Digital Music — May 20, 2014 at 12:59 am

R.E.M. releases monster 131-track Warner Bros. rarities set, puts ‘Chronic Town’ on iTunes


It’s been a big week for R.E.M. fans — even bigger than we thought, with not just the release of the band’s 1991 and 2001 “MTV Unplugged” sets and the previously reported digital collection of I.R.S.-era rarities, but also a surprise digital companion featuring a whopping 131 B-sides, live tracks and non-album cuts from the band’s Warner Bros. period.

Plus, R.E.M.’s full catalog received a digital reissue in “Mastered for iTunes” format — and that includes the band’s long-neglected Chronic Town EP, which still has never even been released as a standalone CD. It is available digitally now, however, both on its own and as part of an I.R.S. years bundle on iTunes (a similar Warner Bros. bundle also is available).

While those are iTunes exclusives, the 50-track Complete Rarities: I.R.S. 1982-1987 and 131-track Complete Rarities: Warner Bros. 1988-2011 are also available at

Check out the full tracklist for the Warner Bros. set:



Tracklist: R.E.M., Complete Rarities: Warner Bros. 1988-2011

1. “Funtime” (Live) (Iggy Pop Cover)
2. “Ghost Rider” (Suicide Cover)
3. “Dark Globe” (Syd Barrett Cover)
4. “Pop Song 89” (Acoustic Version)
5. “Memphis Train Blues” (Non-Album Track)
6. “Skin Tight” (Live Orlando, FL April 30, 1989) (Ohio Players cover)
7. “Losing My Religion” (Acoustic) (Live At KFOG)
8. “Losing My Religion” (Live In Dublin 2005)
9. “Rotary Eleven” (Non-Album Track)
10. “You Are The Everything” (Live – Greensboro Coliseum, NC 11/10/1989)
11. “Love Is All Around” (Live)
12. “Shiny Happy People” (Dance To The Music Mix)
13. “Shiny Happy People” (Pop Mix)
14. “Shiny Happy People” (Hip Mix)
15. “It’s a Free World Baby” (Non-Album Track)
16. “Winged Mammal Theme” (Non-Album Track)
17. “First We Take Manhattan” (Leonard Cohen Cover)
18. “Everybody Hurts” (Album Fade)
19. “Mandolin Strum” (Non-Album Track)
20. “Orange Crush” (Live Version)
21. “Man On The Moon” (Album Edit)
22. “Arms Of Love” (Non-Album Track)
23. “World Leader Pretend” (Live) (Charleston WV 4/28/91)
24. “Belong” (Live) (Charleston WV 4/28/91)
25. “Low” (Live) (Charleston WV 4/28/91)
26. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (Non-Album Track)
27. “Fretless” (Non-Album Track)
28. “Everybody Hurts” (Live) (9/2/93-Los Angeles for the MTV Video Awards)
29. “Orange Crush” (Instrumental)
30. “Fall On Me” (Live)
31. “Me In Honey” (Live)
32. “Finest Worksong” (Live)
33. “Drive” (Live) (1992)
34. “Funtime” (Live) (1992)
35. “Radio Free Europe” (Live) (1992)
36. “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” (Live at SNL-11/12/94)
37. “Bang And Blame” (Live at SNL-11/12/94)
38. “I Don’t Sleep, I Dream” (Live at SNL-11/12/94)
39. “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” (Radio Version)
40. “Monty Got A Raw Deal” (Live)
41. “Everybody Hurts” (Live) (Athens, GA ’92)
42. “Man On The Moon” (Live) (Athens, GA ’92)
43. “Bang And Blame” (Album Version w/o Between Track Noise)
44. “Losing My Religion” (Live) (Athens 1992) (Applause Faded)
45. “Country Feedback” (Live) (Athens 1992) (Applause Faded)
46. “Begin The Begin” (Live) (Athens 1992)
47. “Undertow” (Live)
48. “Wichita Lineman” (Live) (Non-Album Track)
49. “New Test Leper” (Live Acoustic)
50. “Tricycle” (Instrumental) (Non-Album Track)
51. “Departure” (Live) (Rome Soundcheck)
52. “Wall Of Death” (From “Beat The Retreat”-Richard Thompson Tribute Album)
53. “The Wake Up Bomb” (Live Version) (Atlanta)
54. “Binky The Doormat” (Live Version) (Atlanta)
55. “King Of Comedy” (808 State Remix)
