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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > Apr 2019 - Bananarama! > R.E.M. THE BEST OF R.E.M. IN TIME 1988–2003 CRAFT RECORDINGS

R.E.M. THE BEST OF R.E.M. IN TIME 1988–2003 CRAFT RECORDINGS

THE FINEST THAT ATHENS, GEORGIA, HAS TO OFFER DESERVE A DEFINITIVE CAREER-SPANNING BEST OF. SADLY, THIS ISN’T IT…

REISSUES

© Anton Corbijn

R.E.M.’s precipitous late-1980s ascent into the rock stratosphere was a charming, off-kilter pop miracle.

They were the leftfield college-rock band who went off and filled stadia: the nerdy outsiders who somehow got the girl and became the school cool kids.

Originally released on CD and very limited-edition vinyl in 2003, this compilation, now reissued on double vinyl, gathers key singles from 1988’s Green album through to 2001’s Reveal. It thus straddles both their golden days as a four-piece and the slow decline after drummer and co-songwriter Bill Berry quit in 1997.

It’s a curious collection which, like R.E.M. themselves, is alternately charming, idiosyncratic and oddly frustrating.

Tracks are quixotically thrown together, as if the concept of chronology is bourgeois: 2001’s All The Way To Reno heads into Losing My Religion from a decade before, then it’s on to 1996’s thrumming E-Bow The Letter.

This back-and-forth across the years can be disorienting when the juxtapositions are too jarring. All The Right Friends, a contribution to 2001 movie Vanilla Sky, is a footnote, R.E.M.-by-rote from a fallow period: its failings are laid all the more bare by being followed by the aching Everybody Hurts.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 51 of Classic Pop is on sale now! This month, we have an exclusive interview with Bananarama's Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward as they return with their first new studio album in a decade. We also meet iconic duo Hall & Oates before their UK arena tour and talk to Gary Numan as part of our look into the superfan phenomenon. Classic Pop pays tribute to the wonderful Mark Hollis from Talk Talk and we celebrate the band's iconic Spirit Of Eden in our latest Classic Album feature. Squeeze's Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford take us inside their spiky songwriting partnership and we also hear from Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder about his life as a one-of-a-kind wordsmith. Our packed new album reviews section includes Bananarama, Edwyn Collins, Toyah, Andy Bell and The Chemical Brothers. On the reissues front, we revisit New Order's debut album Movement plus re-releases from Prince, Kate Bush, R.E.M, David Bowie and more. In our live reviews section, we elbow our way down to the front for Tears For Fears, The Revolution, Holy Holy and Bryan Adams. Enjoy the issue!