R.E.M.

Everybody Hurts

Composed by Bill Berry / Michael Stipe / Mike Mills / Peter Buck

Song Review by

Perhaps R.E.M’s most popular and successful song, “Everybody Hurts” has become a modern rock classic, and it’s easy to see why. The song is built around a slow, chiming guitar figure – it’s simple, direct and very moving. Musically, the song is rather unconventional, especially in the bridge section, yet the melody is logical and almost hymnal in it’s rise and fall. What makes the song outstanding, however, is Michael Stipe’s vocal and lyric. Unusually for Stipe, the song’s sentiment is not hidden behind pseudo-poetic ramblings, instead he sings “When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on/Don’t let yourself go, everybody cries, everybody hurts sometimes” with delicacy and tenderness. The lyric may be the finest of Stipe’s career, it’s certainly the most beautiful. A hugely popular song, “Everybody Hurts” succeeds in being heart-warming and ethereal, and without question one of R.E.M’s greatest moments.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Automatic for the People 1992 Concord / Universal 5:20
Everybody Hurts 1993 Warner Bros. 4:59
What's Up, Vol. 2: More Greatest Rock Hits of the 90's 1994
Various Artists
Warner Music 4:57
Parallel [Video] 1995 Warner Reprise Video
Road Movie 1996 Warner Reprise Video
Best Rock Anthems in the World...Ever! 1996
Various Artists
Virgin
Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute 1997
Various Artists
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 4:58
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Columbia
Herzschmerz: The Real Sad Songs 1998
Various Artists
Polygram 5:15
Kuschelrock, Vol. 8 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:42
The Great Beyond 2000 Warner Bros. 6:23
Burning Hearts, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Polygram 5:15
No Image 2001 Warner Bros.
In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 2003 Concord 5:20
Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection [Warner Music] 2004
Various Artists
WEA International 5:16
Pure Power Ballads 2004
Various Artists
Dynamic Music & Media / Pure Records 5:12
iTunes Originals: R.E.M. 2004 R.E.M. 5:18
Bewitched 2005
Original Soundtrack
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 5:17
No Image 2006 Warner Bros. 5:20
No Image 2006
Various Artists
R.E.M. Live 2007 Concord / Universal 6:50
No Image 2007
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Sbm Records
Now That's What I Call Music: 25 Years 2008
Various Artists
EMI 5:17
Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage: 1982-2011 2011 Universal
Straight Out of Georgia 2012 Hudson Street
Complete Warner Bros. Studios Albums, Vol. 1 2014 Rhino / Warner Bros. 5:18
Complete Studio Albums:1988-1996 2016 Concord / Universal 5:18
Rock Ballads [Warner]
Various Artists
WSM / Warner Bros.
Trouble with Michael [bootleg] Pluto Records
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