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Automatic for the People

Automatic for the People
Studio album by R.E.M.
Released October 5, 1992 (1992-10-05)[1]
Recorded Late 1991 – mid-1992 at various locations
Length 48:52
Label Warner Bros.
R.E.M. chronology
The Best of R.E.M.
Automatic for the People
The Automatic Box
Singles from Automatic for the People
  1. "Drive"
    Released: October 1, 1992 (1992-10-01)
  2. "Man on the Moon"
    Released: November 21, 1992 (1992-11-21)
  3. "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite"
    Released: February 5, 1993 (1993-02-05)
  4. "Everybody Hurts"
    Released: April 15, 1993 (1993-04-15)
  5. "Nightswimming"
    Released: July 15, 1993 (1993-07-15)
  6. "Find the River"
    Released: October 21, 1993 (1993-10-21)

Automatic for the People is the eighth studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M., released in 1992 on Warner Bros. Records. Upon release, it reached number two on the U.S. album charts and yielded six singles. The album has sold 18 million copies worldwide and is widely considered one of the best records released in the 1990s.


  • Background and recording 1
  • Music and lyrics 2
  • Packaging 3
  • Release 4
  • Reception 5
  • Track listing 6
  • Personnel 7
  • Charts 8
    • Chart positions 8.1
    • Year-end charts 8.2
    • Decade-end charts 8.3
    • Certifications and sales 8.4
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Notes 11

Background and recording

After promotional duties for their previous album [31] Guy Garcia, for Time, also noted the album's themes of "hopelessness, anger and loss".[32] Garcia added that the album proves "that a so-called alternative band can keep its edge after conquering the musical mainstream" and that it "manages to dodge predictability without ever sounding aimless or unfocussed."[32]

Automatic for the People placed third in the Village Voice Pazz & Jop year-end critics' poll.[33] The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1994.[34] It was also ranked #247 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[35] Rolling Stone also ranked it at #18 on its "100 Greatest Albums of the 90s" list.

In 2006,

Preceded by
ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits by ABBA
Black Tie White Noise by David Bowie
Cliff Richard - The Album by Cliff Richard
Republic by New Order
UK number one album
October 10–16, 1992
April 24–30, 1993
May 8–14, 1993
May 22–28, 1993
Succeeded by
Love Symbol by Prince
Cliff Richard - The Album by Cliff Richard
Republic by New Order
janet. by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
Unplugged by Eric Clapton
New Zealand Chart number-one album
November 10, 1992
Succeeded by
Glittering Prize 81/92 by Simple Minds
  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Robbins, Ira. "R.E.M." Pulse!. October 1992
  5. ^ a b Fletcher, p. 208
  6. ^ a b c Fricke, David. "Living Up to Out of Time/Remote Control: Parts I and II". Melody Maker. October 3, 1992.
  7. ^ Fletcher, p. 209
  8. ^ Fricke, David. "The Rolling Stone Interview: Michael Stipe". Rolling Stone. March 5, 1992. Retrieved on March 12, 2009
  9. ^ Black, p. 190
  10. ^ Black, p. 191
  11. ^ a b Buckley, p. 216
  12. ^ Buckley, p. 218
  13. ^ a b Mojo #21, August 1995
  14. ^ Thompson, Jim. "Weaver D's deemed 'American Classic' by James Beard Foundation". OnlineAthens. April 18, 2007. Retrieved on March 17, 2009.
  15. ^ a b "Automatic for the People > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  16. ^ Buckley, p. 230
  17. ^ a b Buckley, p. 358
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  20. ^ [1]
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  26. ^ a b
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  29. ^ Buckley, p. 217
  30. ^ Jones, Allan. "From Hearse to Eternity: Automatic for the People". Melody Maker. October 3, 1992.
  31. ^
  32. ^ a b
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  36. ^
  37. ^ Q October 2001
  38. ^ "R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (Album)". Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  39. ^ a b "R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (Album)". (in German). Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  40. ^ "RPM100 Albums". RPM 56(19). Toronto: RPM Music Publications (November 7, 1992). Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  41. ^
  42. ^ "Chartverfolgung - R.E.M. - Automatic for the People". Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  43. ^ a b
  44. ^
  45. ^ "R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (Album)". Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  46. ^ "R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (Album)". Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  47. ^ Roberts, David (ed.) (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th edition). London: HiT Entertainment. p. 446–7. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  48. ^ "R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (Album)". (in Dutch). Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
  49. ^ "R.E.M. - Automatic for the People (Album)". Retrieved on March 12, 2009.
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  62. ^ Enter R.E.M. in the field Interpret. Enter Automatic for the People in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  63. ^
  64. ^ Select R.E.M. and click OK
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  71. ^ Enter Automatic for the People in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  72. ^ If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  73. ^


