Unplugged 1991/2001: Complete Sessions

Unplugged 1991/2001: Complete Sessions

by R.E.M.R.E.M.


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Originally released as a quadruple-vinyl Record Store Day exclusive then later a double-CD set, Complete Unplugged Sessions captures two separate acoustic shows from R.E.M.: one from 1991, performed just after the release of Out of Time, the other from a decade later, just after they released Reveal, their second album without Bill Berry. Oddly, of these two performances, the one that feels the most like classic R.E.M. is the 2001 gig; even with the absence of Berry and an emphasis on latter-day Baroque pop typified by "At My Most Beautiful," this is a band that's playing as a band, augmented by some extra musicians -- trusty Scott McCaughey, along with Posie Ken Stringfellow, fill out the band while Joey Waronker provides percussion -- but nevertheless evoking nearly every era of R.E.M. by providing tight, assured versions of "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)," "Cuyahoga," and "The One I Love," along with a savvy acoustic revision of "Country Feedback." Naturally, there are quite a few selections from Up and Reveal, but those songs sound a bit richer when stripped down and placed in context with the rest of the band's catalog. In contrast, the 1991 set seems like a snapshot of a particular point in time, namely the florid folk-rock of Out of Time. Berry anchors the band on congas, Peter Buck never skimps on mandolin, Peter Holsapple offers sonic coloring (sometimes via an organ), and Mike Mills harmonizes sweetly with Michael Stipe. This is a sound the group never tried before and never did again (Automatic for the People grew out of this but its melancholy stands as a counterpoint to the essential lightness of Out of Time). R.E.M. also peppered their 1991 set list with song choices that remain surprising -- the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" is covered, the B-sides "Fretless" and "Rotary 11" are unearthed, and they performed a nimble rearrangement of "Radio Song," which was distinguished on record by KRS-One's rap -- and that, along with the distinct instrumentation, keeps the 1991 set fresh. Together, these two Unplugged Sessions -- which, in this incarnation, include 11 performances not featured on either broadcast -- make for a bit of a treat for hardcore R.E.M. fans, a document when the group was near the peak of their powers.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/19/2014
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227959579
catalogNumber: 541570
Rank: 2349

Album Credits

Performance Credits

R.E.M.   Primary Artist
Peter Buck   Group Member
Mike Mills   Group Member
Michael Stipe   Group Member
Bill Berry   Group Member

Technical Credits

Peter Buck   Composer
Alex Coletti   Producer
Scott Litt   Engineer
Mike Mills   Composer
Reg Presley   Composer
Michael Stipe   Composer
Andy Wolf   Equipment Technician
Bill Berry   Composer
Bertis Downs   Advisor
Bill Flanagan   Executive Producer
Bob Small   Creation
Bob Weber   Equipment Technician
Jamie Candiloro   Engineer
Joe O'Herlihy   Engineer
Joel Gallen   Executive Producer
DeWitt Burton   Equipment Technician
Mark Mytrowitz   Equipment Technician
Pat McCarthy   Remixing
Dave Sirulnick   Executive Producer
Tom McPhillips   Production Design
Bill Thompson   Equipment Technician
Milton Lage   Director
Jim Burns   Creation
John Lynn   Equipment Coordinator
Alex Colettie   Director,Producer,Executive Producer
Todd Kilponen   Engineer
Carol Field   Art Direction

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