Drive (R.E.M. song)

Drive (R.E.M. song)
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Automatic for the People
B-side "Winged Mammal Theme"
Released October 1, 1992 (1992-10-01)
Format CD single, 7" single, 12" single, Cassette
Recorded 1992
Genre Alternative rock, folk rock
Length 4:25
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Scott Litt, R.E.M.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
"Man on the Moon"

"Drive" was the lead single and first track from R.E.M.'s eighth studio album Automatic for the People in 1992. Although it was not as successful as previous lead singles "Losing My Religion," "Stand," or "The One I Love" in the United States, it became R.E.M.'s then second biggest hit on the UK Singles Charts, peaking at #11. It managed a peak of #28 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song did hit #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks and #2 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.

Despite the success and popularity of the song, it was left out of the band's Warner Bros. Records "best of" compilation In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003. However, a live version of the song was included in the special edition two-disc set of In Time that included rarities, live versions, and B-sides. The version featured was the "funk" version, which has never been studio-recorded.

The title itself is derived from Stipe and R.E.M.'s support for what would eventually become the "Motor Voter Bill" and the lyric "Hey, kids, rock 'n' roll" is an homage to the song "Stop It" by fellow Athens, Georgia group Pylon; Stipe has also said the song is an "obvious homage to Rock On by David Essex," which features a similar line.[1]

The song is included on the 2003 live DVD Perfect Square, the 2007 live CD/DVD R.E.M. Live, and the 2009 live CD Live at The Olympia (and its accompanying DVD This Is Not a Show). This song was also sampled in the song "Space Bound" by Eminem on his album Recovery.

The B-side, "Winged Mammal Theme" was used on The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s segments in June 2005, December 2005, and September 2009.


Music video

The song's video, directed by Peter Care, was shot over two nights in late August 1992 at Sepulveda Dam in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles.

Track listing

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe except as noted.

US 7", Cassette and CD single

  1. "Drive" – 4:25
  2. "Winged Mammal Theme" – 2:55

UK "Collector's Edition" CD Single

  1. "Drive" – 4:25
  2. "It's a Free World Baby" – 5:11
  3. "Winged Mammal Theme" – 2:55
  4. "First We Take Manhattan" (Leonard Cohen) – 6:06

DE CD Maxi-Single

  1. "Drive" – 4:25
  2. "World Leader Pretend" – 4:15
  3. "Winged Mammal Theme" – 2:55

UK and DE 7" and Cassette Single

  1. "Drive" – 4:25
  2. "World Leader Pretend" – 4:15


Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 34
Canadian Hot 100 7
Dutch Singles Chart 13
German Singles Chart 13
Irish Singles Chart 4
Swedish Singles Chart 24
UK Singles Chart 11
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 28
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 2
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 23
Preceded by
"Blood Makes Noise" by Suzanne Vega
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
October 17, 1992 - November 14, 1992
Succeeded by
"These Are Days" by 10,000 Maniacs


  1. ^ Black, Johnny (2004). Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.. Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-776-5. 

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