Disc 1 is 21-track single-disc collection of hits and band favourites including Radio Free Europe (R.E.M.'s debut single), The One I Love & It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). Disc 2 also contains 21 tracks of rarities from the I.R.S. and R.E.M. vaults. Includes alternate takes, previously unreleased mixes, live recordings of familiar R.E.M. classics, an acoustic performance from the 1987 documentary film Athens, GA - Inside Out, among them 10 never before released tracks Each of R.E.M.'s four original members has selected a personal favourite for the rarities disc. The package includes descriptive track-by-track annotations in the band members' own words plus newly-penned liner notes by rock scribe Anthony DeCurtis.
The songs collected on And I Feel Fine... The Best of The I.R.S. Years 1982-1987
are just good enough to render the previous I.R.S. years collection, 1998's Eponymous
, officially dead. The latter was likely the way the masses heard R.E.M.'s underground hits on CD the first time--after all, the band had just come off of their apocalyptic breakthrough single ("It's the end of the world...") and CD players were finally hitting below the $400 mark. It did the trick. We all got up to date and it paved the way for a more sonic R.E.M. to grow into the phenomena they've become. This new version is a welcome history re-write as it pulls more from Murmur
days and does a far better job at telling the early story--owing a great deal to the photos and in-depth notes from Anthony DeCurtis.
For our money it's worth $2 to buy the "Collectors Edition" for the massive collection of rarities on disc 2. The DVD companion to this CD is a visual goldmine. -- Peter Hilgendorf
--This text refers to an alternate