Automatic For The People: recall the legendary album REM

Before reissue

The record (or, more precisely, the record) will be released on November 10 in the format of Dolby Atmos. The four-disc deluxe re-release of the REM album “Automatic For The People” is timed to coincide with its 25th anniversary.

In addition to the classic album, the deluxe version will include 20 demo tracks (for example, the long awaited Devil Rides Backwards and Mike's Pop Song), the live recording of the Live at the 40 Watt Club 11/19/92 (the only live performance of the band). in 1992) and a 60-page booklet with photographs of the group that had never been published before, accompanied by interviews with the group members. Will be released and the version on 180-gram vinyl.

Earlier, the band released seven anniversary reissues of their previous albums.

We decided that this is a good reason to remember interesting facts about the popular album of the legendary band and to recall how Dolby Atmos technology is used in personal audio.

Photo by Adam Wyles / CC BY-ND

Automatic For The People

The album was brought together by producer Scott Litt and engineer Cliff Norrell - they also mixed the original version of the album 25 years ago.

Automatic for the People - the eighth studio album REM It was released in 1992, became four times platinum in the US and six times platinum in the UK. It was he who gave the world the rock ballad "Everybody Hurts", one of the most recognizable REM singles, several times recognized as the most depressive and sad song of all times and peoples.

By 1992, REM had nothing to prove - they became the voice of a generation and passed the pennant to other groups (for example, Nirvana). They no longer needed to chase (as they would say now) with a HYIP. As a result, a soulful, melancholic album came out, the main theme of which was the inevitability of losses and the pain of parting - sad, imbued with longing and blues. The album, which seemed to be made “for the soul”, and not for the audience, became, however, very popular.

The main theme of the album (according to the frontman of the group Michael Stipe) is mortality: “He talks about the fragility and beauty of life, and life in full, presence in the present moment. Everything happens too fast, and we know it, ”he said.

Despite the obvious nostalgic theme, the album appeared 25 years later and the topic was topical: in a world that has become very fast, we need things that remind of the value of fleeting. In other words, an album that did not try to be a trend at the time of its release suddenly became one quarter of a century later.

Album Facts

The songs from the album Automatic For The People are part of the musical DNA of our culture. But here are some interesting facts that will expand and enrich the knowledge of the legendary album.

1. After a long tour in support of the 1988 album Green, the band’s work went in a different direction. Guitarist Peter Buck was tired of the guitar and took up the mandolin, bassist Mike Mills moved the keys, and his instrument was at drummer Bill Berry. Michael Stipe, whose business card was deeply political songs about social issues, decided to test himself and began to write love ballads. The group began to write and sound in a new way - in the studio they continued to play their instruments, but the brainstorming, rehearsal and rehearsals were constantly changing places. It is such unpublished demos that the band includes in the anniversary re-releases of their albums.

2. The first demo of the album was recorded without Michael Stipe. The group changed instruments and was engaged in the “music brainstorm” - the one that was invented and recorded at the beginning of the week was already forgotten by the end of the week. The first tracks were quite aggressive - of them only one song hit the final record, Ignoreland.

3. The video of the song Everybody Hurts, released as a single in 1993, was directed by Ridley Scott's son, Jake.

For filming for two days, a piece of the federal highway was closed to recreate a huge traffic jam, among which Michael Stipe was wandering. The inner experiences of the heroes of the video are shown in the form of subtitles - a reference to Fellini’s classic film “8 and a half”.

4. John Paul Jones, bassist and keyboard player for Led Zeppelin, did the arrangements for the four songs of the album. Stipe dreamed of releasing Everybody Hurts duet with Patti Smith, but these plans were not destined to come true. However, another star collaboration still happened.

5. The first working title of the album was Unforgettable - an obvious reference to the album Nathalie Cole, where she sang a duet with her legendary father Nat King Cole, with the same name. Another option is Think Tank Decoy, the other is Star (a reference to the Star Me Kitten track). Automatic for the People is the slogan of one of the favorite eatery groups, Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods. In addition, this name REM joked over their own status of a commercial group.

Atmos release

"Automatic For The People" is the first major commercial audio release in Dolby Atmos. This is a technology that creates a volumetric acoustic space and “takes the listener to the studio where the tracks are recorded”.

In conventional loudspeakers, the sound moves horizontally - left, right, forward and back. Dolby Atmos creates the effect of enveloping sound, surrounding from all sides, three-dimensional - it is also located from below and above. Audio objects (audio tracks) in Atmos can be mixed in different ways, redirected and “localized” in space. In large cinemas, for example, the Dolby Atmos system supports up to 128 individual tracks and up to 64 independent output channels for speakers.

Despite the fact that the technology has found its most active use in cinemas, it gradually comes into the sphere of personal audio - it is used in some phones, game consoles and home acoustic systems.

“In Dolby Atmos format,“ Automatic For The People ”becomes a powerful and emotional album. We at UMG work closely with performers, producers and other people in the industry to release as many albums as possible in this enveloping, self-absorbing format, ”says Michael Frey, president of Universal Music Group for Advanced Media.

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