Pop-Up Video: Everybody Hurts (1993)

Everybody Hurts
Single: R.E.M.
Album: Automatic for the People
Released: April 5, 1993
Genre: Alternative rock, soft rock
Bill Berry, Peter Buck, 
Mike Mills, Michael Stipe

"Everybody Hurts" - released from R.E.M.'s eighth studio album, Automatic for the People - peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It reached the top 10 on the Australian, Canadian, and UK music charts. 

In 2003, Q ranked the song number 31 of the "1001 Best Songs Ever." Blender placed it at number 238 of "Greatest Songs Since You Were Born" in 2005. It topped a poll compiled by PRS For Music of the songs most likely to make a grown man cry. Second in the list came Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" followed by Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."  


"Bridge Over Troubled Water" for the '90s with 
Michael Stipe as Simon & Garfunkel rolled into one."
Pan-European magazine Music & Media 
The drummer for R.E.M., Bill Berry. wrote most of this anti-suicide song but he didn't play his instrument on the track. A Univox drum machine filled in. He was, however,  responsible for the drum pattern on the tune.  R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills told Pulse magazine in 1992: "Mike (Stipe) and I cut it live with this dumb drum machine which is just as wooden as you can get. We wanted to get this flow around that: human and non-human at the same time."


Michael Stipe, who sometimes sings purposefully indecipherable, enunciated clearly on this song to make sure his message got through. He wanted Patti Smith as a second vocal on the track, but that didn't work out. The string arrangement was done by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Greg Sandow from Entertainment Weekly wrote about Jones' orchestration:  "Everybody Hurts"...sounds like a gigantic arena transfiguration of a '50s rock ballad, with Stipe's voice pleading over triplets and massed strings, and surely will be played on radio for generations to come, right next to unforgettable anthems like "Bridge Over Troubled Water."


Filmed on Interstate 10 in San Antonio, Texas, the music video is set during a traffic jam. People's thoughts are revealed through subtitles. The clip won four MTV Video Music Awards: Breakthrough Video, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. 


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