R.E.M.'s career took a dramatic shift in 1987 when "The One I Love" came out. The quintessential college rock band suddenly had a hit in the top 10 and a video all over MTV. Many people saw this as a straight-ahead love song, seemingly ignoring the repeated cries of "fire." "I've always left myself pretty open to interpretation," Michael Stipe told Rolling Stone in 1987. "It's probably better that they just think it's a love song at this point."