If you went to college sometime between 1985 and 1995, you probably listened to a lot of R.E.M. whether you wanted to or not (unless you spent Friday & Saturday nights in the library and didn't own a radio). In my case, I wanted to. R.E.M. is in that rare space occupied by Pearl Jam, Van Halen, The Doors, and maybe the Beach Boys - that space being called "Contenders for the greatest American rock band of the last 50 years".
_Green_ is their debut effort for Warner Bros. records. R.E.M. had gained a massive college following under their previous 5 albums, culminating in _Document_, the fulcrum for their entire output. After the success of _Document_, the band made a conscious effort to do things differently and, while the result is not completely, 100% new, the more pop-ish, 80's-influenced semi-dance numbers like "Pop Song 89" and "Stand" were not in the slightly mordant, melancholic vibe that the fan base was used to up to that point. Nonetheless, "World Leader Pretend" and "Orange Crush" showed same thoughtful, serious-style song writing that also was an evolution of style and more sophisticated than much of what had come before.
Included with this release is a concern given in Greensboro, NC on the tour supporting this album. Mixed for this release from the original master tapes, this show included most of the _Green_ album along with many R.E.M. favorites up to that time. Also included in the box are 4 postcards of the band members (not much into these myself, but others may enjoy) and a poster (which I may donate to my kids should they like this album and ask for it).
A word about the sound in light of another review here. I found nothing to complain about. Yes, this does not sound like the 1989 CD - this CD is louder, fuller, and mixed with the idea that people may use it to rip MP3's for their mobile players. That's how all CD's are made in 2013 because that's the format most people use to listen to music in 2013. If you do choose to play it on your stereo, like I did in my car, you will not find anything to complain about in my view. Solid bass, but clear, and lots of detail. If you want your music to sound like it did in 1989, buy vinyl - it's still made that way and you'll be happy.
Overall, a great purchase and I am looking forward to an anniversary edition of _Out of Time_.