Devil Rides Backwards

Album: Automatic For The People 25th Anniversary Edition (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • Written, but never completed for 1992's Automatic for the People album, "Devil Rides Backwards" eventually ended up on the record released in 2017 in honor of the disc's 25th anniversary.
  • Guitarist Peter Buck expressed his regret in the reissued Automatic For the People's liner notes that singer Michael 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.'"
  • During the track, Michael Stipe sings "mule" rather than horse," which he calls a "mistake" in the liner notes.

    "It's supposed to be a horse," he explained. "I think that phrase might have been something that Peter pulled from literature. He thought it had a nice ring to it."

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