‘M Means Music’ Episode Tackles R.E.M.’s ‘Automated For The Folks’

R.E.M. – Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Pictures

Season three of M Means Music has returned with a brand new episode providing an in-depth take a look at R.E.M.’s basic album, Automated For The Folks.

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Host Darly Easlea opens with a little bit of background, saying, “It’s uncommon for a gaggle to attain the entire huge three Cs with an album, however Automated For The Folks marked a essential, business, and artistic summit for R.E.M. Preceded by the one ‘Drive,’ the album was launched in October 1992, and was primarily recorded in two of essentially the most iconic studios in North America, Bearsville in upstate New York, and Standards in Miami.

Accomplished in late summer time 1992, Automated For The Folks was issued on October 5, and its opening observe, “Drive,” additionally supplied the file’s lead single. A sparse, semi-acoustic almost-ballad in a minor key, enriched by the swirling arabesques of Jones’ string association, it discovered Michael Stipe intoning, “Hey children, the place are you? No person tells you what to do,” in an obvious homage to David Essex’s glam rock hit “Rock On.”

Akin to Out Of Time’s “Dropping My Faith,” the chorus-free “Drive” was a daring, if barely eccentric assertion of intent, and far of what adopted demonstrated that R.E.M. had ditched the mooted return to rock’n’roll, as an alternative delivering a darkish and contemplative file which shortly drew comparisons with a few of rock’s bleaker masterpieces, together with Huge Star’s Third and Lou Reed’s Magic And Loss.

Explaining the file’s somber tone, Peter Buck informed R.E.M. biographer David Buckley that it was impressed by “that sense of… turning 30… we had been simply in a unique place and that labored its means out musically and lyrically.” Undeniably, a number of of Automated…’s songs dwelt upon themes of loss and mourning: the ruminative “Sweetness Follows,” for example, brazenly spoke of bereavement (“readying to bury your mom and your father”), whereas the gripping “Strive Not To Breathe” (“I’ll maintain my breath till all these shivers subside”) seemingly referred to the controversial doctor Jack Kevorkian (aka “Dr. Demise”), who was later arrested and tried for his position in a case of voluntary euthanasia.

Listen to the M Means Music episode on R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People.