We All Go Back to Where We Belong

Album: Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 (2011)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • On September 21, 2011 R.E.M. announced on their website that the band was disbanding. Simultaneously with the surprising news, it was revealed that the trio would be releasing one last album, a double-disc retrospective compiled by the band members containing three new songs. The title of the set came from a quip that guitarist Peter Buck made about the band during an interview in 1988, "R.E.M is part lies, part heart, part truth and part garbage."
  • This orchestral ballad is one of the three new songs on the collection. It was recorded after the sessions for R.E.M.'s last studio album, Collapse Into Now and was released as the band's last ever single on October 18, 2011.
  • A pair of black-and-white videos was made for the song, which were directed by Michael Stipe and Dominic DeJoseph. One stars actress Kirsten Dunst, whilst the other features poet and performance artist John Giorno.
  • The track addresses the disbanding of R.E.M. Speaking with Billboard magazine, bassist Mike Mills explained the story of the song: "As with all R.E.M. songs, guitarist Peter [Buck] and I write the music and Michael [Stipe] writes the lyrics. That's our division of labor. Some songs come out really quickly and some take a lot of work. This one was actually written on piano for [2011's] Collapse Into Now. It didn't get finished and I liked it enough that I wanted to try to work it into the retrospective. So I rewrote it and played it on guitar instead of piano. Once I got the piano off of it, Michael was re-inspired by it and found it easier to write to on guitar than piano."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce Pavitt

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in Songs

Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear: Teddy Bears and Teddy Boys in SongsSong Writing

Elvis, Little Richard and Cheryl Cole have all sung about Teddy Bears, but there is also a terrifying Teddy song from 1932 and a touching trucker Teddy tune from 1976.

Todd Rundgren

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.

Joan Armatrading

Joan ArmatradingSongwriter Interviews

The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."

Lip-Synch Rebels

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."