R.E.M.'s 1980s output on I.R.S. Records is considered the band's definitive period by many of their fans. Their critically acclaimed 1983 debut, Murmur, along with constant touring and consistent college radio support, helped build their reputation. It was these years in the trenches that built their underground success. It would not be until 1987 that R.E.M. would crossover to mainstream success with the hit "The One I Love." In that time they released six albums and many 7" singles. 7IN-83-88 collects eleven singles that R.E.M. released on I.R.S. Records between 1983 and 1988. Two of the singles were previously only available in the UK, "Finest Worksong" / "Time After Time" (live) and the double-pack single for "Wendell Gee" with "Crazy," "Ages of You," and "Burning Down." All of the singles are presented in their original packaging, creating the ultimate historical document of one of music's most creative and influential bands.
- eleven singles R.E.M. released between 1983 and 1988 with I.R.S. Records
- features replicated original picture sleeve art
- includes two U.K. releases making their U.S. vinyl seven-inch debuts
- music label: I.R.S. Records 2014
reviewed by Hank Ohs 01/2015