Because nothing in 2020 is allowed to proceed with any kind of subtlety, R.E.M. is back on the charts with 1987’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”
“End of the World” — remember, the song that gets everyone to yell “Leonard Bernstein!” at once — re-entered the iTunes charts last Friday, where it climbed to the number 72 spot, as reported by Deadline.
Monday, the track continued its upward trajectory, landing at number 39 as of 2:30 p.m. EST.
Released as both a single and on the band’s album “Document,” “End of the World” originally stalled out at number 69 on the Hot 100, though it lodged itself firmly in the pop-culture canon, thanks largely to the aforementioned Leonard Bernstein shout-out and its ear-wormy chorus.
The band has not yet commented on their suddenly-timely hit. Their only nod towards topicality has been a March 13th tweet from R.E.M’s official account that reads “When the world is a monster,” and leads to a selection of merch commemorating the band’s 1994 album “Monster.”
Perhaps, in the event of a worldwide communications blackout, the lead single from “Monster,” “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” will chart again.