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In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Limited Edition) Best of, Limited Edition, Extra tracks

4.0 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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  • In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Limited Edition)
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Total price: CDN$ 31.62
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 13 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Best of, Limited Edition, Extra tracks
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B0000DD535
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  DVD Audio
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #95,056 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Man On The Moon
2. The Great Beyond
3. Bad Day
4. What's the Frequency Kenneth?
5. All the Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)
6. Losing My Religion
7. E-bow The Letter
8. Orange Crush
9. Imitation Of Life
10. Daysleeper
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Pop Song '89 (acoustic b-side of Pop Song '89)
2. Turn You Inside-Out (from Tourfilm)
3. Fretless (from Until The End Of The World soundtrack)
4. Chance (dub) b-side from Everybody Hurts
5. It's A Free World Baby (from Coneheads soundtrack)
6. Drive (from Live Greenpeace)
7. Star Me Kitten (featuring William Burroughs from X-Files)
8. Revolution (from Batman And Robin soundtrack)
9. Leave (from A Life Less Ordinary soundtrack)
10. Why Not Smile (Oxford American version)
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

After putting Athens, GA, on the musical map in the early '80s, R.E.M. went on to become one of the world's biggest bands. Fusing folk, garage rock, pop sensibilities, and insightful lyrics delivered with Michael Stipe's inimitable lead vocals, these alt-rock forefathers built a massive indie following, and in 1988 unleashed their major-label debut, Warner Bros.' Green. This roots rock tour de force was followed in '91 by the Grammy-winning #1 blockbuster Out of Time, which led to an ongoing stream of masterpieces. These two classics, along with five more albums from R.E.M.'s extraordinary catalog-plus their retrospective Best Of-now each feature a Bonus DVD with Surround Sound audio and video extras.


In 1988, REM were a cult on the cusp of major success. In 1992 they were somewhere close to being the biggest band in the world. In 2003, they're marginalised again, a middle-aged institution purportedly on the wane. Still, uninformed listeners to In Time might find it tricky to work out which songs come from which era. The 18 singles collected here in non-chronological order show a band that's operated at a terrifyingly high standard throughout the period, so that less lauded songs like "The Great Beyond" stand proud alongside the familiar anthems from the early 1990s. Of course, these compilations are sent to irritate loyalists, whose relief at the inclusion of "E-Bow the Letter" (a mesmerising duet with Patti Smith from 1996) will be undermined by the bewildering absence of 1992's tearjerking epiphany "Find the River". For a more comprehensive survey of REM's excellence, you'll also need The Best of REM, the highlights of their elliptical early years.

One suspects a box set that tells the full story of this enduring band can't be that far away. For now, though, In Timewill do well enough, especially in this limited edition two-CD set, which augments the hits with 15 B-sides, live tracks and duets with William Burroughs and such. It also reveals REM's penchant for chucking away some mighty songs ("It's a Free World Baby", "Revolution") on the soundtracks of mediocre movies. --John Mulvey

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Here's a new and strange recipe for success. Release an unlistenable album every 18 months or so, but make sure that there's at least one song per disc that will make a bit of a splash on the radio. Watch fans buy the record--hoping for more of the great sound they heard on the air--then watch these disappointed fans flood used record stores across the country with a million billion copies of Monster and Reveal. After fifteen years of this, select out a few of the radio tracks and a few of the droning unlistenable stuff, add two new tracks, re-release and re-repeat.
I know: There are two schools of thought here. One is that the early albums (Murmur, Reckoning) rocked hard and that everything after (with bumps at Out of Time and Automatic) has been kind of a gradual descent into experimental stuff that sounds intriguing once, but which would never, ever make it into one's CD wallet for a long roadtrip. The other is that the band has been getting better and better with every album. Sorry to be blunt, but those who adhere to this second point of view are members of a small and dedicated cult who are desperately trying to cling onto god-knows-what delusions they have about this band. I'd never let any of these people within a hundred yards of the CD player at a party.
If you're a member of the esoteric order of Stipe and enjoy tracks like Reveal's "All the Way to Reno," then this is the album for you. However, if you like the early REM and the REM of the radio, you'll probably be better off getting one of your REM cultist buddies to make you a mix tape. Not that I'm advocating piracy, but if this is the legal, band-selected "best of," that might be the only way to get a good REM sampler.
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Format: Audio CD
In many ways the 1990's were not kind to R.E.M.. The band became fantastically popular during the early part of the decade-especially with OUT OF TIME-but the remaining years have seen the boys from Athens, Georgia sink almost to obscurity with increasing indifference greeting each new CD. It is tempting to date the start of this slide with the departure of drummer Bill Berry; but the slide began before his catatrophic health problems.
The truth is that most people tend to either love or dislike any particular R.E.M. song. (With a couple of exceptions, I defy anyone to tell me what Michael Stipe is talking about,) There is hardly any middle ground. Hence, it is easy for any listener to cherry pick his favorite songs from each album to come up with his own greatest hits CD. Approaching the R.E.M. songbook this way reminds us that even in the dark recent years R.E.M. has had some excellent songs. Unfortunately, the listener may also be caught by surprise at just how few songs from R.E.M. he actually likes-the standard length CD may in fact be too much time to fill.
This collection begins with three excellent songs. "Man On The Moon" is the tribute to Andy Kaufman that slips from its subject to the transcendent in the course of five minutes. "The Great Beyond" likewise takes Andy Kaufman is its subject yet I have always felt it was a fitting epitaph to the baby-boom generation. "Bad Day" is a good R.E.M. rant and new contribution for this CD.
We then hit the buzsaw of "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" and "All The Way To Reno"-two rather frantic songs the Michael Stipe apparently likes but always struck me as rather tedious.
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Format: Audio CD
The Best Of R.E.M... I cannot imagine how hard it would be to pick a handful out of a whole range of fantastic songs this band has produced, but this collection is very promising. If you've heard one or two of their songs on the radio, and liked what you heard, this collection will certainly appeal to you.
It has the songs "everybody has heard a thousand times before", such as Man On The Moon, Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts, Imitation Of Life and Whats The Frequency, Kenneth?, just to name a few. All fantastic songs and are some of the best of the album they were taken from.
The cd ranges from mellow and sweet (Reno, At My Most Beautiful), to the fun and wacky (Stand, Sidewinder), and there is such a diversity here that can appeal to everyone. There's even two new songs, Animal and Bad Day, which are both good and may be a taste as to where R.E.M. are leading now.
The second cd, however, is one I can only really recommend to fans, but seeing it's only a few bucks more, it's probably best to pay full price and get them both.
The second cd has fantastic versions of some of my favourite songs (Pop Song '89, The Lifting, Star Me Kitten, Leave), live versions of the popular Country Feedback, Drive, and The One I Love, and even some rare outtakes and B-Sides that may grasp the interest of those who have all their albums anyway. The live version of Turn You Inside-Out was, in my opinion, especially good.
The only real complaints with the cd are more personal than anything else... I still think Lotus, I'll Take The Rain and Strange Currencies should have been in somewhere... but whatever.
In summation, this is a fantastic collection that I thoroughly recommend. It's a great way to get into one of the biggest bands of all time.
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