New R.E.M. reissues are afoot, getting some of that early I.R.S. Records material back into circulation. Eponymous is a greatest hits compilation covering the band’s career up until the point of its release (1988). Also, several hit songs are presented in alternate versions that are otherwise hard to come across. Reissued by Universal.
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It is indeed a compilation as Jack notes in his review below and perhaps doesn't flow as well as their albums but this was my introduction to R.E.M when I was nobbut a youth and I enjoyed following their trajectory from oddball pastoral post punk janglers on the opening 'Radio Free Europe' to the closing chart-ready dash of 'It's the End of the World As We Know It'. In between you get all the IRS era singles plus a non album track 'Romance' which is rather excellent. I do hope that this re-issue includes the inner bag photo of Michael Stipe with bubble perm and airbrushed face. Another example of how the group didn't take themselves too seriously despite their obvious brilliance.
7/10 Jack Customer review, 11th July 2016
Eponymous is R.E.M.'s conception of their greatest hits from their formidable years with IRS. It is admirable: It works well as a sampler; it adds to the experience with archival recordings that contrast from some of the originals; and it 'Documents' their growth and progression from their roots as a Southern college art band that helped create alternative rock before it became a word. The selections are fine, but they don't totally mesh together like their albums, and, though they don't spoil additional purchases for their original albums it doesn't flow as well as In Time, 1988-2003.
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