Everybody Hurts (4:56)

Cover of In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003

From In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 and 96 other releases

“Everybody Hurts” is a song by 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 #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, #7 on the UK Singles Charts and #3 on the French Singles Chart.

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. Berry did not drum on 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.

In the liner notes of the album In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003, Peter 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 the video for the song, directed by Jake Scott and filmed along I-10 in San Antonio, Texas, 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; they then vanish.

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.

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  • klingus

    When I'm more into metal and heavier rock now, I still love this song. It brings memories. Sad and deep memories.

    28 Jan 9:18pm Reply
  • Antoniaortiz

    Perfect song...love,love,love it!!!!!!!

    23 Jan 2:26pm Reply
  • lukasz_pulawski

    Timeless!

    21 Jan 8:48pm Reply
  • jackendabocs

    Awesome song!

    4 Jan 3:51am Reply
  • elf-culture

    thanks

    22 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Sharp-Ton

    Cause everybody staaaalk sometimes!

    4 Dec 2013 Reply
  • AndrewBrannan

    Perfect lyrics.

    7 Nov 2013 Reply
  • clarapnaraujo

    This should be the hold music for suicide hotline [5]

    10 Oct 2013 Reply
  • jomabbs

    This song's such a bitch at times of stress.

    4 Oct 2013 Reply
  • xelene_x

    Gorgeous song, but it was SO overplayed.

    26 Sep 2013 Reply
  • edimervaldo

    I've known this song for 15 years, but never realised how beautiful it is. Well, better late than never

    10 Sep 2013 Reply
  • R-Mac

    idk why but this sounds like some Galaxie 500. Actually, I do know why. It's that early 90's slow burner swag Lol.

    29 Jul 2013 Reply
  • NitaD1

    Lovely

    14 Jul 2013 Reply
  • lotussuxx

    you are not alone ♥

    12 Jul 2013 Reply
  • tomorrowsparty

    The video is one of the best of the 90s

    21 Jun 2013 Reply
  • naftallina

    truth: everybody hurts and no one cares, and it isn't ever going to change [2]

    19 Jun 2013 Reply
  • MachineCoil

    A great song, but its true beauty can really only be appreciated before or after a suicide attempt. ...Don't ask me how I found that out.

    4 Jun 2013 Reply
  • dougm

    i'll add my 2-cents.....brilliant in every way from the lyrics, the melody, the arrangement, and the esp the vocals....few songs capture the emotion of loss or being lost like this one....thumbs up

    29 May 2013 Reply
  • rhondabowlin

    So beautiful, always loved this one...

    12 May 2013 Reply
  • Ferdokki

    One of the best and greatest songs in the world.

    10 May 2013 Reply
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