My spouse is not a big REM fan. One day while I was playing Reveal in the car, we got to Beachball and she asked, ‘Didn’t we already hear this song?’ I was baffled, since we hadn’t, so she clarified, ‘Isn’t this basically the Reno song?’ I was perplexed, because I think of Reno being a westerny song, while Beachball is more Bacharachish.
Later, I listened to Reno, then I listened to Beachball. After the first few bars of the horns, I realized she had a point. I later queued up the songs (after the drum machine) and the tempo is almost the same, the Reno tremolo guitar and Beachball horns have some similarities, and the vocals have similar approaches.
I wonder if this is just a coincidence, or if Beachball was created from an alternate approach to Reno? I know Radiohead has done this before (Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors is a version of True Love Waits).