Orange Crush (song)

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"Orange Crush"
R.E.M. - Orange Crush.jpg
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Green
B-side"Ghost Rider", "Dark Globe"
ReleasedDecember 1988
Format7" single
GenreAlternative rock
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Finest Worksong"
"Orange Crush"

"Orange Crush" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released as the first single from the band's sixth studio album, Green, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the U.S. despite reaching number one as a promotional single on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks (where, at the time, it had the record for longest stay at number one with eight weeks, beating U2). It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band's then-highest chart hit in Britain, where they promoted the song by making their debut appearance on Top of the Pops.[1]

The video for the song, directed by Matt Mahurin, won the band its first VMA, for Best Post-Modern Video. "Orange Crush" was also the first song to win in the category.

The song was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. Records compilation In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 in 2003, and a live version appears on the R.E.M. Live album recorded in Dublin in 2005.

The song's title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange manufactured by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical for the U.S. Department of Defense and used in the Vietnam War.[2][3][4][verification needed][dead link][5][verification needed][dead link] Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the famous U.S. Army recruiting slogan, "Be all you can be... in the Army."[6] Stipe's father served in the Vietnam War.[7]

British indie rock band Editors recorded a cover of "Orange Crush" as the B-side for the re-issue of the "Blood" single.

Track listing[edit]

UK 3" CD W2960CD[edit]

  1. "Orange Crush" (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe) - 3:50
  2. "Ghost Rider" (Suicide cover, written by Martin Reverby, Alan Vega) - 3:45
  3. "Dark Globe" (Syd Barrett) - 1:52


Chart (1988/1989) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[8] 15
Irish Singles Chart 21
UK Singles Chart[9] 28
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[10] 1
U.S. Billboard Album Rock Tracks[11] 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gittins, Ian (2007). Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming, and Music - True Adventures of TV's No. 1 Pop Show. London: Random House. p. 126. ISBN 9781846073274. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  2. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony; DeCurtis, Anthony (20 April 1989). "R.E.M.'s Brave New World".
  3. ^ "We pick R.E.M.'s top five political songs".
  4. ^ "...the barbed-wire edge of "Orange Crush." This song, about the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam,..." "R.E.M. FINALLY EMERGES AS HARD-EDGED, FEROCIOUS" Boston Globe, April 10, 1989
  5. ^ "Guitarist Peter Buck has said that "Orange Crush," the first single from "Green" (Warner Bros., all formats), is about Agent Orange..." "Records;Uninspired Folk-Rock Routine Releases From R.E.M. and the Bangles" Washington Post, Nov 9, 1988
  6. ^ Gray, Marcus (March 21, 1997), It Crawled from the South: An R.E.M. Companion (Paperback)|format= requires |url= (help) (2nd ed.), Da Capo Press, p. 57, ISBN 0-306-80751-3
  7. ^ Bergeron, Ryan (June 24, 2015). "5 songs you didn't know were about the Vietnam War". CNN Entertainment. Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  8. ^ "Discography R.E.M." Hung Medien. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "R.E.M. | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  10. ^ "R.E.M. - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  11. ^ "R.E.M. - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2017-04-27.