REM’s Michael Stipe Reveals ‘Losing My Religion’ Lyrics Change – Billboard

It turns out that REM frontman Michael Stipe wasn’t always in the “spotlight” of his 1991 classic “Losing My Religion.”

Stipe was recently a guest on the Broken Record podcast, where he revealed a minor but equally important lyric change for host Rick Rubin.

It all started when Rubin asked Stipe if he knew the song was special while he was writing it, to which the REM artist quickly denied. “We released it as the first single thinking it was going to set up the next song,” he said. “It’s such a weird song that we had no idea it was going to resonate the way he did.”

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On the memories of making the track, Stipe delved into changing the lyrics in the chorus. “I changed a letter,” he recalled. “’That’s me in the corner / That’s me in the kitchen,’ what I was getting out of was being the shy wallflower that stays behind at the party or the dance and doesn’t approach the person you’re into. madly in love love and say ‘I’m a little in love with you, how do you feel about me?'”

“This whole relationship is happening only in the person’s mind and they don’t know if they’ve said too much or not said enough,” Stipe added. “She’s like in the corner of the dance floor watching everyone dance and seeing the love of her life on the dance floor dancing with everyone because that’s the most exciting person. Or she is in the kitchen behind the refrigerator.”

Then, one word ended up changing everything. “I changed ‘kitchen’ to ‘focus,’ and sure enough, the song instantly became about me, which it never was,” Stipe said.

“Losing My Religion” peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart dated June 22, 1991 and spent 21 total weeks on the chart.

Listen to the full episode of Broken Record below.