R.E.M. – “It’s the End of the World as We Know it (And I Feel Fine)” – (1987)

Congrats, R.E.M., on the longest-title award. Does anyone not love this song? It’s immense fun. And that’s about all it is – Michael Stipe just naming seemingly random things. According to him, he had a dream where he was at a party and everyone there had the initials “L.B.” – which is where Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce, and Lester Bangs comes from. This is a difficult song to sing along to, due to the rapid-fire delivery of the lyrics. Its references to the apocalypse gave it new legs in 1999, with Y2K and the end of the world being upon us and whatnot. No Doubt performed it on MTV at midnight that night and nailed it. This is one reason it didn’t make the countdown (the fact that “Stand” is great is the other”) – although I know damned well it’s from the 80s, I can’t help but associate it almost entirely with the 90s.

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