WCSX Classic Cuts
R.E.M: The One I Love
Hook: One verse times three equals success.
Stats: This was R.E.M.’s first Top 10 hit, peaking at number-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
Background: Though many people mistook the almost-identical three verses on R.E.M.’s “The One I Love” for a love song, most missed the line “a simple prop to occupy my time.” After it became a hit, singer Michael Stipe revealed that “The One I Love” was about a violent relationship and about using people over and over.
From 1987, R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills talks about “The One I Love.” OC:…on the record. :21
“‘The One I Love’ is the most straightforward song on the record. It’s very funny because ‘The One I Love’ is so unlike the rest of the record. The rest of the record I like to call it controlled chaos. You know, all these things going on that are just barely held within the framework of this song. And it’s kind of odd to put out a first single as the aberration on the record.”