Near Wild Heaven

"Near Wild Heaven" is the third single released from R.E.M.'s seventh studio album, Out of Time, in 1991. The song was the first single released by the band to have had its lyrics both co-written and sung by bassist Mike Mills. According to a quote from Peter Buck in R.E.M. Inside Out: The Stories Behind Every Song by Craig Rosen, the lyrics are a collaboration between Mills and lead singer Michael Stipe. It peaked at No. 27 on the UK Singles Chart but the single was not released in the United States.

"Near Wild Heaven"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Out of Time
B-side"Pop Song '89" (live acoustic version)
ReleasedAugust 5, 1991
RecordedSeptember–October 1990
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Shiny Happy People"
"Near Wild Heaven"
"Radio Song"

Mike Mills had written the lyrics to the single "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville", and he had sung the cover song "Superman", but he had not sung his own work on a released-as-a-single recording.

Music video

The music video for this song features the band playing the song in a crowded café.

Track listing

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe unless otherwise indicated.

7" / cassette

  1. "Near Wild Heaven"
  2. "Pop Song '89" (live)1


  1. "Near Wild Heaven"
  2. "Pop Song '89" (live)1
  3. "Half a World Away" (live)2


  1. "Near Wild Heaven" – 3:18
  2. "Tom's Diner" (Suzanne Vega) (live)1 – 2:04
  3. "Low" (live)1 – 4:59
  4. "Endgame" (live)1 – 3:28


1 Recorded at The Borderline Club, London, England; March 15, 1991. Further songs from this performance were later released on an album.
2 Recorded on Rockline, Los Angeles, California; April 1, 1991.


Sales chart performance for "Near Wild Heaven"
Chart (1991) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[2] 65
Germany (Official German Charts)[3] 46
Ireland (IRMA)[4] 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[5] 51
UK Singles (OCC)[6] 27