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R.E.M.

Automatic for the People [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition]

Format: CD   Release Date: 11/10/2017
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    Track Title

    Time

  1. Drive 4:31
  2. Try Not to Breathe 3:50
  3. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite 4:09
  4. Everybody Hurts 5:20
  5. New Orleans Instrumental No. 1 2:15
  6. Sweetness Follows 4:21
  7. Monty Got a Raw Deal 3:17
  8. Ignoreland 4:27
  9. Star Me Kitten 3:15
  10. Man on the Moon 5:13
  11. Nightswimming 4:18
  12. Find the River 3:52
  13. Drive [Live] 4:51
  14. Monty Got a Raw Deal [Live] 3:21
  15. Everybody Hurts [Live] 7:18
  16. Man on the Moon [Live] 6:27
  17. Losing My Religion [Live] 4:31
  18. Country Feedback [Live] 4:52
  19. Begin the Begin [Live] 3:27
  20. Fall on Me [Live] 3:34
  21. Me in Honey [Live] 4:06
  22. Finest Worksong [Live] 5:28
  23. Love Is All Around [Live] 3:23
  24. Funtime [Live] 2:16
  25. Radio Free Europe [Live] 4:39
  26. Drive [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:43
  27. Wake Her Up [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:37
  28. Mike's Pop Song [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:33
  29. C to D Slide 13 [Demo] [Demo Version] 5:35
  30. Cello Scud [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:20
  31. 10K Minimal [Demo] [Demo Version] 3:33
  32. Peter's New Song [Demo] [Demo Version] 3:15
  33. Eastern 983111 [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:02
  34. Bill's Acoustic [Demo] [Demo Version] 2:53
  35. Arabic Feedback [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:55
  36. Howler Monkey [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:38
  37. Pakiderm [Demo] [Demo Version] 3:33
  38. Afterthought [Demo] [Demo Version] 3:56
  39. Bazouki Song [Demo] [Demo Version] 3:04
  40. Photograph [Demo] [Demo Version] 3:31
  41. Michael's Organ [Demo] [Demo Version] 4:32
  42. Pete's Acoustic Idea [Demo] [Demo Version] 1:05
  43. [Untitled] [Demo Version] 3:45
  44. [Untitled] [Demo Version] 3:02
  45. [Untitled] [Demo Version] 5:16
  46. Automatic for the People
  47. Automatic for the People
  48. Drive [Multimedia Track]
  49. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite [Multimedia Track]
  50. Everybody Hurts [Multimedia Track]
  51. Man on the Moon [Multimedia Track]
  52. Nightswimming [Version][Multimedia Track]
  53. Find the River [Multimedia Track]
  54. Nightswimming [Version][Multimedia Track]
  55. Automatic Press Kit [Multimedia Track]

Turning away from the sweet pop of Out of Time, R.E.M. created a haunting, melancholy masterpiece with Automatic for the People. At its core, the album is a collection of folk songs about aging, death, and loss, but the music has a grand, epic sweep provided by layers of lush strings, interweaving acoustic instruments, and shimmering keyboards. Automatic for the People captures the group at a crossroads, as they moved from cult heroes to elder statesmen, and the album is a graceful transition into their new status. It is a reflective album, with frank discussions on mortality, but it is not a despairing record -- "Nightswimming," "Everybody Hurts," and "Sweetness Follows" have a comforting melancholy, while "Find the River" provides a positive sense of closure. R.E.M. have never been as emotionally direct as they are on Automatic for the People, nor have they ever created music quite as rich and timeless, and while the record is not an easy listen, it is the most rewarding record in their oeuvre. [Automatic for the People received a lavish deluxe reissue for its 25th anniversary in 2017, expanding the album to a triple-CD set that also features a Blu-ray containing a surround mix of the album, music videos, and the album's original press kit. Of the two bonus discs of music, the second is familiar, containing the often-bootlegged November 19, 1992 set at Athens' 40 Watt Club. Sinewy, punchy, and packing the occasional surprise -- the foreboding "Drive" is given swing, the Troggs ("Love Is All Around"), and the Stooges ("Funtime") are covered -- the set features R.E.M. at a peak, sounding confident that they're making rich, complex music that still rocks. As good as this is, it pales next to the third disc which, in the fashion of the demos disc that accompanied the 2016 deluxe reissue of Out of Time, traces the evolution of the composition of the album through rough drafts, snippets, fleeting ideas, and unfinished songs. Part of the fascination of this collection of demos is hearing the band exploring lighter territory than their finished album -- this is especially true of "Mike's Pop Song," a glorious bit of power pop that holds its own with the Spongetones and Hoodoo Gurus and has no place on Automatic -- but it's also clear that all four members were orbiting the same moody star, discovering their own paths around this dark body. Here, the handful of completed songs are bunched at the beginning, then the disc returns to certain themes and melodies, giving a sense of collective forward movement that's quite appealing and makes the disc work as an album of its own. It's ragged but it contains its own shape and it sustains an atmosphere -- one that's more comforting than sad -- as well as its parent album.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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