56. “Be Mine” (Mike On Bus Version)
57. “Love is All Around” (The Troggs Cover)
58. “Sponge” (Vic Chesnutt Cover)
59. “Emphysema” (Non-Album Track)
60. “Sad Professor” (Live In Studio Version)
61. “Why Not Smile” (Oxford American Version)
62. “Surfing The Ganges” (LP Version)
63. “Suspicion” (Live In Studio Version)
64. “Lotus” (Weird Mix)
65. “Electrolite” (Live From Jools Holland)
66. “Man On The Moon” (Live From Jools Holland)
67. “Suspicion” (Live At Ealing Studios)
68. “At My Most Beautiful” (Radio Remix)
69. “Passenger” (Recorded From “Later” With Jools Holland)
70. “Country Feedback” (Recorded From “Later” With Jools Holland)
71. “So. Central Rain” (Live From “Later”)
72. “The Great Beyond” (Non-Album Track)
73. “The One I Love” (Live From Glastonbury Festival)
74. “Everybody Hurts” (Live From Glastonbury Festival)
75. “Man On The Moon” (Live From Glastonbury Festival)
76. “Yellow River” (Non-Album Track)
77. “165 Hillcrest” (Non-Album Track)
78. “Imitation Of Life” (Live From Trafalgar Square)
79. “Summer Turns To High” (32 Chord Song Demo)
80. “I’ve Been High” (Live Video Version) (Channel V, Sydney)
81. “The Lifting” (Original Version)
82. “Beat A Drum” (Dalkey Demo)
83. “2JN” (Non-Album Track)
84. “Favorite Writer” (Non-Album Track)
85. “Out in the Country” (Non-Album Track)
86. “Adagio” (Unused Tune)
87. “Turn You Inside-Out” (Live Version)
88. “Chance” (Dub)
89. “Drive” (Live Version) (1994)
90. “Star Me Kitten” (Featuring W.S. Burroughs)
91. “Revolution” (Non-Album Track)
92. “Leave” (Alternate Version)
93. “The Lifting” (Demo)
94. “The One I Love” (Live Version) (MMM Sydney)
95. “Maps & Legends” (Live Rehearsal Version)
96. “Tongue” (Live Rehearsal Version)
97. “Little America” (Live Rehearsal Version)
98. “South Central Rain” (Live Rehearsal Version)
99. “Imitation Of Life” (Live Rehearsal Version)
100. “So Fast, So Numb” (Live) (Athens Rehearsal Sessions, 2004)
101. “All The Right Friends” (Live) (Athens Rehearsal Sessions, 2004)
102. “Animal” (New Mix)
103. “Pretty Persuasion” (Live) (NYC 2003)
104. “Welcome To The Occupation” (Live) (NYC 2003)
105. “You Are The Everything” (Live) (Raleigh, NC-Oct. 10, 2003)
106. “These Days” (Live) (Toronto-Sept. 30, 2003)
107. “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” (Live) (Oslo NRK P1 National Radio-Oct. 25, 2003)
108. “Wanderlust” (Live-Santa Barbara, CA 2004)
109. “Sweetness Follows” (Live) (Recorded in Cincinnati-Oct. 27, 2004)
110. “Horse To Water” (Live In Vancouver)
111. “Indian Summer” (Non-Album Track)
112. “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” (Live In London)
113. “Auctioneer” (Live In London)
114. “Hollow Man” (Live In London)
115. “Supernatural Superserious” (Live In London)
116. “Fall On Me” (Live In London)
117. “West Of The Fields” (Live In London)
118. “Horse To Water” (Live In London)
119. “Man-Sized Wreath” (Live In London)
120. “Man On The Moon” (Live In London)
121. “Mr. Richards” (Vancouver)
122. “Living Well Jesus Dog” (Non-Album Track)
123. “Airliner” (Non-Album Track)
124. “Redhead Walking” (Non-Album Track)
125. “Houston” (iTunes Live From London)
126. “Harborcoat” (Live At The Olympia)
127. “Letter Never Sent” (Live At The Olympia)
128. “Second Guessing” (Live At The Olympia)
129. “Pretty Persuasion” (Live At The Olympia)
130. “NOLA-4/26/10” (Non-Album Track)
131. “That Someone Is You” (Live In The Studio)






  1. Not to be that guy, but it’s not actually complete even for sanctioned Warner Bros. releases. It omits any reference to the Near Wild Heaven EP, so you’ll still be missing live versions of ‘Endgame’ and their cover of ‘Tom’s Diner.’

