With Up yielding not just one, but TWO top 10 hits, and a sold-out World tour in full swing, Warners decided to capitalise with the release of a fourth single from Up. They really shouldn’t have bothered – to say it backfired is an understatement.
While Up may not be described as the most ‘user-friendly’ record in R.E.M.’s discography, it nonetheless had some wonderful songs on it. For a fourth single, how about the uplifting Walk Unafraid, without a doubt one of the Up Tour’s live highlights? (here, here!!! – JC)
Or The Apologist with its “I’m sorry” refrain referencing the early classic So. Central Rain? Or even, as a real curveball, Up’s best moment in my opinion, the Krautrock-inspired Leonard Cohen pastiche Hope? (agreed….the best song on the album, but so unlike R.E.M. -JC)
But Warners thought “No, what we need is an utterly forgettable 5½-minute dirge that no one will play on radio and no fans will feel the need to buy again.”
And that’s exactly what transpired. Released on 28th June 1999, Suspicion became the first R.E.M. single in more than a decade not to chart in the UK. That is perhaps the only significant thing I can say about it. Both formats (for there were only two) contained the full-length album version of Suspicion
mp3: R.E.M. – Suspicion
Not even the b-sides can save this one. More live tracks I’m afraid. In this case, more from that Jools Holland special from the previous Autumn. The main CD release included these:
mp3: R.E.M. – Electrolite [live on Later… With Jools Holland]
mp3: R.E.M. – Man On The Moon [live on Later… With Jools Holland]
The collectible 3” CD contained a live in the studio take of Suspicion (though not the same one that appeared on the Lotus single), plus an early fave taken from that Jools show.
mp3: R.E.M. – Suspicion [live at Ealing Studios]
mp3: R.E.M. – Perfect Circle [live on Later… With Jools Holland]
Not the most inspiring way to sign off the Up era, but perhaps in some way fitting considering what was to come over the next few years…