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Editors’ Notes

Eponymous was released in 1988 as a brief summary of R.E.M.’s early days with I.R.S. Records, just as the band moved to Warner Brothers. It became immediately essential for the inclusion of the original Hib-Tone single version of “Radio Free Europe,” which most fans hadn't heard (the song had been rerecorded for R.E.M.’s first album, Murmur). The other three unusual tracks are “Gardening at Night” with a different vocal mix than on the Chronic Town EP (which boosts Michael Stipe’s voice to the point where one can nearly hear his every word); “Finest Worksong,” which appears in its Mutual Drum Horn Mix that differs greatly from the mix on Document; and “Romance,” which had only appeared on the 1987 soundtrack to the film Made in Heaven. The remaining tracks are highlights from the band’s career to date, including the hits “Can’t Get There from Here,” “Fall on Me,” “The One I Love,” and “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” 

Customer Reviews

Gateway drug to REM

For a lot of folks who were late to the party, this was the gateway drug into REM. An excellent, essential compilation drawn from their first five albums, plus the rarity “Romance.”

Even if you have all of these songs on the proper albums, sometimes it’s just fun to listen to them in this order and remember.

This is by far my Favorite REM album.

Every song is awesome…what a collection.

Can't believe no one bought track three

That's the best one here to me, save the modern radio hits from Document. Only wish the lyrics were more recognizable. They sound muddled over ("Romance" and "Gardening At Night") .


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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