Cant Get There from Here

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This article is about the R.E.M. single. For the Great White album of the same name, see Can't Get There from Here.
"Cant Get There from Here"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Fables of the Reconstruction
B-side "Bandwagon"
Released June 1985
Format 7", 12"
Recorded 1985
Genre Alternative rock, jangle pop, blue-eyed soul[1]
Length 3:39
Label IRS
Writer(s) R.E.M.[2]
Producer(s) Joe Boyd
R.E.M. singles chronology
"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville"
"Cant Get There from Here"
"Driver 8"

"Cant Get There from Here", or "Can't Get There from Here", was the first single released by R.E.M. from its third studio album Fables of the Reconstruction in 1985. The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles, equaling to a position of #110 on the main Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also peaked at #91 on the Canadian Singles Chart. It was re-released in 2006 on a compilation disc, And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987.

It was the first R.E.M. song to feature a horn section.

The song mentions the small town of Philomath, Georgia.[3][4]

Music video[edit]

In another first for R.E.M., who had opposed including the lyrics with their albums, many of the words of "Can't Get There from Here" appeared in the video for the song.

The video features band members frolicking in hay fields, throwing popcorn at each other at a drive-in movie, and big insects. "We used the new-to-us 'blue screen' process," Buck explained to MTV UK in 2001, during An Hour with R.E.M. "So we have dinosaurs and monsters in the background. It's probably the most humorous video we've ever done. For a band that's kind of noted for not having a sense of humour, I kind of enjoy that aspect of it."


The proper title of the song is unclear: unlike "Feeling Gravitys Pull" or Lifes Rich Pageant, this song's title does not maintain a consistent punctuation. On the album, it is spelled without an apostrophe on the back cover, but with the apostrophe on the CD.

On the greatest hits compilation Eponymous, it also is spelled without the apostrophe, except in the liner notes.

One version of the single has an apostrophe and the other does not.

The song's title has an apostrophe on the back cover of And I Feel Fine.

Cover versions[edit]

The punk band The Mr. T Experience recorded a frenetic cover for the 1992 R.E.M. tribute album Surprise Your Pig. It was subsequently included as a bonus track on the 1997 reissue of their earlier EP Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe, "Bandwagon" is co-written by Michael's sister, Lynda Stipe.

7": IRS / IRM 102 (UK)[edit]

  1. "Can't Get There from Here" (Edit) - 3:12
  2. "Bandwagon" - 2:15

12": IRS / IRT 102 (US)[edit]

  1. "Can't Get There from Here" (Extended Mix) *- 3:39
  2. "Bandwagon" - 2:15
  3. "Burning Hell" - 3:49
  • "Extended Mix" identical to album version


Chart (1985) Peak
Canadian Hot 100 91
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 110
U.S. Billboard Top Rock Tracks 14


  1. ^ Fables of the Reconstruction – R.E.M. | AllMusic
  2. ^ "ALBUMS". R.E.M.Hq. 2011-12-18. Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  3. ^ "The Complete R.E.M. Lyrics Archive: Fables Of The Reconstruction". File Under R.E.M. Retrieved 2007-10-18. 
  4. ^ "Inside Music: Icon Series/R.E.M.". MSN. Retrieved 2007-10-18.