Up (R.E.M. album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The album cover has a series of squares
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 27, 1998 (1998-10-27)
RecordedJanuary–July 1998
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. chronology
R.E.M.: In the Attic – Alternative Recordings 1985–1989
Man on the Moon
Singles from Up
  1. "Daysleeper"
    Released: October 12, 1998
  2. "Lotus"
    Released: December 7, 1998
  3. "At My Most Beautiful"
    Released: March 8, 1999
  4. "Suspicion"
    Released: June 28, 1999

Up is the eleventh studio album by American rock band R.E.M., released on October 26, 1998 by Warner Bros. Records. It was the band's first album without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the group in October 1997 to pursue his own interests.[1] In his place, R.E.M. used session drummers and drum machines.


Up saw R.E.M. move into electronic music-influenced territory after delivering New Adventures in Hi-Fi in 1996. Ending a 10-year relationship with co-producer Scott Litt, the band engaged the production assistance of Pat McCarthy, who was assisted on most tracks by engineer Nigel Godrich, Radiohead's producer. The single "Daysleeper" became a Top 10 UK hit,[2] and "Lotus", The Beach Boys-influenced "At My Most Beautiful" and "Suspicion" were also released as singles.

"There are certain things I set out to do," Michael Stipe noted. "Rough ideas that I wanted to play around with. One of them was the religious-spiritual versus science-technology-modern-age. There are several songs on the record that, to me, address that. I don't know how other people are going to take them. It's taking off a little bit from 'Undertow' and 'New Test Leper', with the freedom of 'E-Bow the Letter' and 'Country Feedback' – songs that just come out. What I really wanted was more of that automatic, unconscious stuff… greatly inspired by Patti Smith and various others… Bert Downs said the record's about people falling down and getting back up again. He said there's a lot of that imagery. I'm like, 'Really?'"[3][4]

Breaking with a tradition that stretched back to the band's 1983 debut, Murmur, Stipe elected to have his complete lyrics included in Up's CD booklet, a practice he would maintain on all subsequent R.E.M. studio albums. "[Mike Mills] was reading the lyrics," he explained, "and he said, 'These are really great – we should print them on the record sleeve.' It was a really good night and there were eight or nine songs on the wall. I said, 'Yeah, we will'… I thought it was a nice way of saying that we are a different band now."[3]

R.E.M. subsequently admitted that they came close to breaking up while recording the album.[5]

Sales and critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[6]
Blender4/5 stars[7]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[8]
The Guardian3/5 stars[9]
Los Angeles Times3.5/4 stars[10]
Q4/5 stars[13]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[14]

Up reached #3 in the U.S.[16] (with 16 weeks on the Billboard 200) and #2 in the UK, but didn't have the staying power of the band's more-recent albums, and thus had the band's lowest sales in years. "The things that we have to do creatively for the band may not be the most commercial things," Mike Mills observed. "That isn't the point. The point is to keep it fresh and interesting and alive."[3]

"It will certainly sound strange to those who only own Automatic for the People and repeat-play the hits," wrote Danny Eccleston in a 4-star review for Q.[13] "Conversely, anyone who has a healthy number of R.E.M. records – let's say four – and plays them regularly, should manage to listen to Up without his head exploding or tossing herself off a tall building or any of the weird things people are meant to do when faced with music they don't quite understand. This is R.E.M. after all. We couldn't even hear the lyrics until album five."[13]

Although R.E.M. initially intended not to tour for the album, after many successful promotional concerts upon the album's release, the band quickly arranged a four-month arena tour of Europe and America during the summer of 1999. As of March 2007, Up has sold 664,000 units in the U.S.[17]

In 2005, Warner Bros. Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of Up which includes a CD, a DVD-Audio disc containing a 5.1-channel surround sound mix of the album done by Elliot Scheiner, and the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes.[18]


In 1999, Nude as the News ranked the album at number 74 in its list of "The 100 Most Compelling Albums of the Decade."[19][20] That same year, Australian magazine Juice ranked it at number 38 in its list of the "100 Greatest Albums of the '90s."[21] In 2005, journalist Jude Rogers included the album in The Word's list "Hidden Treasure: Great Underrated Albums of Our Time," whose inductions were chosen by celebrities.[22] It also appeared in at least 22 magazine lists of the greatest albums of 1998.[20]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe unless otherwise stated.

Up Side
  1. "Airportman" – 4:12
  2. "Lotus" – 4:30
  3. "Suspicion" – 5:36
  4. "Hope" (Leonard Cohen, Buck, Mills, Stipe)1 – 5:02
  5. "At My Most Beautiful" – 3:35
  6. "The Apologist" – 4:30
  7. "Sad Professor" – 4:01
  8. "You're in the Air" – 5:22
Down Side
  1. "Walk Unafraid" – 4:31
  2. "Why Not Smile" – 4:03
  3. "Daysleeper" – 3:40
  4. "Diminished" – 6:01
    • Includes an hidden track entitled "I'm Not Over You" starting at 5:00, with Stipe soloing on acoustic guitar, after the song's conclusion.
  5. "Parakeet" – 4:09
  6. "Falls to Climb" – 5:06


1 Cohen was not directly involved in the writing of "Hope" but was given a writing credit by the band due to similarities in melody and lyrical pattern to his "Suzanne".

