Find the River

"Find the River" is a song by American rock band R.E.M., released as the sixth and final single from their eighth album, Automatic for the People (1992), on November 29, 1993. The song struggled on the UK Singles Charts, reaching number 54 in December 1993; it was the first R.E.M. song released as a single to fail to reach the top 40 on the chart since "Stand" in 1989. In the Warner Bros. promotional film for Automatic for the People, the band is seen performing the song live in their Clayton Street rehearsal room.

"Find the River"
Single by R.E.M.
from the album Automatic for the People
B-side"Everybody Hurts" (live)
ReleasedNovember 29, 1993 (1993-11-29)[1]
LabelWarner Bros.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"Find the River"
"What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"


Regarding the song's backing vocals, Mike Mills explained to Melody Maker: "'Harborcoat' from Reckoning has got me and Michael and Bill all doing completely unrelated things, and yet it works together. Because of the production we insisted on from Mitch and Don, which I know must have been incredibly frustrating for them, it's hard to pick out exactly what's going on. We tried it again on "Find The River." I had the idea that Bill and I would go in and do some harmonies without listening to each other. It's great because mine is this incredibly angst-ridden emotional thing, and Bill's is this really low-key sort of ambling part. They're two opposite ends of the spectrum but they're both on there, and it's a beautiful thing."[2]

Music video

The music video was shot in September 1992 in Malibu, California, directed by Jodi Wille, and features a stripped-down studio performance by the band and Los Angeles "outsider" artist Henry Hill. In An Hour with R.E.M., which aired on MTV UK prior to the band's televised performance at Cologne Cathedral in 2001, Mike Mills introduced the video and explained that he selected it "because... I've never seen it, and I have absolutely no idea what's on it."

Track listings

All songs were written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe.

UK 7-inch and cassette single[3][4]

  1. "Find the River" – 3:49
  2. "Everybody Hurts" (live) – 5:32

UK CD single[5]

  1. "Find the River" – 3:49
  2. "Everybody Hurts" (live) – 5:32
  3. "Orange Crush" (instrumental) – 3:54
  • "Everybody Hurts" was recorded at MTV Video Music Awards, Universal City, California, on September 2, 1993.



  1. "Single Releases" (PDF). Music Week. November 27, 1993. p. 27. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  2. Black, Johnny (2004). Reveal: The Story of R.E.M.. London: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-776-5.
  3. Find the River (UK 7-inch single sleeve). R.E.M. Warner Bros. Records. 1993. W0211.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. Find the River (UK cassette single sleeve). R.E.M. Warner Bros. Records. 1993. W0211C.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. Find the River (UK CD single disc notes). R.E.M. Warner Bros. Records. 1993. W0211CD.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  6. "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 10 no. 51/52. December 18, 1993. p. 31. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  7. "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (3.–9. febr. '94)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). February 3, 1994. p. 20. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  8. "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 31, 2020.
  9. "Árslistinn 1994". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1995. p. 16. Retrieved May 31, 2020.