Eponymous Best of
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Radio Free Europe (original Hib-Tone single)|
|2. Gardening at Night (different vocal mix)|
|3. Talk About the Passion|
|4. So. Central Rain|
|5. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville|
|6. Can't Get There From Here|
|7. Driver 8|
|9. Fall On Me|
|10. The One I Love|
|11. Finest Worksong (mutual drum horn mix)|
|12. It's the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)|
Much as the outtake and B-side collection Dead Letter Office anthologizes the many oddities of R.E.M., 1988's Eponymous is a document testifying to the astounding strength of their formative I.R.S. years. Eponymous reinforces the notion that the inchoate R.E.M. was a rare and brilliant gem of a group. While a somewhat brief CD, it provides quality listening from start to finish with hits such as "The One I Love," "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville," and "Driver 8" tucked amid the likes of an alternate take of "Finest Worksong" and the wonderfully mysterious "Gardening at Night." Especially noteworthy is the inclusion of the original seven-inch version of "Radio Free Europe," the band's 1981 release. --Lorry Fleming
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Top Customer Reviews
R.E.M. have always been about sheer melody within their songs, and this album has plenty of that, top to bottom. "Gardening at Night" is at once very pop, a little punk, and a little new-wave; but like all the tunes on "Eponymous," it has a great sing-along chorus that's classic R.E.M, irresistable. With jangly guitars but tight song structures, as well as thoughtful lyrics sung passionately (not self-importantly), these twelve songs are a splendid representation of early R.E.M. in the '80s. The depth of such songs as "So. Central Rain," "Can't Get There from Here," and "Fall on Me" is simply astounding for such a young band. Musically very talented, focused and mature for their ages and occupations, it's easy to see how these guys eventually conquered the world with their music.
R.E.M. obviously didn't partake in all the sheeny, bombastic music that infiltrated the 1980s, but they still wrote highly anthemic tunes, and they prided themselves on their unique brand of thinking-man's pop for those willing to seek out better music during that time period. "Eponymous" is an outstanding collection of singles by a classic rock band, a band who has evolved into many different animals over the years. This is the band in a loose, non-self-conscious, charming light - a great rock band as they hurtled into the mainstream of America's radios and beyond.
I have seen a few references to how the album is brief. I'd agree, but keep in mind when it was compiled and what the average length of albums were in those days. Of course, with R.E.M. generally more is better and I can understand those who would love the album to run longer.
Also, if you'll allow me a brief digression, under "The Best of R.E.M.: In Time" reviews I saw complaints about how songs such as "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (and I feel fine)" are not on it -- "Best in Time" spans from 1988 on; "Eponymous" spans from the band's debut to, you guessed it, 1987. To complete your collection, you need to own both.
Back to "Eponymous"...albeit short, it's an excellent collection from one of the greatest bands ever (in my humble opinion). I highly recommend getting it to complement "The Best of R.E.M.: In Time".
Eponymous covers the period where pretty much every album REM put out is brilliant. If you insist on buying just one golden age REM CD, get Murmur. Or Reckoning, or Document, depending on what songs you desperately want to have. The depressing thing is that, with all the time left on this CD, you could probably have fit the rest of any of those albums on here. I bought this a while ago and finally sold it to a Used CD store after not listening to it for years. The albums I'll own forever. Each of them has its own flavor (Murmur especially): the songs gain from being around each other.
(Let me just give a short list of the brilliant songs that could have all fit on here: Perfect Circle, Catapult, Shaking Through, We Walk, 7 Chinese Brothers, Camera, and Oddfellows Local 151. And those are just my personal favorites.)
The group had already concocted muscular folk-rock melodies based on the genre's heroes. The Byrds' country and folk-rock influences all the songs, as does Alex Chilton's Box Tops and Michael Nesmith's First National Band ("Rockville" closes with a quote from Johnny Rivers' "Poor Side of Town.")Who could forget Michael Stipe's distinctive voice buried in musical quicksand, and trying to decipher his cryptic lyric images?
Highlights include the staples "The One I Love" and the fun, if silly "It's The End of The World" (the conductor, Communist, comic and critic fit together only rythmically), the gorgeous "Fall On Me" from their only Don Gehman-produced album (with softheaded Biblical imagery reminiscent of his other major client, John Mellencamp) and Bill Berry's great drumming throughout, especially on "Can't Get There From Here" and "Gardening at Night." Recommended early music from a Hall of Fame-bound rock band.
Most recent customer reviews
...you would not be throwing money away by purchasing Eponymous, which is essentially a best-of collection spanning R.E.M.'s contract under the I.R.S. label. Read morePublished on April 21 2004 by J. GARRATT
This is an early hits collection, from what some say is their best era. It starts off with "Radio Free Europe" from the excellent debut "Murmur", and also... Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003 by H3@+h
I like REM. Their music is really good. I especially like their songs.Published on May 22 2003 by Lampwick of Beeswax
A collection of fine songs gleaned from R.E.M.'s first albums for the IRS label. This is high quality work all the way, intelligent, melodic, and passionate. Read morePublished on March 29 2003 by David Bonesteel
This is a great CD but Amazon's Listing of the songs is missing one. This also includes their first hit "Radio Free Europe". This is a great for older stuff.Published on Dec 8 2002
Rushed out to capitalize upon R.E.M.'s growing popularity in 1988 comes this "anthology" of sorts from the I.R.S. years.
R.E.M. Read more
After the band signed with Warner Brother's, their sound significantly changed, especially after Green. Eponymous is a great place to get into the earlier R.E.M. Read morePublished on April 28 2002 by Pen Name?
Eponymous tries do a good job of providing a greatest hits album of REM's work before signing to warner brothers but leaves a great many songs out like Radio Free Europe. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2002 by Neel Aroon