Here’s your 90’s Video of the Day: R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts

Because we love ‘em all. Here’s your 90’s Video of the Day:

R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts

Look, no one likes being stuck in a traffic jam so kudos to director Jake Scott knowing that it would be a universally shared melancholy experience. It was a setting perfect for the uplifting crescendo of “Everybody Hurts.”

R.E.M. was very aware of the potential power of the track, which is indeed an anti-suicide song. It was set to a drum machine metronome and Michael Stipe, perhaps for the first time, sang with a purposeful clarity knowing the words needed to be heard and understood. In the book Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011, Stipe said “…I still kind of can't believe my voice is on this recording. It's very pure. This song instantly belonged to everyone except us, and that honestly means the world to me.”

The filming took place on I-10 near the 1-35 interchange in San Antonio, Texas. The man standing on the overpass is tearing and dropping pages of the Book of Psalms 61 and 126 and we are let in on the thoughts of regret, sadness, and soul searching of the cars’ passengers via subtitles. The sweeping orchestral parts of the song were contributed by none other than John Paul Jones, bassist of Led Zeppelin.

When R.E.M won an MTV Video Music Award for the song, you may remember that Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys hijacked the acceptance speech dressed as Nathaniel Hornblower to call it a travesty. (They were nominated for last Monday’s #90’s feature, “Sabotage”).

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