Out of Time and Automatic for the People - What If?

Out of Time and Automatic for the People were the pinnacle of REM’s popularity and were recorded in relatively quick succession, with multiple AFTP songs originating from the OOT sessions.

In hindsight, some have suggested that Out of Time is a bit uneven, as are parts of Automatic from the People.

Imagine a parallel universe in which they had split up the songs into a poppier album and a darker album:

Out of Time (pop):
Radio Song
Near Wild Heaven
Shiny Happy People
Me in Honey
Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
Everybody Hurts
Man on the Moon
Mike’s Pop Song

Automatic for the People (darker):
Try Not to Breathe
Sweetness Follows
Monty Got a Raw Deal
Star Me Kitten
Find the River
Losing My Religion
Half A World Away
Country Feedback


What if… Something to ponder anyhow

I always enjoyed how each of those albums (and Green, and to an extent Around the Sun and Accelerate) had that back and forth of dark slower/rock track and bright/upbeat pop song.
I was a bit surprised that over the years there was never a compilation album that had only the slower more serious songs or only the upbeat bright pop songs.

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