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At Their Most Beautiful: New R.E.M. Compilation Announced

with 7 comments

The music world was kind of shocked when R.E.M. announced their breakup. (We even devoted a whole Reissue Theory to their 1987 B-sides compilation Dead Letter Office.) It’s certainly interesting timing, then, that the band has one last act of catalogue material before they split: a double-disc compilation coming in November.

Named after a quippy assessment of the band by its own guitarist, Peter Buck, Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 is the first set from the band to span their career in full – both their heady, pioneering college-rock days on I.R.S. Records as well as their move to further international acclaim on Warner Bros. Naturally, it also includes three new tracks: a new single, the aptly-titled “We All Go Back to Where We Belong” (available to download October 18) and two additional tracks from the sessions to the band’s latest album, this year’s Collapse Into Now.

It’s easy to be cynical about the timing of this release, coming less than a week after the band’s split. But the ability to collect the band’s full greatest hits in one spot is actually rather neat. The only other Warner compilation on the market is 2003’s In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003, while the I.R.S. era has been anthologized to death, most recently with 2006’s And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987. (Both sets, in fact, had their own deluxe editions with various rarities here and there.) The song selection is certainly arguable (as it was when we did our own Reissue Theory on a full R.E.M. hits set earlier this year), but the 40 songs herein aren’t a terrible place to start.

The package is available November 15 and can be ordered (along with the track list) after the jump.

R.E.M., Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982-2011 (Warner Bros. 529088-2, 2011)

Disc 1

  1. Gardening At Night
  2. Radio Free Europe
  3. Talk About the Passion
  4. Sitting Still
  5. So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
  6. (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville
  7. Driver 8
  8. Life and How to Live It
  9. Begin the Begin
  10. Fall on Me
  11. Finest Worksong
  12. It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine)
  13. The One I Love
  14. Stand
  15. Pop Song 89
  16. Get Up
  17. Orange Crush
  18. Losing My Religion
  19. Country Feedback
  20. Shiny Happy People

Disc 2

  1. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
  2. Everybody Hurts
  3. Man on the Moon
  4. Nightswimming
  5. What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?
  6. New Test Leper
  7. Electrolite
  8. At My Most Beautiful
  9. The Great Beyond
  10. Imitation of Life
  11. Bad Day
  12. Leaving New York
  13. Living Well is the Best Revenge
  14. Supernatural Superserious
  15. ÜBerlin
  16. Oh My Heart
  17. Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_Antimatter
  18. A Month of Saturdays
  19. We All Go Back to Where We Belong
  20. Hallelujah

Disc 1, Track 1 from Chronic Town (I.R.S., 1982)
Disc 1, Tracks 2-4 from Murmur (I.R.S., 1983)
Disc 1, Tracks 5-6 from Reckoning (I.R.S., 1984)
Disc 1, Tracks 7-8 from Fables of the Reconstruction (I.R.S., 1985)
Disc 1, Tracks 9-10 from Lifes Rich Pageant (I.R.S., 1986)
Disc 1, Tracks 11-13 from Document (I.R.S., 1987)
Disc 1, Tracks 14-17 from Green (Warner Bros., 1988)
Disc 1, Tracks 18-20 from Out of Time (Warner Bros., 1991)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-4 from Automatic for the People (Warner Bros., 1992)
Disc 2, Track 5 from Monster (Warner Bros., 1994)
Disc 2, Tracks 6-7 from New Adventures in Hi-Fi (Warner Bros., 1996)
Disc 2, Track 8 from Up (Warner Bros., 1998)
Disc 2, Track 9 from Man on the Moon: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Warner Bros., 1999)
Disc 2, Track 10 from Reveal (Warner Bros., 2001)
Disc 2, Track 11 from In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (Warner Bros., 2003)
Disc 2, Track 12 from Around the Sun (Warner Bros., 2004)
Disc 2, Tracks 13-14 from Accelerate (Warner Bros., 2008)
Disc 2, Tracks 15-17 from Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros., 2011)
Disc 2, Tracks 18-20 are new tracks

Written by Mike Duquette

September 26, 2011 at 16:45

Posted in Compilations, News, REM

7 Responses

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  1. part rehash, part rehash, part outtakes, part rehash


    September 26, 2011 at 17:08

  2. Three tracks from Collapse Into Now, only one track from Monster… and still no “Drive”?

    Justin L

    September 26, 2011 at 17:17

  3. Whatta stinkin’ pile of poo this comp is. I will work backwards…. The sheer ego of including THREE!!! songs from their album that came out a few months ago that no one bought and then adding 3 further barrel scrapings from those sessions as “new” tracks which effectively makes 15% of this two CD set covering 31 years coming from the bands last year? No “Drive” ?? Are you F’n kidding me? And no room for”Pretty Persuasion”, “Can’t Get There From Here”, “Superman”, “Bang And Blame”, “Bittersweet Me”, “e-Bow The Letter”, “Daysleeper??? !!!! Yeah, who needs them, I suppose! But somehow “Leper’ gets included? And yet there is room for something as wretched as “Country Feedback”! and finally. Not even the decency to give us the Hibtone Radio Free Europe?
    Well. I say Good riddance to one of the most pretentious bands on the planet.


    September 26, 2011 at 18:05

    • C’mon. True fans already have pretty much all their stuff, including b-sides and imports. Compilations are for casual fans and the curious. We can quibble all day about the individual selections( What? No Perfect Circle?), but it’s only two discs. Their last two albums were actually pretty strong, so I guess they want to give the songs from them another airing. Finally, the calculus is about right (it makes sense that Murmur and AFTP have the most songs, and Around the Sun, just one. And you know a HUGE box set will come out in a couple years.


      September 26, 2011 at 22:11

  4. Six tracks from 2011 is EXACTLY what everyone wants.

    Jason C

    September 26, 2011 at 19:18

  5. There’s really nothing to be cynical about in the timing of the release. If you go back and read the band’s press release on their break-up, they mention (I think Michael Stipe does) that it was while they were working on “this greatest hits album” and thinking about what’s next that they decided it would be a good stopping point for the group.

    It made me think, when I read the presser, “Hmmm…guess they have a new comp coming out”.

    So this must be it.


    September 26, 2011 at 19:26

  6. I’ll pass. The 2CD versions of “And I Feel Fine” and “In Time” make this completely unnecessary.

    Mark Bumgardner

    September 26, 2011 at 21:50

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