Finest Worksong is the third single taken from the album Document, released by R.E.M. in 1987, at the height of their success. They entered Euro charts for the first time with The One I Love, the first single from Document. It’s well known the name R.E.M derives from the initials of Rapid Eye Movement, the phase of sleep characterized by propensity to dream vividly. But no particular reason seats behind the choice of this name, simply, as they said several times, it sounded good.

Their last album with I.R.S.

Finest Worksong¬† was the last single ¬†released with the record company IRS. The following year the R.E.M. signed with Warner Bros Record.¬† In 1991 Out Of Time, the album of their consecration dragged to the top of world charts by Losing my Religion. Desire for a change was in the air and continuous controversy with the producers imposed by I.R.S., favored the breakage. Many said the group has “sold itself” to success. But already in Document is present a strong desire for a change, starting with the lyrics by Michael Stipe becoming less enigmatic. Now is possible discerning a meaning, even political, and openness to public is evident.

Finest Worksong: guitars loud and hard

At first glance, for those who are aware of the first R.E.M., the turning point of Finest Worksong may have seemed even shocking, especially the initial guitar riff. A vigorous almost fleshly song where guitars and distortions are widely used. The slightly punk-like attitude of early works gives now way to pure rock. A record that you could enjoyably listen driving US coast to coast.

Michael Stipe wrote Finest Worksong

Song’s lyrics

Stipe’s lyrics are now becoming clearer. Finest Worksong talks about everyday heroes, workers who don’t get in the spotlight. Heroes in their daily occupations, without whom the world would not go forward. Thoreau, the philosopher famous for his essay “Civil Disobedience”, is also mentioned in the song, where he urges citizens not to follow the government if they are against its policies. Very alive topic. Thoreau inspired great men like Gandhi and Martin Luther King.