R.E.M. - "Document" (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

R.E.M. - "Document" (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)

R.E.M. - 'Document' (25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
The 25th Anniversary Edition of R.E.M.'s 1987 disc Document came out last month and, like the previous R.E.M. "deluxe editions", offers little of value to the serious fan. This two disc set includes the original 11-track version of Document along with a second disc which contains a twenty-track live recording of the band performing in Utrecht, Holland on Sept., 14, 1987.

Similar to my complaint about the Fables reissue, the six b-sides ("Finest Worksong (Other Mix)", "Last Date", "The One I Love" (Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop), "Time After Time, Etc.", "Disturbance at the Heron House" (Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop) and "Finest Worksong" (Lengthy Club Mix)) which were bonus tracks on the 1993 reissue of Document have been dropped. There was also a 5.1 mix of the album released in 2005 which would have seemed to have made sense to be included as part of this 'deluxe edition'.

The live show is a nice recording and the energy and drive of these sorts of shows propelled the band into the coliseums when they toured two years later in support of Green. The problem is that this show has been commonly available as a soundboard bootleg for a number of years and the 'deluxe edition' edits out five tracks from the show ("Superman", "Strange", "Funtime", "Harpers" and "Time After Time - Red Rain". Given this, $23.51 (Amazon's price) seems like a steep price to pay when the only new material is a partial live show.

R.E.M. - "Funtime" (YouTube link)

For the long-time fan looking to upgrade from their vinyl version of Document, I'd suggest chasing down the 2005 dual-disc edition. If you have been in a cave for the last 25 years and haven't heard this disc, go chase down the IRS reissue which you can probably find cheap in a used CD shop. If you need the live show, the 25-track "Red Rain" bootleg seems pretty easy to find.