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Automatic For the People

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Editors’ Notes

R.E.M. already had a twelve-year history and seven albums under their belt when Automatic For the People was released in 1992. Produced by Scott Litt, Automatic helped guide the band back to the pop charts with a trio of distinctive hits: "Drive," "Everybody Hurts," and an unlikely, if infectiously endearing tribute to comedian Andy Kauffman, "Man On the Moon." Orchestral arrangements by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones add a sheen to these hits, but his atmospheric flavor can also be heard on the album's other stand-outs "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and "Nightswimming." Automatic for the People still stands today as one of the best albums of R.E.M.'s long career.

Customer Reviews

For the People

I remember when this came out in 92. They were coming off great sucess from Out of Time which brought them to the likes of U2. Upon first listen I did'nt love it the lyrics were much more sensetive and the jangling guitar sound was distant,however the songs slowly started to grow on me and became a consistent go to when I need to feel inspired, AFTP isunlike any REM and is one of the best. Night Swimming and Find the River are one of the greatest one two punches in RnR.


Absolutely brilliant from start to finish.

Personal fav - Sweetness Follows.

Everything great about 30 years in one record.

Its hard to write a review for any album, let alone one as all-encompassing as Automatic for the People. This record has a little bit of everything that makes REM so great. Its got high-production chart topping singles that your mother in-law can sing along to (Everybody Hurts), political rockers (Ignoreland. Yea yeah yeah!) beautiful harmonies and backup vocals (Try Not to Breathe), and songs that are so well written that you could hypnotically listen to them over and over (Nightswimming). The band can even find an opportunity to laugh at itself at least once (The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite). This is an album from a band at the top of their game that knows what they do well, and then knocks it out of the park.

I’m not sure that you’ll find a more diverse, yet complete record in REM’s 30 years. Is it my favorite REM album? Maybe. Well, no. Well, sometimes - they were a such a diverse band, almost two or three different bands throughout the years, its hard to pick one “best” record. I think this record, though, best represents REM and their career as a whole. It has a little bit of everything that makes this band one of the greatest.


Formed: 1980 in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional...
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Automatic For the People, R.E.M.
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