Turn You Inside-Out

"Turn You Inside-Out" is a song by American rock band R.E.M. from their sixth studio album Green. Like all tracks on the album, it was written by group members Michael Stipe, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry. The song's main guitar riff is an inversion of that used in "Finest Worksong".[3] The recording also features percussion from former Sugar Hill Records house drummer Keith LeBlanc.[4]

"Turn You Inside-Out"
Inside Out REM.jpg
Spain promotional release
Promotional single by R.E.M.
from the album Green
LabelWarner Bros.

Despite only being released as a single promotionally, it did well on the Billboard Alternative Songs and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, placing top ten positions on both charts. A music video for the track was directed by James Herbert, who had previously directed music videos for eight other R.E.M. tracks.

In a 1989 live performance of the song, Stipe proclaimed to the audience, "This song goes out to the Exxon Corporation". This performance happened shortly after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, in which the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck the Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels of crude oil. This may further elaborate on the environmental message of the album Green.

In a review for R.E.M.'s 2011 album Collapse Into Now, British magazine Uncut writes that the opening track, "Discoverer", "summons memories of the baleful stadium rock of Green, [Peter] Buck recycling the purposeful shuddering guitar of 'Turn You Inside-Out'."[5]

The song is featured on the soundtrack to the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV, and is featured in-game on the radio station "Liberty Rock Radio 97.8".

Track listingEdit

Spain 7" single

A. "Turn You Inside-Out"
B. "Turn You Inside-Out"

US CD single
  1. "Turn You Inside-Out" (LP version) – 4:15


Chart (1989) Peak
US Alternative Airplay (Billboard)[6] 10
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[7] 7



  1. ^ Allmusic, Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine.
  2. ^ Melis, Matt; Gerber, Justin; Weiss, Dan (6 Nov 2017). "Ranking: Every R.E.M. Album from Worst to Best". Consequence Of Sound. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  3. ^ Wilson, Hugh (2003). "R.E.M.". In Buckley, Peter (ed.). The Rough Guide to Rock (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides. p. 865. ISBN 1-85828-457-0. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  4. ^ Azerrad, Michael (12 January 1989). "Green". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  5. ^ Mueller, Andrew. "ALBUM REVIEW: REM - COLLAPSE INTO NOW". Uncut. Archived from the original on May 19, 2011.
  6. ^ "R.E.M. Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "R.E.M. Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved August 5, 2020.