Songs that ruined the band: Shiny Happy People


Had some good suggestions about songs that ruined the band. Here’s one from what I’ll call a “Special Rambler.” He’s one of the most prolific tweeters I know, Server Monkey (Twitter and blog):

I feel like I’m rambling a bit here, but here goes…

R.E.M. singlehandedly defined what became to be known as alternative rook throughout the 80s.

Somewhere along the line, it seems as if Berry, Buck, Mills and Stipe consumed entirely too many mind-altering substances. First, they recorded “Stand” for their Green album, which could be forgiven because it was purposefully recorded to be well, um, bad.

That it became a HUGE hit for them on the radio is a clear example of the kind of power that radio station managers have over what the public listens to. Chris Eliot liked it enough to use it as a theme song for Get a Life should be added evidence.

But, like a long forgotten Jedi twin sister, there is another song that did far more damage to R.E.M.’s rep than “Stand” ever could.

Out of Time was a departure from the Green album’s more stadium rock feel. “Shiny Happy People” is absolutely, positively out of step with the rest of the album. Perhaps it was a situation where the guys were hanging out with Kate Pierson and had to do SOMETHING with the studio time? So, rather than waste quite expensive time, we suffered for it. They, for a fact, admit that this is how the only Hindu Love Gods album was recorded (which I sheepishly admit that I happen to own).

But, don’t take my word for it…when a band publicly disavows their own work…well, that seals the song’s reputation for mediocrity, no?

P.S. For their reworking of this song for Sesame Street, it is VERY apparent that Peter Buck was quite under the influence in order to perform the thing. Honest. Check it out for yourself.

We made it easy to check out: it’s the video included with the post!

Do you have a suggestion about a song that ruined a band (here are some others)? Let me know and you too can ramble on about it!

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