R.E.M.’s Automatic Anniversary Expansion

It’s been 25 years since R.E.M. released their best ‘90s album, Automatic For the People, which means it’s being gussied up and re-released with all sorts of added treats.

For the frugal spender, the two-disc edition will include the full 1992 album remastered from the original tapes, plus a second CD of their 13-song show that November at the 40 Watt Club, their only concert that year, a benefit for Greenpeace, most of which was already released as bonus tracks to singles from Monster, but who other than me bought and saved those? Now you get the whole thing in one spot. It was a good show, maybe the last time I ever saw them play with that giddy glee of their early years, tempered as it was by the mortality-facing sobriety of the Automatic material.

If you wanna go full monty, then the four-disc Deluxe Edition is the deal for you – the original album remastered, the 40 Watt show, a third disc of demos and sonic sketches for the album, some more fully formed than others (and several for songs that didn’t make the final album), and a fourth disc of Automatic music videos and a Dolby Atmos mix of the album, whatever that fancy shit is. You also get the underrated song “Photograph” with Natalie Merchant, left off the final album (but released in ’93 on the Born to Choose comp), and a 60-page book of never-before-seen photos and new interviews with all four original band members.

Craft Recordings (the catalog division of Concord Music) releases both editions on November 10th