R.E.M.’s ‘Automatic for the People': The Story Behind Every Song
Over the past week and a half, we've been celebrating the 25th anniversary of R.E.M.'s landmark record Automatic for the People, bringing you the stories behind all of its 12 songs. You'll find links to all those articles below.
After the acoustic guitars, mandolins and organs found on 1991's Out of Time, the band had hoped to make a full-fledged rock album, with the intention of mounting an arena tour that they avoided on their precious effort. But as the musical core of Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry began creating demos, they realized that the best of the new material wasn't suited for electric guitars and heavy drums. If anything, these songs were even quieter, more contemplative than their predecessors.
Per their standard creative process, they gave the tapes to singer Michael Stipe, who penned some of his most emotional and evocative lyrics ever. They matched the music, with themes of loss and mortality being the most prevalent. But there was still room for a moment of levity and a rant that kissed the Reagan-Bush era goodbye.
Read About Every Song on R.E.M.’s ‘Automatic for the People'
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