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The Best of R.E.M.: In View 1988-2003 (2003)

Video  -  Documentary | Music  -  28 October 2003 (USA)
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Credited cast:
Bill Berry ...
Himself
Peter Buck ...
Himself
...
Himself (segments "Man on the Moon" and "The Great Beyond") (archive footage)
Mike Mills ...
Himself
...
Cellist (segment "At My Most Beautiful")
...
Herself (segment "E-Bow the Letter")
...
Himself
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Some beautiful songs and images from one of the greatest bands ever.
2 December 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I will get the minuses out of the way first. 1.This compilation is just of the Warner Bros.era so the classics of the early years are not here, alas.But as they are available elsewhere we have to just put up with it.But imagine how brilliant a full DVD of ALL their songs would be.Sigh. 2.There are still some songs of the Warner Bros.era missing so it is not complete.I wish the band would get over Shiny Happy People, as it is a great ironic pop song that I know they have written out of their history as an embarrassment.I know people took it at face value but it was a big hit single and its disappearance is noticed.

3.It is in reverse order which is a bit unsettling as the band visibly get younger in each promo.

Now to the videos:

1.Bad Day.The newest song is ironically the oldest here having been written around the time of Document.The video is done in the style of a newscast and it works well. 2.All the way to Reno.A very uplifting video to a very downbeat song.Micheal Moore and some college kids direct a video of such freshness that it puts most others to pretentious shame.A surprising little gem.Warning, Peter Buck smiles in this video. 3.Imitation of Life. One of those how-did-they-do-that videos i.e.the band coughs up lots of money to help pay for new effects experiments that the advertising industry will make a fortune using. 4.The Great Beyond.A film tie-in promo that actually moves you.Unheard of until this.The film and song are about Andy Kaufman and it works beautifully.Not just a movie advert with music. 5.At My Most Beautiful.Another lovely song.But I was a bit distracted by the clumsy cellist having a rubbish day on the way to her audition. 6.Daysleeper.The set-list should have been moved about a bit as the songs in this segment are frankly, very similar in mood.A great song about working night-shifts but I found myself wanting to jump around to something idiotic like,say...Shiny Happy People. 7.Electolite.Another downbeat but moving song but this is helped by the band being silly in the video.Hurrah. 8.E-Bow the Letter.Moody promo to a moody song.A personal favourite with goddess Patti Smith mooching around Prague,singing as only she can ,a duet with Mr.Stipe.A bedsit classic. 9.What's The Frequency Kenneth? Suddenly Peter Buck is prodded into life and guitars are switched ON and I remembered that REM have one the most talented guitarists in the world.This ode to stalked newscasters is a classic.In the video though, Mr.Stipe came to terms with the onset of baldness by being filmed from the neck down only. 10.Nightswimming.A black and white promo of naked people swimmimg.At night. 11.The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite.More black and white, but with humour. 12.Everybody Hurts.Quite simply one of the greatest songs ever written.The video is not subtle put it packs a punch.All you can do is cry like a baby. 13.Man on the Moon.More shots of Andy Kaufman.The song that inspired the film that they then sung the theme song for .Mr.Stipe does a good Elvis impression, though. 14.Losing My Religion.Another genuine classic song.The promo though is a little on the very pretentious side.The band are surrounded by classical figures doing silly classical things like holding apples for no apparent reason. 15.Stand.A poppy silly song, probably ironic to. In fact it's not unlike Shiny Happy People but minus the embarrassment. 16.Orange Crush.Another classic.With guitars.The video is another black and white one but with a Vietnam vibe.

The Extras: All great songs from the last few albums but with unbelievably bad videos. Live classics from Trafalger Square,London.

If you are a fan of REM this is a must have.


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