Losing My Mandolin Strum

This has been in my YouTube playlist R.E.M. Instrumentals for some time, but I don’t remember hearing a version of Mandolin Strum with sort-of vocals before.

You can clearly hear him practicing a sort-of Losing My Religion lyric.

Here’s the clean version, from Everybody Hurts.

Was the vocal version the Automatic Box version?

Stay for the Forty Second Song.


Thanks. Not 100% sure I’ve heard this version before, though it sounds kinda familiar. It sounds great!

I love all R.E.M., but the Out of Time/Automatic era is pretty special to me. I became a fan at the age of 12, with Out of Time, hungrily devouring every TV appearance, every magazine article, every book, every b-side, and excitedly discovering the back catalogue.

I feel like they were really in the zone then. Everything hit the mark. Even the weird non-lyrical demos, like this one. An album of rejected songs from the early 90s would have been a pretty decent album!

I might be wrong, but isn’t Organ Song, the Sidewinder b-side, a mandolin-less version of this?


Nice playlist by the way! I love Winged Mammal Theme and Shine, in particular. Tried coming up with a vocal melody for Shine once. It was rubbish. I’m no Michael Stipe!

I am wrong. Organ Song was Here I Am Again, without words, wasn’t it? Also a brilliant rejected song from the early 90s. I think some of the lyrics were re-used on Fretless. Another brilliant rejected song from the early 90s!

Somewhere, in some alternate universe, there’s another fucking brilliant R.E.M. album from the early 90s.

Here’s where we were building out the list.

I’ve been able to add Tricycle and Airliner, though 165 HIllcrest and Adagio, I still can’t find.

The trouble with my Spotify instrumentals playlist is, the rights are always in flux and the songs drop out.

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I know the band feel a little exposed by the release of demos, and I’m not necessarily a completist, but I think hearing these little sketchbook plans deepens my respect for the craft.


Thank you Robert, I’m enjoying listening. :musical_score: :notes::two_hearts:

I enjoyed that :heart:thanks :slightly_smiling_face::rooster:

Thanks for posting.

that came from a bootleg of out of time demos that had been floating around the internet in various forms for 15-20 years. i think was typically called time of outtakes. a lot of it ended up on the OOT deluxe reissue, but some cool/interesting outtakes like “mandolin strum,” “here i am again,” “speed metal,” and “night swim” were sadly left off.