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"Find the River" is a song by R.E.M., released as the sixth and final single from their eighth album Automatic for the People. It was the twelfth and final track on this critically acclaimed release. The song failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and struggled on the UK Singles Charts, reaching #54 in December 1993. It was the first R.E.M. song released as a single to fail to reach the top 40 on either chart since "Get Up" in 1989.

"Find the River"
R.E.M. - Find the River.jpg
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Automatic for the People
B-side"Everybody Hurts (Live)"
ReleasedOctober 21, 1993 (1993-10-21) (UK)
GenreAlternative rock, folk rock, soft rock
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Find the River"
"What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"

Regarding the song's backing vocals, Mike Mills explained to Melody Maker: "'Harborcoat' from Reckoning has got me and Michael and Bill all doing completely unrelated things, and yet it works together. Because of the production we insisted on from Mitch and Don, which I know must have been incredibly frustrating for them, it's hard to pick out exactly what's going on. We tried it again on "Find The River." I had the idea that Bill and I would go in and do some harmonies without listening to each other. It's great because mine is this incredibly angst-ridden emotional thing, and Bill's is this really low-key sort of ambling part. They're two opposite ends of the spectrum but they're both on there, and it's a beautiful thing."[1]

The music video was shot in September 1992 in Malibu, California, directed by Jodi Wille, and features a stripped-down studio performance by the band and Los Angeles "outsider" artist Henry Hill. In An Hour with R.E.M., which aired on MTV UK prior to the band's televised performance at Cologne Cathedral in 2001, Mills introduced the video and explained that he selected it "because... I've never seen it, and I have absolutely no idea what's on it."

In the Warner Bros. promotional film for Automatic for the People, the band is seen performing the song live in their Clayton Street rehearsal room.


Track listingEdit

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

  1. "Find the River" – 3:49
  2. "Everybody Hurts" (live)1 – 5:32
  3. "Orange Crush" (instrumental) – 3:54


1 Recorded at MTV Video Music Awards, Universal City, California; September 2, 1993. The British 7" single omits the third track


Chart (1993) Peak
UK Singles Chart[2] 54


  1. ^ Black, Johnny (2004). Reveal: The Story of R.E.M. London: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-776-5.
  2. ^ UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 29 July 2009.

External linksEdit