For our second Song of the Week, we stay in the ’80s but go in a different direction than last week’s entry. “Finest Worksong” is an anthemic blast from R.E.M. that is more of a salute to workers than anything else.
The lead track off the band’s 1987 album Document immediately rings out with loud intent via a monster chiming riff, marking R.E.M.’s move into a more commercial sound while still retaining its indie rock ethos. The band had already gained mainstream popularity with the release of singles “The One I Love” and “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” “Finest Worksong” was the third single off the album, but it was more of an FM radio hit than anything else. It hit #50 on the U.K. singles chart and #28 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
While it doesn’t directly refer to safety, the Michael Stipe-penned song can still get you in the right frame of mind to get to work on improving your safety processes: “Take your instinct by the reins/Better best to rearrange/What we want and what we need/Has been confused, been confused.”