Craft RecordingsR.E.M. is reissuing their 1992 album Automatic for the People in honor of its 25 anniversary, and the collection includes a previously unreleased track titled “Devil Rides Backwards,” which is now available at digital music sellers and streaming services.
The reissue’s liner notes explain, “The album’s great lost track — talked about by fans the world over down the years, but never previously heard — is ‘The Devil Rides Backwards On A Horse Called Maybe.’ Although unfinished, its inclusion here is a tantalizing glimpse into what might have been an AFTP highlight.”
In the track, Stipe sings “mule” rather than horse,” which he calls a “mistake” in the liner notes.
“It’s supposed to be a horse,” he explains. “I think that phrase might have been something that Peter [Buck] pulled from literature. He thought it had a nice ring to it.”
Buck, meanwhile, says in the liner notes that the track is “the one that I most wanted to have on the record,” adding that he regrets the fact that Stipe never completed the lyrics.
“I really loved that song. Michael just didn’t feel that he had it and he likes to work by inspiration….It got pretty close but it was never finished. So it’s on this.’”
The Automatic for the People reissue also includes the previously unreleased track “Mike’s Pop Song,” plus a variety of demos and live tracks. It’ll arrive on November 10.
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