  • Black, Johnny. Reveal: The Story of R.E.M. Backbeat, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-776-5
  • Buckley, David. R.E.M.: Fiction: An Alternative Biography. Virgin, 2002. ISBN 1-85227-927-3
  • Fletcher, Tony. Remarks Remade: The Story of R.E.M. Omnibus, 2002. ISBN 0-7119-9113-8.
  • Platt, John (editor). The R.E.M. Companion: Two Decades of Commentary. Schirmer, 1998. ISBN 0-02-864935-4


See also

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[61] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[62] 2× Platinum 100,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[63] 7× Platinum 700,000^
France (SNEP)[64] Platinum 225,700[65]
Germany (BVMI)[66] 5× Gold 1,250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[67] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[68] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Sweden (GLF)[69] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[70] 2× Platinum 100,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[71] 7× Platinum 2,100,000^
United States (RIAA)[72] 4× Platinum 5,500,000[73]

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Certifications and sales


Strings and oboe on "Drive", "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight", "Everybody Hurts", and "Nightswimming":
Additional musicians


The track listing on the vinyl and cassette editions of the album lists tracks 1–6 as "Drive" and 7–12 as "Ride"

  1. "Monty Got a Raw Deal" – 3:17
  2. "Ignoreland" – 4:24
  3. "Star Me Kitten" – 3:15
  4. "Man on the Moon" – 5:13
  5. "Nightswimming" – 4:16
  6. "Find the River" – 3:50
Side two – "Ride side"
  1. "Drive" – 4:31
  2. "Try Not to Breathe" – 3:50
  3. "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" – 4:06
  4. "Everybody Hurts" – 5:17
  5. "New Orleans Instrumental No. 1" – 2:13
  6. "Sweetness Follows" – 4:19
Side one – "Drive side"

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

Track listing

"I'm not so crazy about 'The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite'," Buck reflected in 2001, "but overall I think it sounds great."[37]

[36] [26] is musically irresistible."Automatic gave the album five stars. Reviewer Paul Evans wrote, "Despite its difficult concerns, most of Rolling Stone [29] is regarded by Peter Buck and Mike Mills, and by most critics, as being the finest R.E.M. album ever recorded."Automatic for the People R.E.M. biographer David Buckley wrote, "

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[19]
Blender 5/5 stars[20]
Christgau's Consumer Guide (3-star Honorable Mention)[21]
Entertainment Weekly A[22]
Hot Press 12/12[23]
Los Angeles Times 3.5/4 stars[24]
NME 10/10[25]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[26]
Select 5/5 stars[27]
Uncut 5/5 stars[28]


In 2005, Warner Bros. Records issued a two-disc edition of Automatic for the People which includes a CD, a DVD-Audio disc containing a 5.1-channel surround sound mix of the album done by Elliot Scheiner, and the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes.

The music videos from the album were included in Parallel.

A re-recorded, slower version of "Star Me Kitten," featuring William S. Burroughs, was released on Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by the X-Files.

