HEY KIDS, ROCK AND ROLL – REM Documentary Marks 25th Anniversary Release of Automatic For The People

REM have unveiled a new mini-documentary to mark the 25th anniversary re-mastered release of Automatic for the People.

Featuring new interviews with Michael StipePeter Buck and Mike Mills, along with co-producer Scott Litt, the film charts the making of what many consider to be the band’s finest album

“Culturally, 1992 in America was not an easy place to be,” Stipe remarks on the background to the record’s conception.

“We’d been through 12 years of politically the darkest era America had ever seen with {Ronald} Reagan, {George} Bush and AIDS.

“I think the record was a response to that. I wanted to make a record about loss, transition and death – the biggest transition we all know.”

Recorded by the classic quartet of Buck, Mills, Stipe and drummer Bill Berry, the band’s eighth studio album came at a time when they were brimming with confidence in the wake of the twin successes of Out of Time and its lead single Losing My Religion.

“The songs came together, Michael’s lyrics came together, the production and the sound and the overdubs and everything all seemed right for this record,” Mills comments.

But it was Stipe’s willingness to expose and embrace his own innate vulnerability that makes the album such an original and powerful document of the time.

“I don’t think there was another record that sounded like that record that year – which I think is a good thing,” Buck affirms.

The Craft Recordings documentary coincides with the multi-format re-release of the album, which was accented by string arrangements courtesy of Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones.

Hardcore fans will likely be attracted by the deluxe new four-CD version, which features previously unreleased demos and a recording of the band’s only live show from the era at the 40-Watt Club in the band’s home town of Athens, Georgia.

The deluxe edition also includes a 60-page book, with photos by Anton Corbijn and Melodie McDaniel, plus expanded liner notes by Tom Doyle who conducted new interviews with all four band members.

  • The 25th anniversary release of Automatic for the People is out now. Check remhq.com for details.

About the author

Full time journalist, music lover (obvs) and truly terrible guitarist. You can find Matt on twitter @matcatch

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