Out of Time (album)

Out of Time is the seventh studio album by American alternative rock band R.E.M., released on March 12, 1991, by Warner Bros. Records. With Out of Time, R.E.M.'s status grew from that of a cult band to a massive international act. The record topped the album sales charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom, spending 109 weeks on U.S. album charts and enjoying two separate spells at the summit, and spending 183 weeks on the British charts and a single week at the top. The album has sold more than four and a half million copies in the United States and more than 18 million copies worldwide.[2][3] The album won three Grammy Awards in 1992: one as Best Alternative Music Album, and two for the first single, "Losing My Religion."

Out of Time
Cover to the standard release of Out of Time
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 12, 1991 (1991-03-12)
RecordedSeptember–October 1990
StudioBearsville Studios, Woodstock, New York, United States; John Keane Studios, Athens, Georgia, United States (recording); Soundscape Studios, Atlanta, Georgia, United States (strings); Paisley Park Studios, Chanhassen, Minnesota, United States (mixing)
GenreAlternative rock[1]
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. chronology
Out of Time
This Film Is On
Alternate cover
Spanish limited edition LP cover
Singles from Out of Time
  1. "Losing My Religion"
    Released: February 19, 1991
  2. "Shiny Happy People"
    Released: May 6, 1991
  3. "Near Wild Heaven"
    Released: August 5, 1991
  4. "Radio Song"
    Released: November 4, 1991


Out of Time combines elements of pop, folk and classical music heard on the band's previous album Green, with a new concentration on country elements that would continue on 1992's Automatic for the People.

Preceded by the release of "Losing My Religion," which became R.E.M.'s biggest U.S. hit, Out of Time gave them their first U.S. and UK No. 1 album. The band did not tour to support the release, although it did make occasional appearances on television or at festivals. In Germany, it is the band's best-selling album, selling more than 1,250,000 copies, reaching 5×gold.[4] Out of Time was the first R.E.M. album to have an alternative expanded release on compact disc, including expanded liner notes and postcards. In Spain, a contest was held to have a limited edition cover with the winner being an abstract oil painting.

The album was featured in Time magazine's unranked list of The All-Time 100 Albums.[5]

Several re-packagings were released for the album's 25th anniversary edition through Concord Records on Nov. 18, 2016.


Warner Brothers executive Jeff Gold, alongside Rock the Vote campaign co-founder and Virgin Records executive Jeff Ayeroff, approached R.E.M. in regards to printing a petition on the back of Out of Time's CD longbox packaging in the United States where buyers were encouraged to sign their name in support for Rock the Vote, who were in support of the Motor Voter Act to ease voter registration, and would allow voters "to register through their local DMV."[6] Gold reasoned, considering many of the album's buyers would be young, that this could "vote out" the controversial Parents Music Resource Center music censorship bill, who "put pressure on the creators and distributors of 'objectionable' music,"[7] as well as make good use of the popular longbox packaging format of the day, which many artists and customers considered unnecessary and wasteful.[6] Michael Stipe also appeared in a public service announcement for the campaign.[6]

In July 2014, radio show 99% Invisible said that because of this packaging, Out of Time is "the most politically significant album in the history of the United States."[7] They said that three weeks after the album's release, "they had received 10,000 petitions, 100 per senator, and they just kept coming in droves,"[7] and a month following its release, the campaign's political director and members of KMD "wheeled a shopping cart full of the first 10,000 petitions into a senate hearing."[7] The bill was eventually passed in 1993 by Bill Clinton and was in effect January 1, 1995; one commentary later said this happened "in no small part because of R.E.M.’s lobbying."[6]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Chicago Tribune[10]
Christgau's Consumer GuideA[11]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[12]
Los Angeles Times[13]
Rolling Stone[17]

The 25th anniversary re-release of Out of Time was met with positive reviews from critics noted at review aggregator Metacritic. This release received a weighted average score of 80 out of 100, based on 9 reviews.[19]

Track listing

All tracks written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe.

1991 CD[20]

  1. "Radio Song" (featuring KRS-One) – 4:12
  2. "Losing My Religion" – 4:28
  3. "Low" – 4:55
  4. "Near Wild Heaven" – 3:17
  5. "Endgame" – 3:48
  6. "Shiny Happy People" – 3:44
  7. "Belong" – 4:03
  8. "Half a World Away" – 3:26
  9. "Texarkana" – 3:36
  10. "Country Feedback" – 4:07
  11. "Me in Honey" – 4:06


  • LP and Cassette releases list Side 1 (tracks 1–5) as Time Side and Side 2 (tracks 6–11) as Memory Side[21]
  • The 25th anniversary re-release includes several expanded editions:

