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Eponymous Best of

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 10 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Best of
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000002UVY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,335 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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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
8. Romance
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)

Product Description


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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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There's a youthful, upbeat tone to the songs on "Eponymous" - at once radio friendly energy, mixed with a sacred "underground" vibe. Michael Stipe's serious image comes through somewhat on this album, but his words are pretty straightforward, earthy compared to later efforts.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Eponymous is a greatest hits compilation covering R.E.M.'s early hits. It includes some of my favorite R.E.M. songs, such as "Radio Free Europe", "(Don't go Back to) Rockville", "Can't Get There From Here", "The One I Love", and "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (and I feel fine)".
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".
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Format: Audio CD
The first thing I would like to point out is that this CD is 42 minutes long. Forty-two! In the age of 80 minute running times, on the greatest hits album for probably the greatest American band of the past thirty odd years, on a disc covering their most fertile period - you get TWELVE SONGS! Other reviews have complained that a few more tracks would have fit on here: for god's sake, ten more tracks would have fit on here, and every single one would have been a classic! The only original contribution that this album makes is the forgettable new track Romance.
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.)
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Format: Audio CD
This collection gathers the better radio tracks from REM's first (and, to these ears, best) six years together. It's hard to remember how organic and dynamic underground-turned-mainstream hits like "South Central Rain" and "Radio Free Europe" (heard here in its original demo version) were until you hear them again, especially in the 80s when alternative radio was restricted to college frequencies.
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.
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