Talk About the Passion

"Talk About the Passion" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released as the second single released from its debut album Murmur in 1983. It was released in Europe only, on 12" vinyl. This song failed to follow up on the success of "Radio Free Europe" released earlier in the year, as it did not chart. A live performance at Larry's Hideaway, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from July 9, 1983, was released on the 2008 Deluxe Edition reissue of Murmur.

"Talk About the Passion"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Murmur
ReleasedNovember 14, 1983 (1983-11-14)
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Radio Free Europe"
"Talk About the Passion"
"So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)"

Michael Stipe has stated that "Talk About the Passion" was a song about hunger, but the lyrics were not clear enough, with the only direct reference in the song being to "empty mouths".[3] The video, made in 1988 and featured on the compilations Pop Screen and When the Light Is Mine, made this meaning of the song more explicit by showing images of homeless people and images of an aircraft carrier, ending with the caption, "in 1987 the cost of one destroyer-class warship was 910 million dollars."

The song was included on R.E.M.'s first I.R.S. Records greatest-hits album, Eponymous, and released as the only single from that album in 1988.

Track listing

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

  1. "Talk About the Passion" – 3:24
  2. "Shaking Through" – 4:30
  3. "Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars)" – 3:55
  4. "1,000,000" – 3:07


  1. Yates, Henry (June 12, 2019). "How to buy the very best of R.E.M." Classic Rock Magazine. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  2. Peake, Steve. "The Top 10 R.E.M. Songs of the '80s". LiveAbout. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
  3. Bowler, Dave; Dray, Bryan (1995). R.E.M. From "Chronic Town" to "Monster". Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing Group. p. 61. ISBN 0-8065-1724-7.