Disc two – demos

  1. "Losing My Religion 1" (demo) - 4:00
  2. "Near Wild Heaven 1" (demo) - 4:04
  3. "Shiny Happy People 1" (demo) - 3:13
  4. "Texarkana 1" (demo) - 3:47
  5. "Untitled Demo 2" - 3:31
  6. "Radio – Acoustic" ("Radio Song 1" demo) - 4:13
  7. "Near Wild Heaven 2" (demo) - 3:37
  8. "Shiny Happy People 2" (demo) - 3:55
  9. "Slow Sad Rocker" ("Endgame" demo) - 4:29
  10. "Radio – Band" ("Radio Song 3" demo) - 4:22
  11. "Losing My Religion 2" (demo) - 4:34
  12. "Belong" (demo) - 4:15
  13. "Blackbirds" ("Half a World Away" demo) - 3:24
  14. "Texarkana" (demo) - 4:02
  15. "Country Feedback" (demo) - 4:09
  16. "Me on Keyboard" ("Me in Honey" demo) - 3:43
  17. "Low" (demo) - 4:52
  18. "40 Sec." ("40 Second Song" demo) - 1:22
  19. "Fretless 1" (demo) - 4:51

Disc three Mountain Stage, 1991

  1. Introduction
  2. "World Leader Pretend"
  3. "Radio Song"
  4. "Fall On Me"
  5. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
  6. "Half a World Away"
  7. "Belong"
  8. "Love Is All Around"
  9. "Losing My Religion"
  10. "Dallas" (featuring Billy Bragg, Clive Gregson & Christine Collister)
  11. "Radio Song"
  12. "Disturbance at the Heron House"
  13. "Low"
  14. "Swan Swan H"
  15. "Pop Song 89"

Disc four – Blu-ray

  1. Out of Time Hi-Resolution Audio
  2. Out of Time 5.1 Surround Sound
  3. "Radio Song" music video
  4. "Losing My Religion" music video
  5. "Low" music video
  6. "Near Wild Heaven" music video
  7. "Shiny Happy People" music video
  8. "Belong" music video
  9. "Half a World Away" music video
  10. "Country Feedback" music video
  11. Time Piece electronic press kit



  • Bill Berry – drums, percussion, congas on "Low", bass guitar on "Half a World Away" and "Country Feedback", piano on "Near Wild Heaven", backing vocals on "Near Wild Heaven", "Belong", and "Country Feedback", production
  • Peter Buck – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin on "Losing My Religion" and "Half a World Away", production
  • Mike Mills – bass guitar; backing vocals, organ on "Radio Song", "Low", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away", and "Country Feedback", piano on "Belong", harpsichord on "Half a World Away"; percussion on "Half a World Away", lead vocals on "Near Wild Heaven" and "Texarkana", keyboards and arrangement on "Losing My Religion" and "Texarkana"; production
  • Michael Stipe – lead vocals (except "Near Wild Heaven" and "Texarkana"), melodica and arrangement on "Endgame", backing vocals on "Near Wild Heaven" and "Texarkana", production, packaging, photography

Additional musicians

  • David Arenz – violin on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • Ellie Arenz – violin on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • Mark Bingham string arrangements on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • David Braitberg – violin on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • Andrew Cox – cello on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • Reid Harris – viola on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • Peter Holsapple – bass guitar on "Radio Song" and "Low", acoustic guitar on "Losing My Religion", "Shiny Happy People" and "Texarkana", electric guitar on "Belong"
  • Ralph Jones – double bass on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • Kidd Jordan – baritone saxophone on "Radio Song" and "Near Wild Heaven", tenor saxophone on "Radio Song" and "Endgame", alto saxophone on "Radio Song", bass clarinet on "Low" and "Endgame"
  • John Keane pedal steel guitar on "Texarkana" and "Country Feedback"
  • Dave Kempers – violin on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away" and "Texarkana"
  • KRS-One rapping on "Radio Song"
  • Scott Litt echo-loop feed on "Radio Song"
  • Elizabeth Murphy – cello on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away", and "Texarkana"
  • Paul Murphy – viola on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away", and "Texarkana"
  • Kate Pierson – backing vocals on "Country Feedback" and duet on "Shiny Happy People", "Me in Honey"
  • Jay Weigel – orchestral liaison on "Radio Song", "Low", "Near Wild Heaven", "Endgame", "Shiny Happy People", "Half a World Away", and "Texarkana"
  • Cecil Welch flugelhorn on "Endgame"


