Classic Rock Wiki

"So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released in May 1984 as the first single from the group's second studio album Reckoning. "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" became the second R.E.M. single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 85.

R.E.M. performed it on the television show Late Night with David Letterman in 1983—before the song even had a title—in what was the band's first national television appearance.



  • 1 Music video
  • 2 Cover versions
  • 3 Track listings
  • 4 Chart positions
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Music video[edit][]

The video, directed by Howard Libov and first aired in June 1984, featured the members of the band playing their instruments behind white screens in an otherwise empty room, with Michael Stipe singing in the foreground. Stipe refused to lip sync to the song. Guitarist Peter Buck said, "We played a recording of the track, and the rest of us faked it, but Michael insisted on singing a new vocal to make it more real for him."[2]

The song is also featured in the Left of Reckoning video shot by James Herbert.

Cover versions[edit][]

A version of the song was released by Grant-Lee Phillips on his 2006 covers album, Nineteeneighties.

The song also was covered by Hem on the 2006 album "No Word from Tom."

Track listings[edit][]

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe unless otherwise indicated.

7" Single

  1. "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" – 3:16
  2. "Walter's Theme" / "King of the Road" (Roger Miller) – 4:44

12" single

  1. "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" – 3:16
  2. "Voice of Harold" – 4:25
  3. "Pale Blue Eyes" (Lou Reed) – 2:54


  1. "so. Central Rain" – 3:11{sic}

Notes: "Walter's Theme" is not listed on the cover.

The album title-listing contains an initial lower-case 's', following a pattern in the album's listings where random capital letters are made lower-case and random lower-case letters are capitalized. The front cover art lists it as 'So CENTRAL RAiN', with '7 chineSe bros.' on the back track listings differing from the cover art as well.

The album's inner sleeve lists the full title as "Southern Central Rain (I'm Sorry)."

Chart positions[edit][]

Chart (1984) Peak


U.S. Billboard Hot 100 85