Talk About the Passion (3:22)

Cover of Murmur

From Murmur and 25 other releases

“Talk About the Passion” was the second and final single released by R.E.M. from the band’s debut album Murmur in 1983. It was released in Europe only, on 12” vinyl. This song failed to follow up on the success of “Radio Free Europe” released earlier in the year, as it did not chart.

“Talk About the Passion” is a “hunger song”, although the only direct reference in the song is to “empty mouths”. Michael Stipe has stated, “Talk About the Passion” was a song about hunger but the lyrics weren’t clear enough. The video, made in 1988 and featured on the compilations Pop Screen and When the Light Is Mine, made this meaning of the song more explicit by showing images of homeless people and images of a warship, ending with the caption, “in 1987 the cost of one destroyer-class warship was 910 million dollars.”

The song was the first R.E.M. song to contain a foreign phrase, with the line “Combien du temps?”. In French, this means “How much time?” or “For how long?” The song also includes the line “Combien reaction?”, which is a blend of English and French that can be taken to mean, “How much reaction?”

The song was included on R.E.M.’s first I.R.S. Records greatest hits album, Eponymous, and released as the only single from that album in 1988.

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  • nick_honest

    great song

    31 Jan 3:11pm Reply
  • Leathamarie

    Ah, to be 14 again and grooving to R.E.M and U2 before they got all narcissistic and weird.

    23 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Drazba

    a great early r.e.m. track

    1 Sep 2013 Reply
  • thebroadcast

    Early REM ! Y'all sleep well.

    25 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Nakkinak

    talk about depression ♫

    28 May 2013 Reply
  • TheMally98

    Limitless!

    18 May 2013 Reply
  • sdkyle

    Only 45 shouts for this track? One of my REM all-time favourites.

    27 Apr 2013 Reply
  • JimiHdrix

    @gipsasRcrew: Kurt Cobain was a big fan. Kurt Cobain (Rolling Stone, January 27, 1994): "I know we're gonna put out one more record, at least, and I have a pretty good idea what it's going to sound like: pretty ethereal, acoustic, like R.E.M.'s last album (Automatic For The People). If I could write just a couple of songs as good as what they've written... I don't know how that band does what they do. God, they're the greatest. They've dealt with their success like saints, and they keep delivering great music."

    4 Mar 2013 Reply
  • gipsasRcrew

    Damn, this is so.. Nirvana

    9 Sep 2012 Reply
  • CrispyDragons

    I always misheard "combien de temps" as "call me in to talk."

    20 Jun 2012 Reply
  • spacefaceinfurs

    brilliant

    18 Jan 2012 Reply
  • bernlin2000

    Musically it's the most gorgeous off Murmur...always tugs at my heartstrings

    16 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Artemito

    gran canción. Parto en láhrimas cada vez que la escucho. Stipe eres Dios!

    18 Dec 2011 Reply
  • IamFlood

    Can't get over that cello.

    7 Dec 2011 Reply
  • gingertosser

    :)

    10 Nov 2011 Reply
  • semionato

    gorgeous.

    27 Jun 2011 Reply
  • atari_baby

    oh, schön!

    26 Jan 2011 Reply
  • Ellivira

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    19 Jan 2011 Reply
  • culture_club

    Not everyone can carry the weight of the world.

    14 Jan 2011 Reply
  • gingertosser

    why cant they sound this good anymore? :( Not a bad song on this entire album :)

    2 Dec 2010 Reply
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