Automatic for the People yielded six singles over the course of 1992 and 1993: "Drive", "Man on the Moon", "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite", "Everybody Hurts", "Nightswimming", and "Find the River". Lead single "Drive" was the album's highest-charting domestic hit, reaching No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other singles charted higher overseas: "Everybody Hurts" charted in the top ten in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.[17]

Automatic for the People was released in October 1992. In the United States, the album reached No. 2| on the Billboard 200 album charts.[15] The album reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom, where it topped the UK Albums Chart on four separate occasions.[16] Despite not having toured after the release of Out of Time, R.E.M. again declined to tour in support of this album. Automatic for the People has been certified four times platinum in the U.S. (four million copies shipped), six times platinum in the United Kingdom (1.8 million shipped), and three times platinum in Australia (210,000 shipped).[17] The album has sold 3.5 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan sales figures as of 2011.[18]


The compact disc was issued in a jewel case with an odd yellow translucent spine/CD tray. The cassette shell was also issued with the same color. The yellow was made to match the colour of the CD disc. The band would later use a similar method for Monster which was released in an orange spine/CD tray (though this matched the album cover).

The front cover of the album shows a greyed-out photograph of a Miami motel sign placed over an embossed image, which is also included inside the album's booklet distorted on a white background. The back cover features a photograph of an old building with the track listing written over at the same angle from which the building is viewed. Other photographs, taken by Anton Corbijn, feature the band members on a beach.

The interior jacket shows a two–three story circular platform that was the sign for the old Bon Aire Motel on the former Motel Row on Miami Beach. The Bon Aire and other motel row establishments have mostly been demolished for new high-rise condominiums.

[13]. "It helps to have some kind of focus in the studio, so the photo was stuck up."Mojo told Scott Litt at one point, hence the object on the cover that Michael had photographed and really dug," Star still present, however. "The album was going to be called is in Miami, near Criteria Studios, where the bulk of the album was recorded. The motel is still there, but the star is not. The slanted support where it was once attached Biscayne Boulevard The photograph on the front cover is not related to the restaurant: it shows a star ornament that was part of the sign for the Sinbad Motel on [14] The album name refers to the motto of


"It pretty much went according to plan," Litt reported. "Compared to Monster, it was a walk in the park. Out of Time had an orchestral arrangement – so, when we did Automatic, judging where Michael was going with the words, we wanted to scale it down and make it more intimate."[13]

The songs "Drive", "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite", "Everybody Hurts", and "Nightswimming" feature string arrangements by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Fricke stated, "ballads, in fact, define the record," and noted that the album featured only three "rockers": "Ignoreland", "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and "Man on the Moon".[6]

Despite R.E.M.'s initial desire to make an album of rocking, guitar-dominated songs after Out of Time, music critic David Fricke noted that instead Automatic for the People "seems to move at an even more agonized crawl" than the band's previous release.[6] Peter Buck took the lead in suggesting the new direction for the album.[11] The album dealt with themes of loss and mourning inspired by "that sense of [...] turning 30", according to Buck. "The world that we'd been involved in had disappeared, the world of Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, all that had gone [...] We were just in a different place and that worked its way out musically and lyrically."[12] "Sweetness Follows", "Drive", and "Monty Got a Raw Deal" in particular expressed much darker themes than any of the band's previous material.

Music and lyrics

The group decided to create finished recordings with co-producer Scott Litt at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York, starting on March 30.[10] The band recorded overdubs in Miami and New York City. String arrangements were recorded in Atlanta.[11] After recording sessions were completed in July, the album was mixed at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle.[4]

When it came time to make demos, the musicians recorded them in their standard band configuration.[5] According to Buck, the musicians recorded about 30 songs. Lead singer [8] In February, R.E.M. recorded another set of demos at Daniel Lanois' Kingsway Studios in New Orleans.[9]

[6], made an effort to write some faster rock songs during rehearsals, but came up with less than a half-dozen prospective songs in that vein.Out of Time The band, intent on delivering an album of harder-rocking material after [5]

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