Digital Music — October 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

Listen: R.E.M., ‘Photograph’ (Demo) — off ‘Automatic For the People’ reissue

R.E.M. has offered up the latest taste of its upcoming multi-disc 25th anniversary reissue of Automatic For the People in the form of a demo of the song “Photograph,” an AFTP-era track that, in its completed version, would feature a duet between Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant and appear on 1993’s Born to Choose compilation alongside music by Pavement, Sugar and Matthew Sweet.

The four-disc Automatic reissue is due out Nov. 10 and will include the original 1992 album joined by a live disc featuring the band’s famed Greenpeace benefit concert at the 40 Watt Club, another disc of 20 unreleased demos and a Blu-ray featuring a surround mix of the album and its accompanying videos.

Previously, the band shared demos of unreleased tracks “Mike’s Pop Song” and “Devil Rides Backwards.”

Below, listen to both the Merchant-less demo of “Photograph” and the final version.







  1. I notice the lyrics evolved a bit between the demo and the final version. Even so, I’ve always wondered if Stipe wrote these words — the narrative seems much more linear and direct than his usual approach.

    In any event a great song, and the final recorded version with Natalie is surely one of their finest moments.

    • There are some lines in the chorus i wish wasn’t left out
      Following “A big smile for the camera” – “Moment to forget your troubles”, i really really enjoy that line.
      The final version is, however, still very enjoyable :)

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