ATHENS, GA- It’s an album that marked a stark departure from prior album, but when R.E.M. released “Automatic for The People”, the pop infused folk of “Stand” and “Shiny Happy People” was stored in a drawer to make way for a collection of music that dwelled in melancholy pondering heavy subject matter like aging, mortality and death. But even with it’s heavy topics, the masses were drawn to it for its reassuring and even hopeful sentiments, and the humanity of the band wearing their hearts and fears on their sleeves. It is, quite simply, a musical masterpiece, and is arguable on of the greatest albums released during the 90s.

To commemorate the album’s 25th anniversary, the band has released a short documentary (“Automatic Unearthed”), that features interviews, wherein band members Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck as well as contributors including Scott Litt, Clif Norrell and string arranger/Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones reveal the full story behind the creation of this timeless album. It is a deep look into how the album was recorded and where inspiration for the album was drawn from.

“Culturally, 1992 in America was not an easy place to be […] 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 […] Buoyed by the success of Out Of Time and ‘Losing My Religion,’ Automatic was the record where I felt we had the world’s ear […] I felt really confident and powerful, but also extremely vulnerable. And as a man in pop music, presenting oneself as vulnerable was something that wasn’t really done at that point. The band provided me with beautiful songs and moods to write about loss and darkness, and it worked. ” – Michael Stipe

Watch the video and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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