Warner Bros. Records has released nine R.E.M. albums remastered with a DVD-A including bonus videos and unreleased tracks. This best of compilation is one of the finest I have ever heard. Rarely do I continually play best of sets-this is an exception to the rule.
R.E.M. is truly unique in many ways. In the 80s, their sound got the label of alternative rock, now it sounds like great rock music, period. I have always been one of the advocates of the 80s being the lost decade of music; R.E.M. blows that theory right out of the water. It is apparent to me that their legacy is intact by today’s standards. Their catalog is remarkable and they clearly separated themselves from everyone else very early in their career. This band single handedly turned Athens, Georgia, into a hotbed of music rivaling cities like Austin and Los Angeles.
This music truly moved me; it made me feel complete again, it connected me with my fellow man and the cultures that the music spawns. Eighteen tracks is a lot of music and I must honestly say that each song stands alone as an individual accomplishment unrivaled on any scale. The sound is incredible, particularly with the orchestrated sections and some of the drum parts, the cymbals sound like they are right in your lap. The surround sound goes beyond that, giving each track the separation any music connoisseur would appreciate. Two videos of “Bad Day” provide a great opportunity to see how a song and a video can develop, one is a rehearsal and the other the original video.
This is an ambitious offering from Warner Records. I plan to get all the remasters one way or another. This is the best way to start and it is a good primer for the rest of the catalog.
February 20, 2005
01. Man on the Moon
02. The Great Beyond [from Man on the Moon soundtrack]
03. Bad Day [previously unreleased]
04. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
05. All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star)
06. Losing My Religion
07. E-Bow The Letter
08. Orange Crush
09. Imitation of Life
11. Animal [previously unreleased]
12. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
15. All The Right Friends [from Vanilla Sky soundtrack]
16. Everybody Hurts
17. At My Most Beautiful
Bonus Videos of “Bad Day” on DVD-A