Stand (R.E.M. song)

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Single by R.E.M.
from the album Green
B-side "Memphis Train Blues"
Released January 1989
Format 7" Single/12" Single/3" CD Single
Recorded 1988
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:10
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Scott Litt & R.E.M.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Orange Crush"
"Pop Song 89"

"Stand" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released as the second single from the album Green in 1989. The song quickly rose up the charts, peaking at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming R.E.M.'s second top 10 hit in the United States. The song reached number 48 on the UK Singles Charts. The song reached number 16 in Canada. It was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. Records "best of" album In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 in 2003.

The song is an example of "truck driver's gear change", as the last two rounds of the chorus are each one whole step higher than the one previous.[1]

"Stand" was used as the theme song for the 1990–92 Fox sitcom Get a Life, starring Chris Elliott.


Singer Michael Stipe has said of the song's origin that he and the other band members were discussing The Banana Splits, The Archies, The Monkees, and similar 1960s pop groups. "They threw these super bubblegummy songs at me, and I said, 'I'll raise you and see you one.' And I wrote the most inane lyrics that I could possibly write. Now, it was a very intentional thing to do that. I really like most of those songs, in fact."[2] Guitarist Peter Buck described "Stand" as "without a doubt, [...] the stupidest song we've ever written. That's not necessarily a bad thing though", comparing the song to "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen in terms of 'stupid' lyrical content.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Berry, Buck, Mills and Stipe except where indicated.

1st issue

7" Vinyl & Cassette single

  1. "Stand"  – 3:10
  2. "Memphis Train Blues"  – 1:38

12" Vinyl & 3" CD single

  1. "Stand"  – 3:09
  2. "Memphis Train Blues"  – 1:37
  3. "The Eleventh Untitled Song"  – 3:56

Notes: The UK 3" cd single with the catalogue number W7577 CDX came in a leaf-shaped sleeve.

"The Eleventh Untitled Song" is an extended instrumental version of the closing (eleventh) unlisted (untitled) track from the album Green.

2nd issue – released later in 1989 with different cover art (a picture of the band on stage) in the UK instead of "Pop Song 89."

  1. "Stand"  – 3:09
  2. "Pop Song 89" Acoustic  – 2:56
  3. "Skin Tight" (Live Ohio Players cover, written by Jones, Pierce, Bonner, Middlebrooks)  – 2:03

Note: live track recorded in Orlando, Florida 30 April 1989


Chart (1989) Peak
Australia (ARIA Singles Chart)[4] 56
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[5] 16
Ireland (IRMA) 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 48
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 6
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[8] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[9] 1


Preceded by
"Charlotte Anne" by Julian Cope
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
January 28 – February 4, 1989
Succeeded by
"Dirty Blvd." by Lou Reed
Preceded by
"The Love in Your Eyes" by Eddie Money
Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single
February 11, 1989
Succeeded by
"Driven Out" by The Fixx