Are Reno and Beachball the Same Song?

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).

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The tempo is similar, but not much else. I remember reading that “The Lifting” and “Reno” actually started out as the same song.

Matthew Perpetua Popsongs wrote Reno & Beachball were Michael Stipe’s pep-talk songs. They do have a similarity in - going for a holiday or taking a break somewhere…

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i’ve heard “beachball” a million times and still can never remember how it goes. “reno” is really catchy, however. point: reno!

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Can’t seem to embed YouTube, so here are the links


All the Way to Reno

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