Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

(Don't Go Back To) Rockville

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
"Catapult" (Live)


7", 12"


October 16, 1984 (1984-10-16)

Jangle pop, country rock

"(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" was the second and final single released by R.E.M. from their second studio album Reckoning. The song failed to chart on either the Billboard Hot 100 or the UK Singles Charts.


The song was written by Mike Mills (credited to Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe), in 1980, as a plea to his then girlfriend, Ingrid Schorr, not to return to Rockville, Maryland, where her parents lived. Schorr, who later became a journalist, has written about her amusement with the factual inaccuracies about her relationship with Mills and the background of the song that often appear in books about the band. Peter Buck has stated that the song was originally performed in a punk/thrash style, and that it was recorded for this single in its now more-familiar country-inspired arrangement as a joke aimed at R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs.

Over time, Mike Mills has taken lead vocals instead of Michael Stipe. On R.E.M.'s appearance on VH1 Storytellers in 1998, Mills performed the song solo on piano. A live version of the song was released as the B-side to "Leaving New York" in 2004 and on R.E.M. Live in 2007.

Track listings

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

European singles

  1. "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" (Edit) – 3:55
  2. "Wolves, Lower" – 4:14
  3. "9-9" (Live)1 (12" only)
  4. "Gardening at Night" (Live)1 (12" only)

US singles

  1. "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" (Edit) – 3:55
  2. "Catapult" (Live)2


1 Recorded at the Theater El Dorado, Paris, France, April 20, 1984.
2 Recorded at the Music Hall, Seattle, Washington, June 27, 1984.


(Don't Go Back To) Rockville Wikipedia