R.E.M.

Complete Rarities I.R.S. 1982-1987

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

A digital-only release arriving in May of 2014, Complete Rarities I.R.S. 1982-1987 offers 50 stray tracks that have come out on various reissues, B-sides, and even the 1987 compilation Dead Letter Office, which was the first time R.E.M. attempted to tie up loose ends. The CD of Dead Letter Office contained Chronic Town, but that debut EP is absent on this collection (it hasn't appeared on any of the deluxe reissues of I.R.S. titles either). It's an unfortunate omission -- Chronic Town is a pivotal part of American indie rock -- but even with its absence, Complete Rarities I.R.S. 1982-1987 is a worthwhile clearinghouse of oddities, demos, outtakes, and live cuts from R.E.M.'s golden era. There are no new excavations here. The bulk of the collection is based on Dead Letter Office and the bonus disc included with the two-CD version of the 2006 compilation And I Feel Fine...: The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987, with the rest rounded out with bonus tracks available either on expanded European editions from the '90s or various other reissues. There is plenty to love here -- the original Hib-Tone single of "Radio Free Europe"/"Sitting Still"; exuberant early versions of "All the Right Friends" and "Bad Day," songs they'd later revive; a nervy demo of "Just a Touch"; a live medley of "Time After Time," "Red Rain," and "So. Central Rain"; the entirety of Dead Letter Office -- and hardcore fans who have somehow managed to not get this music into their R.E.M. collections should consider picking up this useful digital set.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:48 Amazon
2 3:16 Amazon
3 1:56 Amazon
4 3:30 Amazon
5 3:54 Amazon
6 3:54 Amazon
7 2:21 Amazon
8 4:02 Amazon
9 2:50 Amazon
10 4:09 Amazon
11 3:49 Amazon
12 3:18 Amazon
13 3:26 Amazon
14 4:44 Amazon
15 2:39 Amazon
16 3:14 Amazon
17 2:54 Amazon
18 4:25 Amazon
19 1:32 Amazon
20 1:52 Amazon
21 1:59 Amazon
22 2:01 Amazon
23 3:06 Amazon
24 3:49 Amazon
25 4:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 3:43 Amazon
2 2:17 Amazon
3 4:13 Amazon
4 3:49 Amazon
5 3:03 Amazon
6 3:30 Amazon
7 3:03 Amazon
8 2:50 Amazon
9 2:49 Amazon
10 2:02 Amazon
11 2:01 Amazon
12 4:37 Amazon
13 1:00 Amazon
14 2:28 Amazon
15 3:27 Amazon
16 2:17 Amazon
17 5:52 Amazon
18 3:51 Amazon
19 3:46 Amazon
20 3:16 Amazon
21 3:26 Amazon
22 4:07 Amazon
23 2:43 Amazon
24 2:38 Amazon
25 8:23 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick