Who Wrote What - Green

Pop Song 89 -
Get Up -
You Are The Everything -
Stand -
World Leader Pretend -
Wrong Child -
Orange Crush -
Turn You Inside Out -
Hairshirt -
I Remember California -
Untitled - Berry

This album is a difficult one for me to pin down, since they consciously swapped instruments. I recollect Berry playing mandolin on Hairshirt, which suggests he might have written it. World Leader Pretend seems like it could be Mills, due to the piano driven nature. I have no idea who wrote the singles on the album, but it seems like Berry had a role in Get Up.

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Pop Song 89 - Buck
Get Up - Mills (I think that Bill wrote the bridge)
You Are The Everything - Buck
Stand - Mills? not sure
World Leader Pretend - Mills
Wrong Child - Buck
Orange Crush - Group effort ,I think… Probably Buck-driven
Turn You Inside Out - just know that Berry had a role in it
Hairshirt - Berry
I Remember California - Probably Buck
Untitled - Mills (mostly)

This is another one where I think it’s mostly Buck! Either I’m wrong a lot, or Peter Buck was the starting point for most songs!

I think Get Up might have been Mills or Berry. Either Wrong Child or Hairshirt was Berry, don’t remember which. Untitled was Berry, with Buck playing drums. But apart from those, it all sounds like Buck to me!

The thing with R.E.M. is that, as they’ve said before, by the time the songs are finished they’re all of theirs.

So, on this album, the music boxes in Get Up were famously Bill Berry’s idea. Mills’ bass on Orange Crush is central to that song. Buck’s “unplayable” drum line in Untitled gives that song a huge part of its character. And obviously Stipe provided most/all of the melodies and lyrics.

I don’t think there were many songs that one member wrote from start to finish. (Rockville… can’t think of any others.)

It’s fun, though, trying to figure out who came up with the original chord structure or whatever. I think it was mostly Peter Buck!

Why are you guys so certain that Bill wrote Untitled? listen to hte instrumental demo, soundz like Mills started the whole thing

I can’t remember where I first read it, but there’s a story about the writing of that song. From what I remember, Berry was playing the guitar so Buck got behind the drums and created a rhythm that was so bad that Bill couldn’t play it! Or something like that. Maybe someone else can remember the story better than I can!

That’s mostly true, only I think the operation started from Mike playing keys (and only then Bill came in with guitar etc…)

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Ok, I’ve done some investigating…

I might be wrong.

It looks like Buck came up with the drum line. Berry refused to play it cos it was silly, so Buck plays drums on the record. I can’t find anything to suggest that Berry wrote the guitar part. But he might have.

Interestingly, when they played it live in 89, Buck played guitar and Berry is on the drums. Mills is on keys.

Also, Berry played mandolin on the live versions of both Hairshirt and The Wrong Child. Buck plays bass on Hairshirt and acoustic on The Wrong Child.

Not sure what any of that means for who wrote what!

Regarding Hairshirt - Both Mike & Michael (on separate occasions) stated that it’s a Berry song, so no question there


Stand is Buck’s, I think they’ve acknowledged that in interviews.

I’m just remembering reading several times that he wrote Stand’s funky guitar solo…

Pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that Buck came up with the chords as well.

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Interesting to listen to the demos: R. E. M. Green Demos (full Set upgrade, Remastered) : R.E.M. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

As someone noted upthread, the demo of untitled does sound more Millsian. But, the Buck drums are there, and presumably Berry is playing the guitar.

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always thought they were wrong to trash “the last r.e.m. song,” as it’s a really strong instrumental. and too bad it never got official release, along with the “title” demo

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