I’m leaping over four albums now — Life’s Rich Pageant, Document, Green and Out of Time — to reach my second-favorite R.E.M. record, Automatic for the People.
The band was huge by this point. They had big hits with ‘The One I Love’ and ‘Stand’ but then reached new heights with the unexpected blockbuster ‘Losing My Religion.’ Who could have predicted that a song about loneliness and uncertainty driven by a mandolin riff would top the charts?
So there was a lot of interest in how R.E.M. would follow up the smash success of Out of Time, and what they did was release an instant classic.