Superman

Album: Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)

Songfacts®:

  • This is a slightly stalkerish song about a guy who sees himself as Superman. He believes he can "see right through" the girl (presumably using his X-ray vision) so he knows that she doesn't really love the guy she's with. Where it gets a little creepy is when he threatens to find her even if she's "a million miles away."

    It's all in good fun though. R.E.M. don't take it too seriously - Mike Mills sang lead on the track instead of Michael Stipe.
  • This song was originally recorded by a group from Beaumont, Texas called The Clique, who released it as the B-side of their only Top 40 hit: "Sugar On Sunday." The song was written by the group's producer Gary Zekley along with Elliot Bottler, Mitchell Bottler and Brandon Chase.
  • 311 covered this song at one of their Halloween shows. Lead singer Nick Hexum dressed up as... you guessed it... Superman. On their DVD Enlarged To Show Detail 2, you can see them practicing it in the bus before the show, and then you see them perform it in concert. 311 site R.E.M. as one of their major influences. Hexum and Doug "S.A." Martinez have both commented on their love of R.E.M. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Montgomery - Florence, KY

Comments: 7

  • Disappointed In The "facts" from Afartop comment of the song being "slightly stalkerish" massively misunderstands the narrative -- there's no creepiness here, no threat to be had. this song is about unrequited love; he's pining for the object of his affection and desperately wants to prove his worth. he loves from afar.
  • Kevin from Reading , PaBassist Mills is an infrequent lead vocalist. In addition to this song, the only studio songs on which he has sung lead are "Texarkana" and "Near Wild Heaven," both on the "Out of Time" album, both top-notch tracks on that album. Does anybody know why he doesn't sing lead a little more often? (Other than the obvious reason, Michael Stipe wouldn't have much to do if he did)
  • Andrei from Chicago, IlClique producer/arranger and 'Superman' co-writer Gary Zekley joined R.E.M. on stage at a show in De Calb, IL while they performed the song, singing back vocals and playing tambourine.
  • Bsd987 from Long Island, Nyalbum title is Lifes Rich Pageant, not Life's Rich Pageant.
  • Russell from CaThe band had a Godzilla doll that played the following in Japanese, which is heard just before the start of the song:
    "This is a special news report.
    Godzilla has been sighted in Tokyo Bay. The attack on it by the Self-Defense
    Force has been useless. He is heading towards the city. Aaaaagggghhhh!!!!!"
  • Wil from Kc, KsThis song is actually a cover. It was originally writen and performed by the Clique and recorded in 1969.
  • Terry from Ocean Springs, MsBassest Mike Mills is the lead singer for this song. When singing the back up vocals live, Michael Stipe would hold his arms up and out as if he was Superman flying.
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