The podcast tells the incredible tale of the CD longbox, a moment in music merchandising that many of us might not remember and how R.E.M. used the longbox to changfe US public policy. In fact, the podcast makes the hyperbolic claim that Out of Time “is the most politically significant album in the history of the United States. Because of its packaging.”
Maybe your eyes rolled so hard at that statement that they fell out of your head. I don’t know. I like R.E.M. BUT, the podcast is an interesting lesson on the history of the CD longbox, R.E.M. and the convergence of rock & roll music, commerce, and political activism.
R.E.M. also happens to be celebrating 25 years of Out of Time.
Let’s enjoy a couple songs off the album including this iconic early 90s music video.
top photo: Out of Time Longbox with Motor Voter Act petition on the back. Courtesy of Warner Bros.