Driver 8

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"Driver 8"
R.E.M. - Driver 8.jpg
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Fables of the Reconstruction
B-side "Crazy"
Released September 1985
Format 7"
Recorded 1985
Length 3:18
Label I.R.S.
Songwriter(s) R.E.M.[1]
Producer(s) Joe Boyd
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Cant Get There from Here"
"Driver 8"
"Wendell Gee"
"Cant Get There from Here"
"Driver 8"
"Wendell Gee"

"Driver 8" is the second single from R.E.M.'s third album, Fables of the Reconstruction. Released in September 1985, the song peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It was not released in Europe.

The song refers to the Southern Crescent, a passenger train operated by the Southern Railroad until 1979, and continues today (with fewer stops) as the Amtrak Crescent. The music video shows Chessie System trains running around Clifton Forge, Virginia.

Guitarist Peter Buck admitted in the liner notes for the band's 2003 compilation album In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 that the verse chords for the song "Imitation of Life" were unintentionally taken from the verse chords of "Driver 8."

In a Rolling Stone interview in 2009, Stipe said about his vocals: "It's like breathing - I don't think about it when I sing it. I was listening to these live tapes and thought it was a beautiful song with incredible imagery. I listen to our old albums and think, 'OK, this is where that went wrong, this is a way to improve that.' And 'Wow, that's really good. You're not the hoax you think you are.'"[1] A harmonica was played in a mimicking fashion to sound like a train whistle.[1]

Cover versions[edit]

Track listing[edit]

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

7": IRS / IRS-52678 (US)[edit]

  1. "Driver 8" - 3:24
  2. "Crazy" (Pylon) - 3:05


Chart (1985) Peak
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 22


  1. ^ a b c "Driver 8 by R.E.M". Song Facts. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Andrew Dodd. "Santa Cruz Driver 8". BikeRadar. Retrieved 3 May 2016.