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Readers Poll: The 10 Best R.E.M. Songs

Selections include ‘Drive,’ ‘Man On The Moon’ and ‘Losing My Religion’

REM r.e.m. netherlands 1993 best song

Michel Linssen/Redferns

R.E.M. shocked their fans last week by announcing they were breaking up. The news seemingly came out of nowhere, but looking back now it's certainly not hard to see the hints. They didn't tour for their last album, they just reached the 30-year mark and they really just haven't seemed into the whole R.E.M. thing recently. So we thought it was a good time to ask our readers to vote for their favorite R.E.M. songs. Unsurprisingly, the winners came exclusively from the band's first decade. Click through to see the results.

By Andy Greene

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2. ‘Nightswimming’

This song began with a very simple piano melody by the band's bassist Mike Mills. He didn't see much value in it, but Michael Stipe thought it was brilliant and he wrote this tender song about skinny-dipping around it. The string arrangement was written by another famous bassist: Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones. The track didn't do that well as a single, but in the past 20 years it's slowly become one of R.E.M.'s most beloved songs. 

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1. ‘Losing My Religion’

Whenever the mandolin was brought onstage by a roadie at R.E.M. concerts, the place would explode because everybody knew they were about to play this song. This is the one on karaoke machines. This is the one that your mom knows. The huge success of this unlikely hit catapulted the band to the next level and led to the most successful period of their career. Some longtime fans were turned off when "Losing My Religion" hit big, but the band didn't care. "The people that changed their minds because of `Losing My Religion' can just kiss my ass," Peter Buck told Rolling Stone in 1991.