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"Everybody Hurts" is a song by American rock band R.E.M., originally released on the band's 1992 album Automatic for the People and was also released as a single in 1993. It peaked at number twenty nine on the Billboard Hot 100, and peaked within the top ten of the charts in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France.

"Everybody Hurts"
R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts.jpg
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Automatic for the People
B-side "Mandolin Strum"
Released April 15, 1993 (1993-04-15)
Recorded 1992
Length 5:20 (album version)
4:57 (edit)
4:46 (alternate edit)
Label Warner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite"
"Everybody Hurts"
"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite"
"Everybody Hurts"
Music video
"Everybody Hurts" on YouTube



Much of the song was written by drummer Bill Berry, although as R.E.M. shares songwriting credits among its members, it is unknown how much he actually wrote.[1] Berry's drums are largely absent from the song—a Univox drum machine took his place—but he was responsible for the sampling of the drum pattern on the track. The string arrangement was written by Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones.

Guitarist Peter Buck commented on the making of the track saying "'Everybody Hurts' is similar to 'Man on the Moon'. Bill brought it in, and it was a one-minute long country-and-western song. It didn't have a chorus or a bridge. It had the verse... it kind of went around and around, and he was strumming it. We went through about four different ideas and how to approach it and eventually came to that Stax, Otis Redding, "Pain in My Heart" kind of vibe. I'm not sure if Michael would have copped that reference, but to a lot of our fans it was a Staxxy-type thing. It took us forever to figure out the arrangement and who was going to play what, and then Bill ended up not playing on the original track. It was me and Mike and a drum machine. And then we all overdubbed."[2]

In the liner notes of the album In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003, Buck writes that "the reason the lyrics are so atypically straightforward is because it was aimed at teenagers", and "I've never watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the idea that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me." Incidentally, the song was used in the 1992 film of the same name that preceded the show.

In 2005, Buck told the BBC: "If you're consciously writing for someone who hasn't been to college, or is pretty young, it might be nice to be very direct. In that regard, it's tended to work for people of a lot of ages."[3]

In the video for the song, directed by Jake Scott and filmed along the double deck portions of I-10 near the I-35 Interchange in Downtown San Antonio, Texas in February 1993, the band is stuck in a traffic jam. It shows the people in other cars and subtitles of their thoughts appear on screen. At the end, all the people leave their cars and walk instead; then they vanish. The video was heavily inspired by the traffic jam in the opening dream sequence of Fellini's .

In 1995, British emotional support listening service The Samaritans, in response to the high suicide rate but low crisis service take-up amongst young men, launched a UK press advertising campaign consisting solely of the lyrics to "Everybody Hurts" and the charity's hotline number.[4]

The song was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Bros. "best of" album In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 in 2003. It was one of four songs from Automatic for the People to make the compilation, more than from any other album. The song is included on R.E.M. Live.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe unless otherwise indicated.

US 7" and CD single
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (Edit) – 4:46
  2. "Mandolin Strum" – 3:26
"Collectors' Edition" CD 1 (UK)
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (edit) – 4:57
  2. "New Orleans Instrumental No. 1" (Long Version) – 3:29
  3. "Mandolin Strum" – 3:26
"Collectors' Edition" CD 2 (UK)
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (edit) – 4:57
  2. "Chance (Dub)" – 2:36
  3. "Dark Globe" (Syd Barrett) – 1:51
German CD single
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (edit) – 4:57
  2. "Mandolin Strum" – 3:26
  3. "Chance (Dub)" – 2:36
  4. "Dark Globe" (Barrett) – 1:51
US 12" and CD maxi-single 1
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (edit) – 4:57
  2. "Mandolin Strum" – 3:26
  3. "Belong" (live)[5] – 4:32
  4. "Orange Crush" (live)[6] – 4:00
US 12" and CD maxi-single 2
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (edit) – 4:57
  2. "Star Me Kitten" (demo) – 3:05
  3. "Losing My Religion" (live)[5] – 4:55
  4. "Organ Song" – 3:25
UK cassette single
  1. "Everybody Hurts" – 5:20
  2. "Pop Song '89" – 3:03
UK and DE 7" single
  1. "Everybody Hurts" (edit) – 4:46
  2. "Pop Song '89" – 3:03

Charts and certificationsEdit

The track sold 205,000 in the UK.[citation needed]

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1993) Peak
Australia (ARIA) [7] 6
Canadian Singles Chart 8
France (SNEP)[8] 3
Irish Singles Chart 6
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 29
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[11] 21
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 13
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Singles Chart[13] 92
Chart (2012) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 83


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Italy (FIMI)[15] Gold 25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Silver 200,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Helping Haiti charity singleEdit

"Everybody Hurts"
Single by Helping Haiti
Released February 7, 2010
Format Digital download, CD single, charity single
Recorded January 2010
Genre Pop, gospel
Label Syco
Songwriter(s) Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe
Music video
"Everybody Hurts" on YouTube

In an attempt to raise money for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown asked Simon Cowell to arrange a charity single.[17] Cowell chose "Everybody Hurts", Brown agreed to waive VAT on the single and R.E.M. agreed to waive all royalties.[18] The release was under the name Helping Haiti.

