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File Under Freedom
While it was never released as a single, “World Leader Pretend” is a very important song in the R.E.M. canon for a couple of different reasons. For one thing, it’s the first set of lyrics that Michael Stipe was comfortable with printing on an album sleeve. This felt like a huge deal at the time, putting the spotlight on “World Leader Pretend” in the same way that Led Zeppelin had put the spotlight on “Stairway To Heaven” 17 years previously.