Bad Day (R.E.M. song)

"Bad Day" is a song recorded by American alternative rock band R.E.M.. It is one of two previously unreleased songs from their 2003 compilation album, In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003, and was released as the album's lead single on September 15, 2003.

"Bad Day"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003
  • "Favorite Writer"
  • "Out in the Country"
  • "Adagio"
ReleasedSeptember 15, 2003 (2003-09-15)
GenreAlternative rock, college rock
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"I'll Take the Rain"
"Bad Day"
Music video
"Bad Day" on YouTube

The song first appeared in 1985, when Michael Stipe sang a few words of it during a concert in Albany, New York, as part of the Reconstruction tour. Then, around the time of Lifes Rich Pageant, the song emerged in a more polished version with the title "PSA"—an abbreviation for "public service announcement".[citation needed] An anti-media rant inspired by a day Stipe found a camcorder lens in his face when he answered the front door, the song was never released but did serve as a sort of forerunner to "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", a song with a similar cadence and delivery. In 2003, Stipe saw that the song still had contemporary resonance, and the band finally recorded it for In Time, with only slightly updated lyrics and under the new title "Bad Day".

An outtake version of the song originally recorded for Lifes Rich Pageant finally appeared on EMI's 2006 compilation And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987. A demo version from the same sessions appeared on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Lifes Rich Pageant in 2011. The arrangement of the song is slightly different in each version.

Music video

The song's music video[1] was directed by Tim Hope and shot in Vancouver. It is a spoof of media news and was produced by Passion Pictures. It appears on In View, the DVD companion of In Time, and is also found on the main CD of In Time. In the video, Stipe appears as the Morning Team's news anchor Cliff Harris; Mills doubles as roving reporter Ed Colbert and meteorologist Rick Jennings; and Buck as climate expert Geoff Sayers and the reporter Eric Nelson. News stories shown include a monsoon contained within an apartment, a senator's office flooding, and a tornado inside a boy's bedroom.

In other media

The song can be heard in a third-season episode of Alias, in the Scrubs episode "My Advice To You", in the 76th episode of Boston Public and in the Smallville episode "Slumber".

The song is included on R.E.M. Live.

Track listings

UK CD1 (Warner W624CD1) (UK)

  1. "Bad Day" (Berry, Buck, Mills, Stipe)
  2. "Favorite Writer" (Linda Hopper, Ruthie Morris)
  3. "Bad Day" (video)

UK CD2 (Warner W624CD2) (UK)

  1. "Bad Day"
  2. "Out in the Country" (Paul Williams, Roger Nichols)
  3. "Adagio" (Buck, Mills, Stipe)

US CD single (Warner 16533–2) (US)

  1. "Bad Day"
  2. "Favorite Writer" (Hopper, Morris)
  3. "Out in the Country" (Williams, Nichols)
  4. "Adagio" (Buck, Mills, Stipe)


Chart (2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 22
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[3] 45
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[4] 4
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)[5] 9
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[6] 17
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[7] 20
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 39
Ireland (IRMA)[9] 11
Italy (FIMI)[10] 9
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 68
Norway (VG-lista)[12] 11
Scotland (OCC)[13] 7
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[14] 4
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 43
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 39
UK Singles (OCC)[17] 8
US Adult Alternative Songs (Billboard)[18] 1

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States September 15, 2003 (2003-09-15) Warner Bros. [19]
Australia October 13, 2003 (2003-10-13) CD [20]


  1. Archived 2008-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  2. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  3. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  4. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  5. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  6. "R.E.M. Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  7. "European Top 20 Charts – Week Commencing 27th October 2003" (PDF). ARIA. October 27, 2003. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  8. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  9. "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Bad Day". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  10. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day". Top Digital Download. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  11. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  12. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day". VG-lista. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  13. "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  14. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day" Canciones Top 50.
  15. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day". Singles Top 100. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  16. " – R.E.M. – Bad Day". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  17. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  18. "R.E.M. Chart History (Adult Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  19. "Going for Adds" (PDF). Radio & Records. No. 1521. September 12, 2003. p. 26. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  20. "The ARIA Report: New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 13/10/2003" (PDF). ARIA. October 13, 2003. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 16, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2021.