50 Songs, 2 Hours 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though R.E.M. evolved from an underground band into a commercial juggernaut, it was purely a twist of fate. As anyone who followed the band from their early days can tell you, the group were often more interested in exploring the roads less traveled than the yellow brick one. So it isn’t a shock that R.E.M.'s "rarities" are often as fascinating as their official releases. They’ve recorded so much material that these rarities (b-sides, remixes, outtakes, rehearsals, and live versions) have been divided between the band’s time with I.R.S. Records (1982-1987) and their stretch with Warner Bros. (1988-2011). The early material includes R.E.M.'s original Hib-Tone single of “Radio Free Europe” and “Sitting Still,” various versions of “Gardening at Night” from the Chronic Town EP, and many covers, from The Velvet Underground’s “There She Goes Again,” “Pale Blues Eyes,” and “Femme Fatale” to Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic.” A collection like this puts R.E.M. in that rare company of folks like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, who often did their best work when nobody was looking.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though R.E.M. evolved from an underground band into a commercial juggernaut, it was purely a twist of fate. As anyone who followed the band from their early days can tell you, the group were often more interested in exploring the roads less traveled than the yellow brick one. So it isn’t a shock that R.E.M.'s "rarities" are often as fascinating as their official releases. They’ve recorded so much material that these rarities (b-sides, remixes, outtakes, rehearsals, and live versions) have been divided between the band’s time with I.R.S. Records (1982-1987) and their stretch with Warner Bros. (1988-2011). The early material includes R.E.M.'s original Hib-Tone single of “Radio Free Europe” and “Sitting Still,” various versions of “Gardening at Night” from the Chronic Town EP, and many covers, from The Velvet Underground’s “There She Goes Again,” “Pale Blues Eyes,” and “Femme Fatale” to Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic.” A collection like this puts R.E.M. in that rare company of folks like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, who often did their best work when nobody was looking.

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