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Released in 1987 off of the Document album – R.E.M.’s final independent label release – this is Michael Stipe, Bill Berry, Peter Buck and Mike Mills at their best.

We’ll let other people argue about the best R.E.M. song ever (our vote would go to “These Days”), but this one is definitely the funnest.

Next to “Radio Free Europe,” it’s probably also the trickiest R.E.M. bass line to learn how to play …

R.E.M. – “IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (AND I FEEL FINE)”

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes
an aeroplane and Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn – world
serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs. Feed
it off an aux speak, grunt, no, strength, the Ladder
start to clatter with fear fight down height. Wire
in a fire, representing seven games, and a government
for hire at a combat site. Left of west and coming in
a hurry with the furys breathing down your neck. Team
by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered cropped.
Look at that low plane. Fine, then. Uh oh,
overflow, population, common food, but it’ll do to Save
yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs,
listen to your heart bleed dummy with the rapture and
the reverend and the right, right. You vitriolic,
patriotic, slam, fight, bright light, feeling pretty
psyched.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

Six o’clock – TV hour. Don’t get caught in foreign
towers. Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself
churn. Lock it in, uniforming, book burning, blood
letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate.
Light a candle, light a motive. Step down, step down.
Watch your heel crush, crushed, uh-oh, this means no
fear cavalier. Renegade steer clear! A tournament,
tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions,
offer me alternatives and I decline.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

The other night I tripped a nice continental
drift divide. Mountains sit in a line, Leonard
Bernstein. Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester
Bangs. Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You
symbiotic, patriotic, slam boot neck, right? Right.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it.
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel
fine … fine …

Text

PREVIOUSLY …

The Afghan Whigs – “Gentleman”
All-American Rejects – “Swing, Swing”
Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”
Beck – “Loser”
The Black Crowes – “Wiser Time”
B.O.B. – “Nothing On You”
Bouncing Souls – “!Ole!”
The Cars – “Let’s Go”
Coolio – “Fantastic Voyage”
Cypress Hill – “Rock Superstar”
The Cure – “Burn”
The Dan Band – “Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Cover)”
Death Cab For Cute – “Expo 86?
Billy Ward & The Dominoes – “Sixty Minute Man”
Elvis Costello – “Every Day I Write The Book”
Eminem (ft. Rihanna) – “Love The Way You Lie”
Filter – “One (Cover)”
Ben Folds Five – “Rockin’ The Suburbs”
Foo Fighters – “Times Like These”
Foo Fighters – “My Hero”
The Fray – “The Great Beyond (Cover)”
Ice Cube – “It Was A Good Day”
James – “Born of Frustration (Live)”
Janet Jackson – “When I Think  Of You”
Joy Division – “New Dawn Fades”
Kesha- “Your Love Is My Drug”
Katie Melua –  “Just Like Heaven (Cover)”
The Killers – “Shadowplay (Cover)”
The Killers – “Sweet Talk”
Lady Ga Ga/ Beyonce – “Telephone”
Led Zeppelin – “Your Time Is Gonna Come/ Black Mountain Side”
Led Zeppelin – “Misty Mountain Hop”
Led Zeppelin – “Thank You”
Live – “Overcome”
Living Colour – “Cult of Personality”
LL Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out”
Bob Marley – “One Love”
Sarah McLachlan – “Building A Mystery”
Metric – “Help I’m Alive”
M.I.A. – “Paper Planes”
Midnight Oil – “Dreamworld”
Monster Magnet – “Negasonic Teenage Warhead”
The National – “All The Wine”

Naughty By Nature – “O.P.P.”
Nena – “99 Luftballoons”
New Order – “Regret”
Nine Inch Nails – “Piggy”
Nine Inch Nails – “Hand That Feeds”
Nirvana – “Rape Me”
One Republic – “All The Right Moves”
The Outfield – “I Don’t Need Her”
Outkast – “Rosa Parks”
Outkast – “Gasoline Dreams”
Owl City – “Hot Air Balloon”
Parliament-Funkadelic – “Give Up The Funk”
Panic At The Disco! – “Karma Police” (Cover)
Paramore – “The Only Exception”
Pavement – “Range Life”
Pearl Jam – “Alive”
Tom Petty – “The Waiting”
Pretenders – “Back On The Chain Gang”
Queen – “Somebody To Love”
R.E.M. – “These Days”
Gerry Rafferty – “Right Down The Line”
Rage Against The Machine – “Bulls on Parade”
Smashing Pumpkins – “Geek, U.S.A.”
Smashing Pumpkins – “Age Of Innocence”
The Smiths – “Headmaster Ritual”
Soul Asylum – “Somebody To Shove”
Soundgarden – “Outshined”
The Spin Doctors – “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues”
Sting – “Fortress Around Your Heart”
The Strokes – “Hard To Explain”
Teenage Fanclub – “Hang On”
‘Til Tuesday – “Voices Carry”
TV Heart Attack – “AO”
Twilight Singers – “The Twilite Kid”
U2 – “Until The End Of The World”
U2 – “Where The Streets Have No Name”
The Verve – “Lucky Man”
The Waitresses – “I Know What Boys Like”
Weezer – “Put Me Back Together”
The Who – “Baba O’Riley”
Stevie Wonder – “I Believe (When I Fall In Love This Time It Will Last Forever)”
Wu-Tang Clan – “C.R.E.A.M.”
Yeasayer – “Ambling Alp”

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