Orange Crush (song)

"Orange Crush" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released as the first single from the band's sixth studio album, Green, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the U.S. despite reaching number one as a promotional single on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks (where, at the time, it had the record for longest stay at number one with eight weeks, beating U2). It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band's then-highest chart hit in Britain, where they promoted the song by making their debut appearance on Top of the Pops.[3]

"Orange Crush"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Green
B-side"Ghost Rider", "Dark Globe"
ReleasedDecember 1988
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Finest Worksong"
"Orange Crush"

The video for the song, directed by Matt Mahurin, won the band its first VMA, for Best Post-Modern Video. "Orange Crush" was also the first song to win in the category.

The song was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. Records compilation In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 in 2003, and a live version appears on the R.E.M. Live album recorded in Dublin in 2005.

The song's title refers to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange manufactured by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical for the U.S. Defense Department and used in the Vietnam War.[4][5][6][7] Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the U.S. Army recruiting slogan, "Be all you can be... in the Army."[8] Stipe's father served in the Vietnam War.[9]

Track listing

UK 3" CD W2960CD

  1. "Orange Crush" (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe) - 3:50
  2. "Ghost Rider" (Suicide cover, written by Martin Reverby, Alan Vega) - 3:45
  3. "Dark Globe" (Syd Barrett) - 1:52


Chart (1988–89) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[10] 15
Irish Singles Chart 21
UK Singles (OCC)[11] 28
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[12] 1
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[13] 1

See also


  1. "R.E.M. Release Live Version of "Orange Crush" From 'R.E.M. at the BBC'". September 20, 2018.
  2. June 2018, Rob Hughes 18. "Orange Crush: How REM wrote the song that kickstarted their career". loudersound.
  3. Gittins, Ian (2007). Top of the Pops: Mishaps, Miming, and Music - True Adventures of TV's No. 1 Pop Show. London: Random House. p. 126. ISBN 9781846073274. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  4. DeCurtis, Anthony (20 April 1989). "R.E.M.'s Brave New World".
  5. "We pick R.E.M.'s top five political songs".
  6. "...the barbed-wire edge of "Orange Crush." This song, about the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam,..." "R.E.M. FINALLY EMERGES AS HARD-EDGED, FEROCIOUS" Boston Globe, April 10, 1989 Archived October 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Guitarist Peter Buck has said that "Orange Crush," the first single from "Green" (Warner Bros., all formats), is about Agent Orange..." "Records;Uninspired Folk-Rock Routine Releases From R.E.M. and the Bangles" Washington Post, Nov 9, 1988 Archived October 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  8. Gray, Marcus (March 21, 1997), It Crawled from the South: An R.E.M. Companion (Paperback) |format= requires |url= (help) (2nd ed.), Da Capo Press, p. 57, ISBN 0-306-80751-3
  9. Bergeron, Ryan (June 24, 2015). "5 songs you didn't know were about the Vietnam War". CNN Entertainment. Cable News Network, Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved June 28, 2017.
  10. "Discography R.E.M." Hung Medien. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  11. "R.E.M.: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  12. "R.E.M. Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  13. "R.E.M. Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 August 2017.