Since I heard R.E.M.‘s “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)” earlier today on my iTunes shuffle, I can’t get it out of my head. This song and I have a long history. I first heard it when I was 13 and when I tell you it changed my life then and there, I mean it. I ran right into my bedroom and wrote my first song. I also reevaluated my record collection. New Wave bands like Duran Duran and Depeche Mode were pushed aside for R.E.M., The Smiths, and anything else that sounded jangly and had “intense” lyrics.
Here’s the video, which finds lead singer Michael Stipe famously singing live. He was refusing to lip synch back in those days, a promise he kept to himself until, I believe, the “Losing My Religion” video years later. (In a bit of rock folklore, Sinead O’ Connor supposedly taught Stipe how to lip synch. Seems right since Sinead could have won an Academy Award for that moving “Nothing Compares To You” video.)
But I digress.
“So. Central Rain”: