"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" is the second and final single released by American rock band R.E.M. from their second studio album, Reckoning. The song failed to chart on either the Billboard Hot 100 or the UK Singles Charts.


The song was written by Mike Mills (credited to Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe), in 1980, as a plea to his then-girlfriend, Ingrid Schorr, not to return to Rockville, Maryland,[5] where her parents lived.[6][7] Schorr, who later became a journalist, has written about her amusement with the factual inaccuracies about her relationship with Mills and the background of the song that often appear in books about the band.[6] Peter Buck has stated that the song was originally performed in a punk/thrash style, and that it was recorded for this single in its now more-familiar country-inspired arrangement as a joke aimed at R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs.[8]

Although Michael Stipe sings lead on the album version and Mills provides back-up and harmony vocals,[9] when the band has played the song live, Mills has taken lead. A live version of the song was released as the B-side to "Leaving New York" in 2004 and on R.E.M. Live in 2007.

Twelve years after originally written, alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs included a cover version as the fourth track on their 1992 single "Candy Everybody Wants".

Track listings[edit]

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

European singles

  1. "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" (Edit) – 3:55
  2. "Wolves, Lower" – 4:14
  3. "9-9" (Live)1 (12" only)
  4. "Gardening at Night" (Live)1 (12" only)

US singles

  1. "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" (Edit) – 3:55
  2. "Catapult" (Live)2


1 Recorded at the Theater El Dorado, Paris, France, April 20, 1984.
2 Recorded at the Music Hall, Seattle, Washington, June 27, 1984.


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Reckoning - R.E.M. | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  2. ^ Janovitz, Bill. "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville - R.E.M. | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  3. ^ Jackson, Josh (July 28, 2009). "The 20 Best R.E.M. Songs of All Time". Paste. Archived from the original on February 22, 2020. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "ALBUMS". R.E.M.Hq. 2011-12-18. Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  5. ^ Black, Johnny (2004). Reveal: The Story of R.E.M. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0-87930-776-9.
  6. ^ a b Schorr, Ingrid. "I'm Reading as Fast as I Can: Minnie Minnola's Story". Hermenaut. Archived from the original on 11 July 2001. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  7. ^ "Rockville Girl Speaks". HILOBROW. 23 September 2011. Archived from the original on 2015-09-09. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  8. ^ Liner notes to R.E.M.'s Eponymous.
  9. ^ Beviglia, Jim (2020-08-10). "Behind The Song: "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" by R.E.M." Behind the Song. American Songwriter. ISSN 0896-8993. OCLC 17342741. Retrieved 2023-08-01.

External links[edit]