    That said, it is pretty complete and pretty cool!

    • And I will add, the fact that REM managed to keep this release under their collective hat is kind of delightful. It’s hard to surprise anyone with anything these days, but I don’t think anyone anywhere saw this coming. REM’s camp is still a watertight compartment. Amazing.

      Best band ever.

  2. Three versions of Shiny Happy People and not one cover of Pylon’s Crazy….sorry, pretty unforgivable!

  3. Radio Song remixes are not included.

  4. I know there’s little chance of it but I’d love a physical release – I can’t bring myself to spend close to £50 on a download no matter how large the track listing is.

  5. judgesmails

    Very minor omission – this set is missing the alternate version of “Low” that was released on the “Wanderlust” single. To be fair, though, the alternate version isn’t much different than the L.P. version.

    Also, the live version of “Orange Crush” from the “Everybody Hurts” single isn’t linking to the correct song – it links to the studio version of “Dark Globe” (at least in the U.S. itunes store).

    • Yes to both. Other very minor omissions include the AFTP B-sides ‘Fruity Organ,’ which absolutely no one will miss, and ‘New Orleans Instrumental No. 2,’ which is actually pretty cool. Both were in a 4-CD set released by W-Bros. as “The Automatic Box” back in the day.

      I have to admit that this set did include one surprise for me, their very Velvet Underground-y cover of Beat Happening’s “Indian Summer.” How did I not own that???? Heretofore I would have said Luna did the definitive version of that song, but not I’m not so sure. Amazing stuff.

  6. This is a great compilation, but I’m really disappointed that ‘On The Fly’ is missing – a great song from the Accelerate sessions.

  7. Good collection. Now why don’t REM do that reunion tour already that we all know is going to come at some point, lol

    • No thanks. I look at them as the modern day Beatles now while Lennon and Harrison were still with us (in the 70’s).

      McCartney recently said the best decision the Beatles ever made were NOT to reunite in the 70’s because it would have damaged their legacy. I fully agree and feel the same way about R.E.M. now.

  8. Couple other live ones missing ‘Academy Fight Song’, ‘Crazy’ live… but overall very complete.

  9. I am not even remotely excited about this package since I have it all already by simply buying it over the years as a massive fan of the band. Yes, it’s nice to have in the same package instead of scattered all over different CDs and vinyl and such….

    I wonder if Peter will be doing the liner notes? I bet…

  10. The live “Athens 1992” cuts are my faves because they came from an excellent (and widely-bootlegged) concert, maybe my favorite R.E.M. live recording of all-time, official or otherwise. Too bad they never released it as a complete, standalone album.

    Also, they already had an IRS rarities collection called Dead Letter Office, which has remained in-print for a very long time, with the CD version including Chronic Town in its entirety. That’s actually the meat of the IRS rarities collection on iTunes, so it’s not exactly revelatory.

  11. Eric Black

    Please thanks to everyone involved for including Iggy’s ” The Passenger” from the Jools Holland show-saw that (over the credits I think) on the tele while in London- cheered me up when I was really missing Athens. Also a great cover.

  12. Chronic Mumblings

    I would buy this, if it was lossless.

    Anyone know anything about the quality / format of iTunes’ and Amazon’s downloads for this?

  13. This is nice and all, but a nice release of the Christmas Fan Club singles would be even better.

  14. A number of other missing tracks ‘Dragging the Line’ from the Austin Powers 2 Soundtrack, ‘Photograph’ with Natalie Merchant, ‘#9 Dream’ and there was a pretty sweet Alt version of ‘The Outsiders’ too.

  15. Derek Van Gieson

    I noticed a few other absent tracks, “After Hours” and “Forty Second Song”.

  16. CakeSaint

    The live version of “After Hours” from one of the “Losing My Religion” singles (Germany?) is also missing. As are the vinyl remixes of “Drive” (Primary and Secondary), though those were promo-only. If I’m going to mention those, there’s also the R.E.M. IX compilation of _Reveal_-era remixes.

  17. They should release their Christmas and Fanclub singles that way or for the next Record Store Day

    • Scott Stalcup

      Oh no, gotta disagree. Record Store Day is a BAD idea, because the collected fan club singles will end up right back where they were: eBay, and at even more ridiculous prices than before.

  18. Almond Roca

    Omissions aside, there are so many goofs with this release, and no indication of when or if they’ll be corrected. Check the Wikipedia entry under “known issues”. Urgh.

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