"Up" - R.E.M.


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Full Track Listing:

  • Airportman
  • Lotus
  • Suspicion
  • Hope
  • At My Most Beautiful
  • The Apologist
  • Sad Professor
  • You’re in the Air
  • Walk Unafraid
  • Why Not Smile
  • Daysleeper
  • Diminished
  • Parakeet
  • Falls to Climb

Background Information

“Walk Unafraid” was a song that opened the second side of R.E.M.‘s 1998 album, “Up”. The song itself is credited as having been written by Michael Stipe and R.E.M. inside the lyrics booklet and on all other releases of the album, but Stipe himself revealed he had some writing assistance on the song. Bono assisted Stipe with the lyrics, and helped him come to a major breakthrough on the writing of the song. In a 1998 interview Stipe was asked who else could be considered as helping out with the album and answered, “Bono should be added to that list, too. He was definitely there. He helped me write the second verse of ‘Walk Unafraid’ which is my favorite song on the record. I told him what I wanted it to be, and I’m like, ‘I think I’m making these proclamations & I don’t want that.’ And he was like, ‘turn it into a question’ and it was like a light bulb went off. I would’ve never thought of that in the three more months of tearing whatever hair I have left, trying to get the lyrics finished.”

“Walk Unafraid” has been performed live on numerous occasions by R.E.M. and it has appeared on two other releases. One is an acoustic performance of the song which featured on the 99X compilation “Walk Unafraid”. It also featured on R.E.M.‘s 2007 live release titled “Live”. Neither of these releases mention the Bono connection, and Stipe has only identified that connection in interviews.

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