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Reckoning (Deluxe Edition)

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iTunes Review

After the success of their 1983 debut album Murmur, R.E.M. quickly assembled its follow-up, 1984’s Reckoning, a tight concise slab of ‘60s-influenced jangle pop heightened by the surging immediacy of its singles, “So. Central Rain” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville.” Singer Michael Stipe continues his hypnotic mumble, adding a layer of mystery and intrigue to enigmatic songs such as “7 Chinese Bros.” and “Pretty Persuasion” that are further blurred by the careful, elliptical guitar arpeggios of Peter Buck and the supportive harmonies from bassist Mike Mills. The 2009 Deluxe Edition includes a live concert taped at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on July 7, 1984 and broadcast on WXRT in Chicago. It features eight cuts from Reckoning and past glories such as “Gardening at Night” and “Radio Free Europe” as well as peeks at their future albums with “Driver 8” and “Hyena.” For a band noted for their quiet, pastoral textures and reflective tempos, the concert presents a much sharper and aggressive R.E.M., performing with a punkish intensity that sheds much of their folk-rock roots without losing their melodic grace. 

Customer Reviews

Here We Are

I don't take much time to write reviews on iTunes, but given there was no iTunes in 1986 when I first heard this record as a 14 year old, figured it was as good a time as any to write one. Needless to say, and I say this with tounge in cheek now 23 years later, this record saved my life. First REM song I ever heard was "Second Guessing", only because I wasn't sure which side to listen to first as they were not called side 1 or 2, or A or B, in fact they were called "Left" and "Right". A few years later, someone purchased the cassette, and told me it was by default set for "Harborcoat". I always listened to the Right side first. Anyway, to this day "Second Guessing It is still my favorite song by them. Over the years, from time to time I will revisit this record not only the enjoyment of hearing it again, but more for answers. There are definitely answers embedded in this record. Anyway, this is in my opinion the finest record ever made. Great to see it's been reissued with a great live recording to go along with it. Thanks REM for everything.

Time After Time

"Time After Time" is Stephen Malkmus' least favorite song.

Great live set

Good edition of the album, the live set is great. The original album is also stellar as well.


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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