Automatic Unearthed, the making of R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People, watch here

Craft Recordings recently reissued an expanded version of R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People to celebrate the album's 25th anniversary. Now they have shared a mini documentary, Automatic Unearthed, featuring interviews with band members Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck as well as Scott Litt, Clif Norrell and string arranger/Led Zeppelin legend John Paul Jones.

“Culturally, 1992 in America was not an easy place to be,” Michael Stipe says, reflecting on the world as R.E.M. prepared to record Automatic For The People. “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.”

“The songs came together, Michael’s lyrics came together, the production and the sound and the overdubs and everything all seemed right for this record,” Mike Mills comments, while Peter Buck adds, “and I don’t think there was another record that sounded like that record that year, which I think is a good thing.”

“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,” Michael Stipe continues. “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.”

Watch Automatic Unearthed below.

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