Studio B-sides[edit]

Two non-album tracks from the Up sessions appeared as single-only releases, as well as alternate versions of four album tracks.

  • "Emphysema"
  • "Surfing the Ganges" – 2:25
  • "Why Not Smile" (Oxford-American version)
  • "Sad Professor" (Live in the Studio)
  • "Suspicion" (live in the studio) (Toast Studios, San Francisco, 1998 – "Lotus"single)
  • "Suspicion" (live in the studio) (Ealing Studios, 29-10-1998 – Suspicion single)
  • "Lotus" (Weird Mix)


Additional personnel[edit]



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[43] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[44] Gold 25,000*
Belgium (BEA)[45] Gold 25,000*
France (SNEP)[46] Gold 103,300[47]
Netherlands (NVPI)[48] Gold 50,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[49] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[50] Platinum 50,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[51] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[52] Gold 40,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[53] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[54] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[55] Gold 664,000[17]
Europe (IFPI)[56] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "R.E.M. Talk About Loss Of Drummer Bill Berry". MTV News. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Cavanagh, David: 'Come On, He Was Only The Drummer', Q #146, November 1998, pp96–104
  4. ^ "Mike Mills Tribute » Interviews: Come On, He Was Only The Drummer". mikemillsfan.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  5. ^ "R.E.M. Rock Archives". www.remrock.com. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  6. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Up – R.E.M." AllMusic. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  7. ^ Schoemer, Karen. "REM: (various reissues)". Blender. Archived from the original on June 21, 2006. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Browne, David (October 30, 1998). "Up". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  9. ^ Sweeting, Adam (October 30, 1998). "R.E.M.: Up (Warner Bros.)". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Boehm, Mike (October 25, 1998). "Album Review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 18, 2011.
  11. ^ Segal, Victoria (October 21, 1998). "REM – Up". NME. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  12. ^ Ambroz, Duane. "R.E.M.: Up". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on October 5, 2000. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  13. ^ a b c Eccleston, Danny (December 1998). "R.E.M.: Up". Q (147): 112. Archived from the original on November 15, 1999. Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  14. ^ Powers, Ann (November 12, 1998). "Up". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  15. ^ Jacob, Sally (December 1998). "R.E.M.: Up". Spin. 14 (12): 176. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c "allmusic ((( Up > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  17. ^ a b Gundersen, Edna. "R.E.M.: A 25-year rockin' role". USA Today. March 11, 2007.
  18. ^ "R.E.M. - Up". Discogs. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-06. Retrieved 2016-08-08.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ a b Acclaimed Music - Up
  21. ^ http://www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/juice.html#100 Greatest Albums
  22. ^ Rocklist.net...Steve Parker...The Word Lists
  23. ^ "australian-charts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  24. ^ "austriancharts.at R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  25. ^ "ultratop.be R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  26. ^ "ultratop.be R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  27. ^ "dutchcharts.nl R.E.M. – Up". dutchcharts.nl. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  28. ^ "finnishcharts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  29. ^ "lescharts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  30. ^ "Album Search: R.E.M. – Up" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  31. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1998" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  32. ^ "Highest position and charting weeks of Up by R.E.M." oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  33. ^ "charts.org.nz R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  34. ^ "norwegiancharts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  35. ^ "swedishcharts.com R.E.M. – Up" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-01-25.
  36. ^ "R.E.M. – Up – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  37. ^ "Chart Stats – R.E.M. – Up" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  38. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Jahreshitparade 2001" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  39. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1998". Ultratop (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  40. ^ "JAAROVERZICHTEN – ALBUM 2001". Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  41. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  42. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 2012-03-10. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2008 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  44. ^ "Austrian album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 2012-03-05. Enter R.E.M. in the field Interpret. Enter Up in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen. 
  45. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1998". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  46. ^ "French album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in French). InfoDisc. Select R.E.M. and click OK. 
  47. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on 2013-02-13. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  48. ^ "Dutch album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 2011-11-11. Enter Up in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  49. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – R.E.M. – Up". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  50. ^ "Norwegian album certifications – R.E.M. – Up" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  51. ^ "Solo Exitos 1959-2002 Ano A Ano: Certificados > 1995-1999". Iberautor Promociones Culturales. ISBN 8480486392.
  52. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  53. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (R.E.M.; 'Up')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2012-03-05.
  54. ^ "British album certifications – R.E.M. – Up". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-03-05. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Up in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  55. ^ "American album certifications – R.E.M. – Up". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-03-05. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  56. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1998". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-03-05.