The Great Beyond

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"The Great Beyond"
R.E.M. - The Great Beyond.gif
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Man on the Moon soundtrack
B-side "The One I Love" (Live), "Everybody Hurts" (Live), "Man On The Moon" (Live)
Released November 16, 1999 (1999-11-16)
Format CD, Cassette
Genre Alternative rock, art pop, psychedelic rock
Length 5:06 (album version)
4:14 (radio edit)
Label Warner Bros.
Songwriter(s) Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
Producer(s) Pat McCarthy
R.E.M. singles chronology
"The Great Beyond"
"Imitation of Life"
"The Great Beyond"
"Imitation of Life"

"The Great Beyond" is a song by R.E.M. It is not featured on an original studio album as it was written specifically for the 1999 movie Man on the Moon but was released as a single the following year for support of the film's soundtrack album. The single reached #3 in the UK singles chart in January 2000, the band's highest ever placing in that country. The unedited version is included in two R.E.M. compilations: In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 and Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011. On the Man on the Moon soundtrack, there is some dialogue from the movie at the end of the track; meanwhile, the single version is a radio edit, with the bridge omitted.

In the unedited version, at 4:09 and at 4:26, the listener can hear Michael Stipe singing the following lines in the background: "Here's a little agit for the never-believer, here's a little ghost for the offering". Both lines were taken from the 1992 R.E.M. song "Man on the Moon", also about Andy Kaufman, from which the movie took its title.

The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

The song's video was directed by Liz Friedlander. It originally featured footage of Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman, yet for the In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 DVD (which accompanied In Time and collected R.E.M.'s major videos from 1988 to 2003) the video was remixed to feature archived footage of Kaufman himself (similar to the video for "Man on the Moon"). The original version can be seen on the Man on the Moon DVD.

In June 2003, Michael Stipe sang an a capella excerpt from the song for a BBC Radio 2 advertisement.[1] He performed it on a stage in an empty theater. Welsh progressive breakbeat producers Hybrid later would use this a cappella to create a bootleg remix.[2]

The song was covered by The Fray in 2007 for the compilation album Radio 1: Established 1967.

A live version of this song is included on R.E.M. Live.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe, except for "The Great Beyond" written by Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe.

Cassette / US CD

  1. "The Great Beyond" (Radio Edit) – 4:14
  2. "Man On The Moon"[3] – 5:24


  1. "The Great Beyond" (Radio Edit) – 4:14
  2. "Everybody Hurts" (Live)[3] – 6:20
  3. "The One I Love" (Live)[3] – 3:10


  1. "The Great Beyond" (radio edit) – 4:14
  2. "The One I Love" (Live)[3] – 3:10
  3. "Everybody Hurts" (Live)[3] – 6:20
  4. "Man On The Moon" (Live)[3] – 5:24


Chart (1999/2000) Peak
Australian Singles Chart[4] 25
Canadian Hot 100 16
Irish Singles Chart 6
UK Singles Chart 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 57
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 33
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 11
U.S. Billboard Adult Top 40 13
U.S. Billboard Triple A 1


  1. ^ "Radio 2 TV ads reflect its unique positioning" –
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f Recorded at the Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, England; June 25, 1999
  4. ^ "Discography R.E.M.". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]