While R.E.M.’s former label IRS bashed out compilations every 15 minutes, In Time was the first ‘best of’ released by Warner.

REM

By 2003, R.E.M. had released seven albums for the label, so narrowing In Time down to 16 old songs inevitably meant frustrating omissions, no matter which R.E.M. you preferred.

Rockist fans would have wanted Star 69 or Radio Song; lovers of Michael Stipe’s contemplative side will miss Find The River and Strange Currencies. In short, there’s no definitive R.E.M. singles compilation. While it was the 10th best-selling album in Britain of 2003, In Time hardly qualifies.

Still, it’s good to have a reasonable enough intro to the beauty of R.E.M. for a new generation of vinyl fans, as it had been fetching vast sums on Discogs. Now, how about a proper Warner-era B-sides compilation?

6/10

John Earls

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