(Ed. Note: wouldn't you know it, but going through the SOTDs I've done this year and realized I passed this one over. Instead of shifting my sched, I'll throw a bonus in for Saturday. Cheers!)
"Stand" - R.E.M.
from the album Green (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #6 (three weeks)
Weeks in the top-40: 11
The last time we saw alternative rock pioneers R.E.M. was with their pop breakthrough hit "The One I Love", which sauntered into the top ten in the winter of 1987. With that momentum, and wishing to expand their worldwide audience, the band switched from indie label I.R.S. to behemoth Warner Brothers in time for their sixth studio set Green. The first single from the set was the typically dark brooding emo-rock of "Orange Crush", which hat-tipped to the lethal chemical weapon Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. However, the second release from the record was unlike anything they've done before; an absolutely perky pop song that was both sing-along and fleetingly coherent. "Stand", written by the band and produced yet again by Scott Litt (who helmed the "One You Love" sessions), the song rang all the bells (albeit ironically) at pop radio...
"Stand" became the group's second top 10 pop hit in America in April of 1989. The song was a huge success on rock radio, reaching #1 on both of Billboard magazine's Mainstream (one week) and Modern (two weeks) Rock radio charts. Internationally, the record made it to #17 in Ireland, #16 in Canada, and was a minor hit in the UK at #48.
Even though their next single was winkingly titled "Pop Song 89", it kind of stopped short on the pop charts at #86. A fourth release from the set, "Turn You Inside-Out", made the #7 spot on the Mainstream Rock chart, and #10 Modern Rock.
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...and here's the band performing the song on tour...