Skip to product information
1 of 1

Automatic For The People | 25th Anniversary

Craft Recordings

Regular price
$39.00 SGD
Regular price
Sale price
$39.00 SGD


Over the course of the promo cycle for R.E.M.’s eighth album, Automatic for the People, Michael Stipe came out as a balding man. Not that anyone was surprised—as of 1991’s Out of Time, the singer’s famous cloak of curls had given way to a tidy short cut, and the videos for Automatic for the People’s singles had effectively become showcases for Stipe’s hat collection. By the time the clip for the album’s bittersweet final single, “Find the River,” surfaced in the fall of 1993, Stipe’s backwards baseball cap could no longer conceal his failing follicles.


While hair loss is common among men over 30, you don’t often see it happen to the lead singer of a major rock band at the height of its popularity. It must’ve been especially trying for Stipe, who not only used his long locks as a security blanket (“The hair helped a lot to hide who I was,” he would tell The Guardian in 2007), but also had to contend with spurious rumors that suggested his changing visage was a function of declining health. Yet for all the stress it may have caused him at the time, Stipe’s fading hairline was an effective advertisement for an austere but nakedly emotional album consumed by the anxiety of aging, the inevitability of death, the loss of innocence, and the impossibility of holding on to the past.


With the release of Automatic for the People, R.E.M. firmly entered their elder-statesmen phase, just as the next wave of alternative rock was cresting. R.E.M.’s career up to that point had represented the platonic ideal of a left-of-center rock band infiltrating the mainstream—a step-by-step process that saw the band turn bolder and its audience get bigger with each album, culminating in the multi-platinum, MTV-saturating success of Out of Time. Ironically, Automatic for the People arrived in a post-Nevermind world where all that careful groundwork was being razed by overzealous major labels desperately seeking the next Nirvana. At the same time, the amped-up, aggressive nature of grunge threatened to make R.E.M.’s increasingly refined, mandolin-plucked pop seem, well, out of time. - Pitchfork

Label: Craft Recordings – CR00046

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 180g

Country: US

Released: 10 Nov 2017

Genre: Rock

Style: Alternative Rock, Pop Rock