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Complete Warner Bros. Rarities 1988-2011

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Editors’ Notes

Upon their signing to Warner Brothers, R.E.M. remained true to the musical principles that had slowly and steadily built their audience throughout the early ‘80s, continuing to pay tribute to the artists who influenced them along the way. This extensive collection of largely b-sides includes their covers of Syd Barrett’s “Dark Globe” and Suicide’s “Ghost Rider,” along with a live version of The Troggs’ “Love Is All Around.” R.E.M.'s version of Leonard Cohen’s “First We Take Manhattan” (which appeared on I’m Your Fan, a tribute album of alternative music acts performing songs by the Canadian poet-singer) is as strong as any single album track. Live versions of “Drive,” their Saturday Night Live performance of “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?,” and their Later with Jools Holland performances of “Country Feedback” and “So. Central Rain” are powerful reminders of the great band that, if you’re the sentimental sort, will break your heart many times over, knowing how they would gracefully evolve and call it quits when it was time. 

Customer Reviews

Fix this, please

There are a number of issues that need to be addressed by whoever put this comp together:

• There are 131 tracks (128 unique), not 171 as the description says.
• “Funtime” is not a live performance.
• “Shiny Happy People (Hip Mix)” contains a silent gap over 20 seconds long.
• What’s labeled as “Orange Crush (Live Version)” is actually a duplicate of “Dark Globe”.
• The tracks “Drive (Live in 1992)” and “Drive (Live) [1994]” are actually the same 1992 performance.
• The tracks “The Lifting” and “The Lifting (Demo)” are identical.
• What’s labeled as “The One I Love (Live Version in MMM Sydney)” is actually a 2001 performance at the Museum of Television and Radio in California.


FYI there’s a track error here. “Orange Crush (live)” from the “Everybody Hurts” single previews as “Dark Globe.”

Defective Track

I only picked a handful of tracks, since I have almost everything in this compilation anyway, but one track is defective: “Shiny Happy People (Hip Mix).” I went through iTunes support’s live chat to delete it and re-download and it still has twenty seconds of silence in the middle of the song. Now I notice that you can hear part of that silence in the sample clip for the track! Do not buy this track if you hear silence in the sample. Hope they fix it!


Formed: 1980 in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar hooks with mumbled, cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk, the band simultaneously sounded traditional...
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Complete Warner Bros. Rarities 1988-2011, R.E.M.
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