It was R.E.M.’s decision not to tour that irrevocably altered the band’s trajectory. After 1991’s ‘Out of Time’ and 1992’s ‘Automatic for the People’ vaulted them to the pinnacle of their profession, staying off the road ultimately led to the mixed-review albums ‘Monster’, ‘New Adventures in Hi-Fi’, and ‘Up’. Still, Peter Buck tells Christopher Gray of the Austin Chronicle he thinks the group did the right thing. “At the end of 1989, we’d probably done almost 2,000 shows,” said Buck. “If we’d just gone on the road after ‘Out of Time’ and done a yearlong tour, would we have made ‘Automatic for the People’? Who knows?”
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