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Talk About the Passion by R.E.M.
Album: MurmurReleased: 1983
This was the second single from R.E.M.'s debut album, Murmur.
The guitar melody/solo actually comes from multiple acoustic guitars played by Mike Mills, Peter Buck, and producers Mitch Easter and Don Dixon.
Michael Stipe explained the song's French influence in the compilation Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011: "I had taken a French course at college, which I dutifully flunked out of, and Linda Hopper and I thought that the phrase, 'combien de temps,' that is, roughly, 'how much time?' was deeply meaningful and beautiful. I did sing it that way and it works here, if only here. We were 22 at the time after all." Hopper, a fellow musician and University of Georgia student, also founded the band Oh-Ok with Stipe's sister, Lynda, on bass guitar.
The 1988 video, directed by Jem A. Cohen, expounds on the lyrics' references to hunger ("empty bread, empty mouths") by juxtaposing images of homeless people with a multi-million dollar warship.