  • Dave Friedlander engineering
  • Tom Garneau – engineering
  • Ben Katchor – illustrations
  • John Keane – engineering
  • Scott Litt – production, engineering
  • Ted Malia – engineering
  • Stephen Marcussen mastering, at Precision Mastering, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Frank Ockenfels – photography
  • Tom Recchion – packaging
  • Mike Reiter – engineering
  • Ed Rogers – illustrations
  • Karina Santo – photography
  • Doug Starn – photography
  • Mike Starn – photography



Certifications and sales

Region CertificationCertified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[46] Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[47] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[48] Platinum 50,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[49] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[50] 7× Platinum 700,000^
France (SNEP)[51] 2× Platinum 825,300[52]
Germany (BVMI)[53] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Italy 500,000[54]
Netherlands (NVPI)[55] 2× Platinum 200,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[56] Gold 7,500^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[57] 5× Platinum 500,000^
Sweden (GLF)[58] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[59] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[60] 5× Platinum 1,786,954[61]
United States (RIAA)[62] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^
Worldwide 18,000,000[2]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Release history

In 2005, Warner Bros. Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of Out of Time which includes a CD, a DVD-Audio disc containing a 5.1-channel surround sound mix of the album done by Elliot Scheiner, lyrics, a photo album, and the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes. In 2011 Warner Bros. released a 96 kHz, 24-bit and 192 kHz, 24 bit stereo release (the same High-Resolution stereo mix as featured on the DVD-Audio and later, the Blu-Ray editions) of the album at HDtracks.

Out of Time

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Germany March 8, 1991 Warner Bros. Compact Disc 7599-26496-2
United Kingdom March 11, 1991 Warner Bros. LP 7599-26496-1
Compact Disc 7599-26496-2
United States March 12, 1991 Warner Bros. LP 1-26496
Compact Disc 2-26527
Cassette 4-26496
Canada March 12, 1991 Warner Bros. Compact Disc CD 26496
France March 1991 Warner Bros. Compact Disc WE 833
Germany March 1991 Warner Bros. Digital Compact Cassette 7599-26496-5
Argentina 1991 Warner Bros. Cassette 4-26496
Bolivia 1991 Warner Bros. LP WEA WL-1152
Brazil 1991 Warner Bros. LP 6709323
Germany 1991 Warner Bros. LP 7599-26496-1†
Israel 1991 Hed Arzi Compact Disc 9 26496-2
Japan 1991 Warner Bros. Compact Disc WPCP 4195
Mexico 1991 Warner Bros. LP LPNB-7069
Russia 1991 Warner Bros. LP 1092MD/RGM 7028-1A/2
South Africa 1991 Warner Bros./Tusk Compact Disc WBCD 1701
South Korea 1991 Warner Bros. LP 7599-26496-1
Zimbabwe 1991 Tusk LP WBC 1701
Australia 1991 Warner Bros. Compact Disc 7599264962
United States 2005 Warner Bros. Compact Disc/DVD-Audio DualDisc 73951
Internet 2011 Warner Bros. LPCM FLAC 96 kHz/24bit, LPCM FLAC 192 kHz



  • † Edition packaged with a bonus 7" single—"World Leader Pretend"/"Turn You Inside Out" from Tourfilm

Box sets

Region Date Label Format Catalog Notes
Australia 1995 Warner Bros. Compact Disc box set 9362460742 Packaged with Green

See also


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  2. "R.E.M. Remembrances: 31 Chart Milestones of Their 31-Year Career". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  3. David Ciminelli (2011-02-09). "R.E.M. Calls 'Collapse Into Now' Their Best Album in 20 Years". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  4. "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Out of Time')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  5. Tyrangiel, Josh; Light, Alan (13 November 2006). "The All-Time 100 albums". Time. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  6. Why R.E.M.'s 1991 Out of Time May Be the "Most Politically Important Album" Ever | Open Culture
  7. Longbox - 99% Invisible
  8. "Out of Time [25th Anniversary Edition] by R.E.M." Metacritic. November 18, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  9. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Out of Time – R.E.M." AllMusic. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  10. Kot, Greg (March 24, 1991). "Traveling Through The Years With R.E.M." Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  11. Christgau, Robert (2000). "R.E.M.: Out of Time". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  12. Browne, David (March 22, 1991). "Out of Time". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  13. Cromelin, Richard (March 10, 1991). "R.E.M. Recovers as Boy George Goes Dancing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  14. Staunton, Terry (March 16, 1991). "REM Out Of Time". NME. Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  15. Rytlewski, Evan (December 2, 2016). "R.E.M.: Out of Time". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  16. Doherty, Niall (December 2016). "R.E.M.: Out of Time". Q (366): 117.
  17. Puterbaugh, Parker (March 21, 1991). "Out Of Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  18. Cavanagh, David (April 1991). "Once In A Life Time". Select (10): 64–65.
  19. "Out of Time by R.E.M". Metacritic. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
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