"Orange Crush" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released as the first single from the band's sixth studio album, Green, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the US despite reaching number one as a promotional single on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks (where, at the time, it had the record for longest stay at number one with eight weeks, beating U2). It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Charts, making it the band's then-highest chart hit in Britain.

The video for the song, directed by Matt Mahurin, won the band its first VMA, for Best Post-Modern Video. "Orange Crush" was also the first song to win in the category.

The song was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. Records compilation In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 in 2003, and a live version appears on the R.E.M. Live album recorded in Dublin in 2005.

The song's title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange manufactured by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical for the U.S. Department of Defense and used in the Vietnam War.[1][2] As a guest on the late-night show Last Call with Carson DalyMichael Stipe explained that the song was about a young American football player leaving the comforts of home for the war in Vietnam.[citation needed] Also, Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the famous U.S. Army recruiting slogan, "Be all you can be... in the Army."[3]

British indie rock band Editors recorded a cover of "Orange Crush" as the B-side for the re-issue of the "Blood" single.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

UK 3" CD W2960CD[edit]Edit

  1. "Orange Crush" (Bill BerryPeter BuckMike MillsMichael Stipe) - 3:50
  2. "Ghost Rider" (Suicide cover, written by Martin ReverbyAlan Vega) - 3:45
  3. "Dark Globe" (Syd Barrett) - 1:52


Chart (1988/1989) Peak


Australian ARIA Singles Chart 15
Irish Singles Chart 21
UK Singles Chart 28
U.S. BillboardModern Rock Tracks 1
U.S. BillboardMainstream Rock Tracks 1
Preceded by

"Desire" by U2

Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single

November 26, 1988 – January 14, 1989

Succeeded by

"Charlotte Anne" by Julian Cope

Preceded by

"It's Money That Matters" by Randy Newman

Billbord Mainstream Rock Tracks number-one single

November 26 – December 9, 1988

Succeeded by

"Angel of Harlem" by U2

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