R.E.M.: “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

Posted: January 6, 2014 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , ,
Tune du Jour: “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” – R.E.M.
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Great Big Sea vs. Pickin’ On Series
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)
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It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) appeared on R.E.M.’s 1987 album Document. It was released as a single in November 1987, reaching No. 69 on the US Billboard Hot 199 and later reaching No. 39 in the UK singles chart on its re-release in December 1991. In an interview with Guitar World magazine published in November 1996, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck agreed that End of the World was in the tradition of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues (a song notable in that RDubbs does not particularly care for it).

The Original

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R.E.M.:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Great Big Sea vs. Pickin’ On Series

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Great Big Sea:

Pickin’ On Series:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

Also, keep in mind that if you should spontaneously self-actualize while playing a cover then you could – and probably should – nominate it for Top 10 (i.e. “Impeccable”) consideration.

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Votes can be cast up to seven days from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

Comments
  1. bornunderabadsign says:

    Liked the energy, enthusiasm, and harmonies of Great Big Sea, but chose Pickin’ On because elevator music has a place in our society…long live Muzak and Montovani!

  2. Cuspid says:

    I was particularly impressed that GBS could sing the song faster than REM, and that the lead vocalist was able to sing it faster than Michael Stipe while still enunciate it better than Stipe. For that alone I’m going with GBS, although I’ve enjoyed tremendously every Pickin’ On cover Dubbs has ever featured.

  3. Arnie Plotnick says:

    Great Big Sea really nails it. Just spewing out the lyrics that fast is enough to get my vote. But the guitars, drumming… it’s all good. Not sure why they didn’t stop the music and all shout “Leonard Bernstein” together (I was really expecting it), but I’ll let it slide.

  4. Kerry Black says:

    I’m gonna go with Great Big Sea.

    I also want credit for listening to all three versions, despite not being an R.E.M. fan.

  5. RDubbs says:

    Both versions are strong, albeit, in entirely different genres. I’m giving it to Great Big Sea based solely on the video which seemed to indicate that they were genuinely having a great time covering the song. Granted, without a comparable peak into the Pickin’ boys playing the tune Great Big Sea has accrued an unfair advantage (for all I know the bluegrass cadre were literally self-actualizing as they picked away). But it is an infallible axiom that life is not fair.

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