The Best of R.E.M.

The Best of R.E.M. is a greatest hits album by R.E.M. released in 1991, shortly after the success of the band's seventh studio album, Out of Time, released by Warner Bros. The Best of R.E.M., however, was released by the band's previous record label, I.R.S. Records, and only includes tracks from their first five albums while the group was with that label. As such, it covers their output from 1982 to 1987.

The Best of R.E.M.
Greatest hits album by
ReleasedSeptember 30, 1991 (1991-09-30)
GenreAlternative rock
LanguageEnglish, French ("Talk About the Passion")
ProducerMitch Easter, Don Dixon, Joe Boyd, Don Gehman, Scott Litt, R.E.M.
R.E.M. chronology
This Film Is On
The Best of R.E.M.
Automatic for the People
R.E.M. compilations chronology
The Best of R.E.M.
The Automatic Box

The Best of R.E.M. was only issued in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and Chile, complete with liner notes from Remarks: The Story of R.E.M. by Tony Fletcher (a domestic American greatest hits album had been released prior with a very similar track list titled Eponymous). It has no alternate mixes (unlike Eponymous); all the songs are the album versions.

Three songs were taken from each of the first five studio albums and one song was taken from Chronic Town, the band's first EP, making a total of sixteen songs on the album.

Critical reception

"A considerable improvement on the useful but haphazard Eponymous collection," wrote Dan Maier in a 5/5 review for Select. "It'll be a few years before Warners release their own 'Best Of'. In the meantime, this'll do very nicely indeed."[1]

Track listing

All tracks written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe.

  1. "Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)" (from Chronic Town) – 3:51
  2. "Radio Free Europe" (from Murmur) – 4:03
  3. "Perfect Circle" (from Murmur) – 3:23
  4. "Talk About the Passion" (from Murmur) – 3:22
  5. "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" (from Reckoning) – 3:11
  6. "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" (from Reckoning) – 4:34
  7. "Pretty Persuasion" (from Reckoning) – 3:53
  8. "Green Grow the Rushes" (from Fables of the Reconstruction) – 3:42
  9. "Cant Get There from Here" (from Fables of the Reconstruction) – 4:10
  10. "Driver 8" (from Fables of the Reconstruction) – 3:18
  11. "Fall On Me" (from Lifes Rich Pageant) – 2:49
  12. "I Believe" (from Lifes Rich Pageant) – 3:32
  13. "Cuyahoga" (from Lifes Rich Pageant) – 4:17
  14. "The One I Love" (from Document) – 3:17
  15. "Finest Worksong" (from Document) – 3:48
  16. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (from Document) – 4:07


Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Germany Gold
BPI - UK Gold[2]


  1. Select, issue 17, November 1991
  2. "Certified Awards". BPI. Retrieved 19 June 2014.