Around the Sun

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This article is about the R.E.M. album. For the Jeff Watson album, see Around the Sun (Jeff Watson album).
Around the Sun
R.E.M. - Around the Sun.jpg
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
  2. "Aftermath"
    Released: November 29, 2004
  3. "Electron Blue"
    Released: February 28, 2005
  4. "Wanderlust"
    Released: July 11, 2005
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 56/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2/5 stars[2]
Blender 3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B−[4]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[5]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[6]
NME 6/10[7]
Pitchfork Media 5.2/10[8]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[9]
Spin B−[10]
Uncut 4/5 stars[11]

Around the Sun is the thirteenth 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 was performed live, Michael Stipe carried out the rap, as he did 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.

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.[12] 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." [13] The album's songs were largely excluded from the band's live setlists after the release of Accelerate.

Reissue[edit]

In 2005, Warner Bros. 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 Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[14] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[15] Gold 10,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[16] Gold 20,000^
Germany (BVMI)[17] Gold 100,000^
Italy (FIMI)[18] 2× Platinum 200,000*
Sweden (GLF)[19] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[20] Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[21] Silver 60,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[22] Platinum 1,000,000*

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

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reviews for Around The Sun by R.E.M.". Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Around the Sun – R.E.M.". AllMusic. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 2004). "R.E.M.: Around the Sun". Blender (31): 140. Archived from the original on October 17, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  4. ^ Brod, Doug (October 8, 2004). "Around the Sun". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  5. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (October 1, 2004). "REM, Around the Sun". The Guardian. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  6. ^ Hochman, Steve (October 3, 2004). "Poignant words, passable music". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  7. ^ Mulvey, John (December 3, 2004). "REM : Around The Sun". NME. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  8. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (October 4, 2004). "R.E.M.: Around the Sun". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ Walters, Barry (October 10, 2004). "Around the Sun". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  10. ^ Hermes, Will (November 2004). "R.E.M.: Around the Sun". Spin. 20 (11): 112–15. Retrieved January 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Stars And Stipes". Uncut (90): 100. November 2004. Retrieved August 31, 2015. 
  12. ^ Gundersen, Edna (2007-03-11). "R.E.M.: A 25-year rockin' role". USA Today. 
  13. ^ Harrison, Shane. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jun 16, 2008. Archived October 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  15. ^ "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
  16. ^ "Album Top–40: Uge 11 – 2005" (ASP). Hitlisten (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  17. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (R.E.M.; 'Around the Sun')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  18. ^ "Musica: REM, domani a Roma la band di Michael Stipe" (in Italian). Adnkronos. September 9, 2005. 
  19. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2005" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  20. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (R.E.M.; 'Around the Sun')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  21. ^ "British album certifications – R.E.M. – Around the Sun". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Around the Sun in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  22. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2004". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 
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External links[edit]