- R.E.M.: Mike Mills (vocals, keyboards, bass); Michael Stipe (vocals); Peter Buck (guitar, mandolin); Bill Berry (drums).
- Additional personnel: Lonnie Ottzen, Denise Berginson-Smith, Jody Taylor, Sou-Chun Su, Sandy Salzinger, Patti Gouvas (violin); Paul Murphy, Reid Harris, Heidi Nitche (viola); Elizabeth Proctor Murphy, Kathleen Kee, Knox Chandler, Daniel Laufer (cello); Deborah Workman (oboe); Scott Litt (harmonica, Clavinet); Bertis Downs (keyboards).
- Recorded at Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, New York; Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, Florida; John Keane Studio, Athens, Georgia; Kingsway Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana; Bosstown Recording Studios, Atlanta, Georgia.
- AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE was nominated for 1994 Grammy Awards for Album Of The Year and Best Alternative Music Album.
- Audio Mixer: Tim Hoogenakker.
- Recording information: Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, NY (02/1992); Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, NY (02/1992); Bosstown Recording Studios, Atlanta, GA (02/1992); Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, FL (02/1992); John Keane Studio, Athens, GA (02/1992); John Keane Studios, Athens, GA (02/1992); Kingsway Studio, New Orleans, LO (02/1992); Kingsway Studios, New Orleans, LA (02/1992); Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, NY (03/1992); Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, NY (03/1992); Bosstown Recording Studios, Atlanta, GA (03/1992); Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, FL (03/1992); John Keane Studio, Athens, GA (03/1992); John Keane Studios, Athens, GA (03/1992); Kingsway Studio, New Orleans, LO (03/1992); Kingsway Studios, New Orleans, LA (03/1992); Bearsville Studio, Bearsville, NY (04/1992); Bearsville Studios, Bearsville, NY (04/1992); Bosstown Recording Studios, Atlanta, GA (04/1992); Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, FL (04/1992); John Keane Studio, Athens, GA (04/1992); John Keane Studios, Athens, GA (04/1992); Kingsway Studio, New Orleans, LO (04/1992); Kingsway Studios, New Orleans, LA (04/1992).
- Photographers: Melodie McDaniel; Anton Corbijn.
- AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE is a true classic of rock in the 1990s. Released shortly after the successful OUT OF TIME, it finds R.E.M. on a creative roll with no shortage of original ideas; yet it also shows the band embracing even further the darker aesthetic shadings hinted at on "Losing My Religion." Bold songs such as the ominous "Drive" and the empathetic "Everybody Hurts" demonstrated that the band were not reluctant to experiment, while "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" and the elegiac Andy Kaufman tribute "Man On The Moon" displayed all of the intelligent pop savvy on which the band's reputation was first built. However, it is on songs such as "Sweetness Follows," "Nightswimming," and "Find the River" that a haunting melancholy emerges that is unlike anything the band previously attained. The songs are sparse yet full of deep emotion and conjure a Southern gothic emotionality that one mind find in amidst the pages of Flannery O'Connor's most redemptive work. AUTOMATIC is not R.E.M.'s most upbeat record, but it is unquestionably one of its most rewarding.
Rolling Stone (5/13/99, p.52) - Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone (10/29/92, p.68) - 5 Stars - Classic - "...R.E.M. has never made music more gorgeous....shimmers with new, complex beauty....musically irresistible....finds the band gaining a startling emotional directness..."
Spin (9/99, p.140) - Ranked #40 in Spin Magazine's "90 Greatest Albums of the '90s."
Entertainment Weekly (10/16/92, p.74) - "...deeply moving and entirely idiosyncratic....[the songs] tend to be rich and subdued, full of lush strings and deep feeling....show[s] the band moving into more personal territory than ever before....the band's greatest triumph..." - Rating: A
Q (12/99, p.74) - Included in Q Magazine's "90 Best Albums Of The 1990s."
Q (10/01, p.102) - Ranked #6 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"
Q (1/93, p.68) - Included in Q's list of the 50 Best Albums Of 1992.
Q (11/92, p.117) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a lively form of bliss is readily available from the sounds of AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE....Big emotions, big ideas....it's about life. Without embarrassment and via sundry dark metaphors, it enquires `What's it all about, if anything?'..."
Uncut (pp.110-111) - 5 stars out of 5 - "[T]he album found R.E.M. concentrating on their mature strengths: dignity, mandolins, somber brown textures, unblinking seriousness of intent..."
Magnet - "Beyond all the beautiful sadness, there's joyful nonsense, a noisy screed against the GOP and the most unabashedly erotic song R.E.M. had released up to that point..."
Musician (10/92, p.102) - "...These quiet songs, so sure of their honesty that they are unafraid of risking musical corniness, can be heard as an indictment of the Republican era, a lament for the AIDS years, or simply a consideration of roads not taken..."
Village Voice (3/2/93, p.5) - Ranked #3 in the Village Voice's list of the 40 Best Albums Of 1992.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.110) - 4 stars out of 5 - "With '92's AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE, R.E.M. reached their creative peak."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #23 in NME's list of the `Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
NME (Magazine) (8/12/00, p.28) - Ranked #11 in The NME "Top 30 Heartbreak Albums"
NME (Magazine) (10/3/92, p.36) - 10 - Classic - "...They've created an LP you can gain a lot from in times of trouble....In their hands, music is no longer wallpaper, but a living, breathing organism as old as the hills..."
Blender (Magazine) (p.106) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[T]heir dreamiest. Here, they pair melancholic folk-rock apparitions with hopeful strings."
Paste (magazine) - "[T]he tone of AUTOMATIC is marked by doughy pressure and woozy beauty. The remastered version of the LP brings that to the fore as well as emphasizing the skin-tingling intimacy of Michael Stipe's vocals throughout."