By Sean Smith
Twenty-two years ago today MTV held their 10th annual Video Music Awards. That night would go down as a memorable one.
The show kicked off with recently disgraced actor Paul Reubens making his first public appearance since his much publicized arrest. The actor better known as Pee Wee Herman had been arrested just two months prior inside of a Sarasota, Florida adult movie theater for indecent exposure. He was greeted with a standing ovation before ironically quipping, “Heard any good jokes lately?”
It was also on that night that MTV honored pop legend Michael Jackson. It officially renamed the prestigious “Video Vanguard Award” the “Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award” in recognition of his many contributions toward the culture of music videos. Not to mention the many memorable performances of the night. LL Cool J performed his latest hit “Mama Said Knock You Out” and Metallica rocked the stage performing their newest song “Enter Sandman.”
But the night of the 1991 MTV VMA’s ultimately belonged to alternative rockers R.E.M.. They came into that night receiving the most moonman nominations with 10, nine of which were for their worldwide hit “Losing My Religion.” They walked away from that night winning six awards, to include the night’s top prize “Video of the Year.”
Despite the name of the song, and the imagery of the video, “Losing My Religion” is not about lead singer Michael Stipe losing his faith. In an interview with the New York Times, Stipe said the song was a romantic expression and that the phrase “losing my religion” was taken from the southern expression meaning that someone is at the end of their proverbial rope.
“Losing My Religion” was a worldwide hit for R.E.M., charting in eight countries including the U.S., where it peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
So for the first of many “ThrowbackThursday posts here on Clizbeats, I offer to you the 1991 classic “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.. Enjoy!
“Losing My Religion” (1991)
From: Out Of Time
Warner Bros Records