Crush With Eyeliner

Album: Monster (1994)
Charted: 23

Songfacts®:

  • This was one of the first songs lead singer Michael Stipe wrote after the death of friend and actor River Phoenix on Halloween 1993. Stipe sunk into depression and didn't write anything for five months.
  • This features backing vocals from Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore. The two bands had been friends for over a decade, and this was Stipe's way of acknowledging their influence.
  • Courtney Love, who is the Hole singer and widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, thought this song was about her. Stipe was friends with Cobain, who had recently killed himself, and had taken Love to the 1994 MTV Movie Awards. In the August 2010 issue of Uncut magazine, Love said: "I know 'Country Feedback' and 'Crush With Eyeliner' are about me."
  • Stipe insists that this song is an homage of sorts to the New York Dolls. He cites the usage of one of their song titles ("Frankenstein"). It is also about people who assume different personalities in their lives, something that could also refer to the Dolls.
  • Spike Jonze directed the music video, which has a group of Japanese teens dancing and lip-synching to the song.
  • This was featured on the TV series Parks and Recreation, in the 2013 episode "Filibuster." It also appears in the 2019 movie Captain Marvel along with other songs that were popular in 1995, when much of the film is set. R.E.M.'s "Man On the Moon" was also used in the film.

Comments: 10

  • Steve from New YorkCourtney Love: You're so vain! You probably think this song is about you!
  • Dougfresh from Buffalo, NyThe song obviously has impregnated meanings on many levels. But as for the superficial plot of the song story: It was a long time ago, but I recall an interview with Stipe where he mentioned something of an older man pursuing a younger woman who might have been what we would call a Goth, today. He adopts a persona of the kind of guys that she seems to like by wearing make-up and himself dressing into alternative youth fashion in order to seduce her and to make her his girlfriend. Stipe mentioned that he sort of succeeds and fails at the same time, insinuating that he sleeps with her but never really finds the long term relationship he desired because he was just faking it and not being real. IIRC.
  • Derek from Moncton, NbI miss Bill Berry.
  • Landon from Winchester, OhThis is proof: Courtney Love is as stupid as she is stuck up. I can't believe she had the hots for Micheal Strpe even after Kurt's suicide! What are they going to do with her?
  • Chris from Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomOh Courtney, will you ever learn?
    She probably thought Stipe fancied her.
    I've got news for you on that one...
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlThis is awesome , may be the best song to come out the 90's
  • Mercedes from Seattle, Wait's a great song, one of my favorites,and even more so, now that I've learned that Thurston Moore sang in it, and that the video was directed by Spike Jonze...
    PS: so sorry for Courtney Love...she's so self-centered
  • Cherie from Ny, Ny10 years later and Courtney Love still believes the song is about her.
  • Ali from Lahore, Pakistanits a great song, i dont know if its a song about a girl trying to seduce a boy with her looks but surely it has a great rocknroll beat. Monster was one of a kind. The song whats the frequency was just amazing
  • Epp from Pittsburgh, PaThis song is about being fake, as eyeliner (and all make up) are used 2 cover up the blemishes and make everything appear much better off than it really is
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