All the Best

Album: Collapse Into Now (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • This rocker features bassist Mike Mills and frontman Michael Stipe sharing lead vocals whist Peter Buck and second guitarist Scott McCaughey lay down a wall of sound. McCaughey has worked with R.E.M. both on stage and in the studio since he being brought on as a second guitarist for the 1994 Monster tour.
  • The song features a typically cryptic Stipe lyric, which despite the seemingly upbeat title, appears to be more of an barbed comment on a tainted relationship than an act of well-wishing.
  • After R.E.M. broke up in September 2011, the band admitted that this song was written with the breakup in mind. Said Mike Mills: "There are some straightforward see-you-laters on that one."
  • Collapse Into Now was littered with clues undetected at the time that it was to be their final album, from the lyric of this song to the fact that Stipe was waving on the cover. The R.E.M. singer told Mojo: "Yeah, the clues were there. I placed them there intentionally. I took a chapter from Patti Smith, who released her first album, called Wave, and disappeared for years."

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