(Don't Go Back to) Rockville (4:32)

Cover of Eponymous

From Eponymous and 21 other releases

“(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” was the second and final single released by R.E.M. from their second studio album Reckoning. The song failed to chart on either the Billboard Hot 100 or the UK Singles Charts.

The song was written by Mike Mills as a plea to his then girlfriend, Ingrid Schorr, not to return to her hometown of Rockville, Maryland. Peter Buck has stated that the song was originally performed in a punk/thrash style, and that it was recorded for this single in its now more-familiar country-inspired arrangement as a joke aimed at R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs.

Over time, Mike Mills has taken lead vocals instead of Michael Stipe. On R.E.M.’s appearance on VH1 Storytellers in 1998, Mills performed the song solo on piano. A live version of the song was released as the B-side to “Leaving New York” in 2004 and on R.E.M. Live in 2007.

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