"Shiny Happy People" is a song by the band R.E.M.. The song appeared on their 1991 album Out of Time and was released as a single in the same year. The song features guest backing vocals by Kate Pierson of the B-52's, who also has a prominent role in the song's music video.
It peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, the fourth and, to date, last R.E.M. single to reach the top 10 on the chart. It also peaked at #6 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming the first R.E.M. song to reach the top ten in the UK and the only one to reach the top ten in both countries.
It was recorded during the autumn of 1990, and was first released as a single in May 1991 in the U.K. However, the single would not go on sale in the U.S.A. until four months later.
"Shiny Happy People" is supposedly an ironic reference to a piece of roughly translated Chinese propaganda regarding the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, two years before the song was released.
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