BY JOHN B. MOORE
Initially available as a limited-to-1000-copies 4-LP set for Record Store Day 2014, R.E.M.’s comprehensive Unplugged collection is now out as a two-CD package, although whether or not it will undermine the astronomical prices currently being demanded for the vinyl at eBay is hard to predict. Leave it to the boys from Athens, though, to put a little more relevancy back into your 1 a.m. wake up call on Record Store Day!
At any rate, this corrals songs from two different MTV Unplugged appearances (’member those, kids?); the first in 1991 and the follow up in 2001. Aside from some bootlegs that likely existed in some form or another, this is the first time these 33 songs are getting a proper release (and 11 of the songs never even aired on the show, making it the Holy Grail R.E.M. fans didn’t know existed). This pristine set includes just about every song an R.E.M. acolyte could hope for, from “So. Central Rain” to “Daysleeper” (but feel free to address any petty gripes about missing obscure tracks directly to Blurt).
DOWNLOAD: “So. Central Rain,” “Fretless,” “Swan Swan H”