There was a time in the UK when you could turn on the radio and you would not instantly hear an R.E.M. song. If you were listening to the right radio station you would not hear any music at all (LBC in its halcyon days). But certainly the only time you heard R.E.M. would be in occasional bursts where the DJ would call them a buncha crazy Yanks. This is because the only R.E.M. songs anyone knew were “Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And Yet Inexplicably By Singing This Song We Are Making It Worse)” and “Orange Crush”.

Indeed in 1989 R.E.M. were They Might Be Giants, Green Jelly or Ben Folds Five. They were a comedy rock band.

Orange Crush of course bucks the comedy record formula a touch by not actually being funny. It does not buck the formula however by having a whiny bloke singing about nothing in particular. The middle part where it breaks down into a helicopter sample I always thought was a hint to the listeners to get on the nearest chopper out of there. Or else the US Army had sent in an elite unit in a Black Hawk to take out the scourge that was the Georgian whingers. Imagine what we would have been spared. Out Of Time, Up, fucking Monster.

Orange Crush came from their breakthough album Green, which in whacky band style was coloured Orange. Ho fucking ho. How we let them rebrand as a serious group after these jokes boggles the mind. It seems that a mandolin and a tune about sitting in a corner like a dunce is all you need. “Follow me, Don’t Follow Me” – well I know which one of these is the correct instruction. Do you? (If your answer was “follow me”, I hope it comes with an additional explaination such as “I am following you Berry, Buck, Mills & Stipe merely for the purposes of stalking and inflicting serious bodily harm upon you and the band”).