Proceeds from the single were split between The Sun's Helping Haiti fund and the Disasters Emergency Committee.[17][19][20] The song was premiered on radio stations nationally on February 2, 2010.[21] The single was released both physically and digitally on February 7, 2010, with the physical release being brought forward by one day due to demand.[22]

It has been reported as having sold approximately 205,000 copies in its first two days in the United Kingdom,[23] and 453,000 in its first week, making it the fastest-selling charity record of the 21st century in Britain.[24]

This cover is also noteworthy for featuring Robbie Williams's first collaboration with Take That since Williams parted ways with the group in 1995, although neither act was present for each other's recording session.


The song is performed by the following artists (in order of appearance):


A five-minute promotional short documentary was broadcast on ITV at 20.30 on February 7. The documentary includes footage of the performers recording their vocals (except for Carey, Cyrus, Bon Jovi and Minogue) and images and footage from the aftermath of the earthquake.[25] It opens with a statement of what had happened on January 12 and moves on with footage showing the devastation in the country and the suffering of the Haitians.[26] The official music video was directed by Joseph Kahn and premiered on March 6, 2010. Jon Bon Jovi is the only artist not to appear in this video.

Track listingEdit

  1. "Everybody Hurts" – 5:24
  2. "Everybody Hurts" (alternative mix) – 5:35

Chart performanceEdit

Following its release in the UK and Ireland on February 7, 2010, Helping Haiti's song entered the Irish Singles Chart on 12 February at number 1. On 14 February it entered the UK Singles Chart at number 1 and spent two weeks at the top spot before dropping to number 9.

On February 23, 2010, the single debuted on the Australian Singles Chart at #28.



  1. ^ Bowler, David (1995). R.E.M. from "Chronic Town to "Monster". New York, NY: Carol Publishing Group. p. 88. ISBN 0-8065-1724-7. 
  2. ^ "Peter on "Everybody Hurts"". Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ Pop, Classic (January 27, 2010). "What's Haiti single and REM song Everybody Hurts about?". BBC News. Retrieved January 27, 2010. 
  4. ^ "The facts of life: heartbreak". The Independent. London. September 24, 2008. Retrieved August 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Performed on Mountain Stage on April 28, 1991.
  6. ^ Recorded at the Fox Theater, Atlanta, Georgia; November 13, 1989.
  7. ^ "Discography R.E.M". Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  8. ^ " – R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "R.E.M.: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  10. ^ "R.E.M. Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "R.E.M. Chart History (Alternative Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  12. ^ "R.E.M. Chart History (Pop Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  13. ^ redirected to OCC website)
  14. ^ " – R.E.M Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ "Certificazioni – Archivio" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2013.  Select Online, Week 21, Year 2013 and press Cerca certificazioni.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – R.E.M. – Everybody Hurts". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Everybody Hurts in the search field and then press Enter.
  17. ^ a b "X Factor Simon Cowell Earthquake Charity Single To Be REM's Everybody Hurts, Sky Sources Say". Sky News. 22 January 2010. Archived from the original on 25 January 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Haiti all-star charity single gets first airplay". BBC News. February 2, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Mariah Carey joins line-up for Haiti charity single". BBC News. January 26, 2010. Retrieved January 26, 2010. 
  20. ^ Bull, Sarah (January 26, 2010). "Kylie Minogue revealed as latest star for Simon Cowell's Haiti earthquake charity single". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  21. ^ Hamilton, Sean (February 2, 2010). "Hear The Sun's Helping Haiti single today both on radio and internet". The Sun. UK: News International. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  22. ^ Stroud, Carl (February 6, 2010). "Single to hit shops on Sunday". The Sun. UK: News International. Retrieved February 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ Cowell Haiti single hits 200,000 sales from Music Week
  24. ^ Haiti charity single tops UK chart from BBC
  25. ^ "Video premiere for Haiti charity single". BBC News. February 8, 2001. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  26. ^ Everybody Hurts Haiti Charity video from BBC
  27. ^ " – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  28. ^ " – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  29. ^ [1][dead link]
  30. ^ " – Helping Haiti Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  31. ^ "Chart Track: Week 6, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  32. ^ "Archivio – Top Digital Download – Classifica settimanale WK 8 (dal 22-02-2010 al 28-02-2010)" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  33. ^ " – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts" Canciones Top 50.
  34. ^ " – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts". Singles Top 100.
  35. ^ Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. "Tipparade-lijst van week 13, 2016". Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  36. ^ " – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts". Top 40 Singles.
  37. ^ " – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts". Swiss Singles Chart.
  38. ^ "Helping Haiti: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  39. ^ "Bubbling Under and Other Charts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 122 (22). May 6, 2010. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  40. ^ "2010 Year-end UK Singles". BBC (BBC Online). December 26, 2010. Retrieved December 26, 2010. 
  41. ^ "British single certifications – Helping Haiti – Everybody Hurts". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Everybody Hurts in the search field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit