R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe described this song a fluke hit. It was a 5-minute song with no chorus and a mandolin as the lead instrument…” It just happened to win the Grammy in 1991 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.
Peter Buck the band’s guitarist explained that the origin of the song came about when he recorded himself learning how to play the mandolin. As part of the exercise Buck recorded is early attempts. “When I listened back to it the next day, there was a bunch of stuff that was really just me learning how to play mandolin, and then there’s what became ‘Losing My Religion,’ and then a whole bunch more of me learning to play the mandolin.” (from the book Reveal by Johnny Black)
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