Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Special Edition)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
How do you condense 15 years of music down to 76 minutes? In the case of this survey of the second phase of R.E.M.'s career, the answer is: Exceptionally well. The dangling carrot for diehards is two new songs; the rapid f... more »
How do you condense 15 years of music down to 76 minutes? In the case of this survey of the second phase of R.E.M.'s career, the answer is: Exceptionally well. The dangling carrot for diehards is two new songs; the rapid fire "Bad Day" hurtles along like the kissing cousin of "It's the End of the World as We Know It," while "Animal" is anchored by a majestic drone reminiscent of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." In a surprising, but gratifying move, the rest of the program shortchanges the band's breakthrough, Out of Time (no "Shiny Happy People"), to better accommodate movie soundtrack contributions, and spotlight gems from the less commercial, post-Bill Berry albums Reveal and Up; with its baroque piano and multi-tracked vocal harmonies, the Beach Boys homage "At My Most Beautiful" is particularly gorgeous, while the burbling keyboards and slightly dazed singing of "All the Way to Reno" will appeal to Flaming Lips fans. --Kurt B. Reighley This expanded edition covering the band's first decade-and-a-half at Warner now includes a DVD featuring a new 5.1 surround sound mix of all the album's tracks. That new bonus disc also features an October, '03 Vancouver rehearsal of the new song "Bad Day" that allows viewers the unique experience of switching between four different camera angles. Also includes the smart, network-news spoofing video for the same track.
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1/2 -- A nice little summary of R.E.M.'s latter years
Johnny Boy | Hockessin, DE | 12/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Look, I'm going to admit it right now: I am an early R.E.M. fan. Those are my favorite years of R.E.M. To me, they sounded so raw and uncut during their early years (on the IRS Records label), and the music they created, oh man, was it magical. R.E.M. left IRS Records in mid-1987 to sign with Warner Bros. Records, and that's where 'In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003' picks up.
Now don't let that opening paragraph fool you. I am a HUGE R.E.M. fan, and I love just about everything they put out, from 1983's 'Radio Free Europe' to 2007's 'Supernatural Superserious.' R.E.M. are just one of those groups you can't help but love.
For casual fans of R.E.M., this is the set you want to own. It has the bulk of their radio hits, plus two new (for 2003) recordings which are outstanding. On paper, you simply cannot go wrong with 'In Time,' if you are a casual fan. 'Orange Crush,' 'Everybody Hurts,' 'Losing My Religion,' 'Man On the Moon,' 'Nightswimming' and 'Daysleeper' all appear on this collection of latter day R.E.M.
But, needless to say, there's still quite a bit missing. Why not include 'Pop Song 89,' as an example? This underrated R.E.M. classic rarely receives much attention outside of the R.E.M. fan community, which is quite simply a tragedy. If it were included here, maybe it could hit the mainstream, something it is long overdue for.
And while we're at it, where's 'Shiny Happy People,' released as a single in 1991 and was a relative big radio hit for the band, and perhaps 'Crush With Eyeliner'? ARGH!!! That's so frustrating!!!
Overall, this is a collection for the casual R.E.M. fan. It's got the bulk of the radio hits, it's digitally remastered (the sound is excellent -- crisp and clean), and it shows why R.E.M. are (one of) the greatest band(s) to come out of the great state of Georgia.
This is recommended as an entry point for a new R.E.M. fan or for a casual fan. It makes for a great sampler. Therefore, it is well deserving of three-and-a-half stars."
Pretty good collection, with a couple of flaws
H. Jin | Melbourne, Australia | 11/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'In Time' covers REM's most commercially succesful period, but it is important to note that it does NOT span the band's entire career. Casual fans looking for earlier hits such as 'Fall On Me' or 'The One I Love' need to seek out 'Eponymous', which covers REM from 1981-1987.
The lack of these early hits aside, 'In Time' does a reasonable job of collating the band's best known songs from 'Green' to 'Reveal'. You certainly can't go wrong with 'Stand', 'Orange Crush', 'Losing My Religion', 'Everybody Hurts', 'Nightswimming', 'Man On The Moon', 'What's The Frequency Kenneth?', 'E-Bow The Letter', 'Daysleeper', and 'Imitation of Life'. This was some of the greatest music of its time, demonstrating that REM could achieve massive success without ever compromising their signature sound. All good so far.
However, the collection isn't perfect. Leaving off 'Shiny Happy People' is pretty much unforgivable. So what if the band doesn't like the song? The fans do, and the song was a big hit. And I've always thought 'Bittersweet Me' should have been on here as well; it was one of their most under-rated singles and a highlight of the 'New Adventures..' album. In their place is two new songs, plus two previously released non-album tracks. But of those four, only 'The Great Beyond' really deserves its place here. While it's nice to hear 'Bad Day' (the re-written 'PSA') after two decades, it's really too similar to 'It's The End Of The World..' to be much of a revelation. The 'You'-ish 'Animal' I can take or leave, while 'All The Right Friends' was hardly a "hit". I understand that compilations need these new or rare songs to attract the die-hard fans, but it is frustrating when they elbow out more important songs.
There are a few other minor problems, like not presenting the songs in chronological order. REM kept developing their sound during this time, and it would have been nice to follow their musical progress in a coherent manner. And putting 'The Great Beyond' next to 'Man On The Moon' only emphasises how similar they sound.
All that said, it is a pretty strong collection that at least captures most of the important songs from the period. Even if it's not as good as it could (or should) have been, it does demonstrate why REM were one of the best, most respected, and most influential bands of the time.
Just make sure you pick up 'Eponymous' as well, to get the complete REM picture."