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Document Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, January 27, 1998
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Singer Michael Stipe finally confesses that even he doesn't know what he's trying to say--among the lines flying by are "tryin' to tell you something we don't know" and "there's something going on that's not quite right." But R.E.M.'s roar is at its sharpest, as Peter Buck's guitars twist up surf riffs and the Bill Berry-Mike Mills rhythm section captures the force of forebears Big Star and the Byrds. After half a decade of college-rock heroism, R.E.M. achieved its first hit album thanks to the rambling "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" and the gentle (but subtly barbed) "The One I Love." --Steve Knopper

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Finest Worksong 3:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Welcome To The Occupation 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Exhuming McCarthy 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Disturbance At The Heron House 3:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Strange 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) 4:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The One I Love 3:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Fireplace 3:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Lightnin' Hopkins 3:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. King Of Birds 4:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Oddfellows Local 151 5:21$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: 1987
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UW1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,331 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Document was the album that helped elevate R.E.M. from kings of college radio to the mainstream. Buoyed by the catchy (and misunderstood) song "The One I Love", Document hit number 10 on the album charts. That's not too bad for an album made up of some highly political songs and some very non-commercial ones. "Finest Worksong" & "Welcome To The Occupation" open the album on a politically charged and powerful note. "Exhuming McCarthy" starts off with the sounds of a typewriter and then slides into pounding Bill Berry drumbeat and jangling Peter Buck guitar. "Disturbance At The Heron House" has a fine Michael Stipe vocal while "Strange" is an abbreviated number that has some good backup singing from Mike Mills in an almost doo wop style. "King Of Birds" has a deep south, r&b feel to it. "Lightnin' Hopkins" and "Oddfellows Local 151" are the strangest songs on the album with the later being drenched in feedback. "The One I Love" became the first song by the band to gain major radio-play and actually peaked at number 9 on the charts. On the surface, the song seems like a love song, but it is really a barbed attack. "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" is the centerpiece of the album though. Michael Stipe sings at a breakneck speed and the song is one of the best of the 80's. Many ardent R.E.M. fans dismiss this album as the band selling-out, but that is hardly the case. R.E.M. remained true to their roots and actually released a typically non-commercial album that became a commercial success due to people finally realizing the greatness and talent of the band. They show that you can become superstars on your own terms.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brian May on March 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is by far my favourite R.E.M. album. "Document", released in 1987, gripped my senses the first time I heard it and hasn't let go. It is one of R.E.M.'s angriest albums, politically charged and quite chaotic. The subtitle "File Under Fire" is quite appropriate - fiery images permeate through the album. The very beginning of the first track, "Finest Worksong", conveys a feeling of industry and steel, with Michael Stipe's (now quite intelligible) vocals adding a sense of urgency. This song, and the remainder of the first side (with the exception of the interlude-like "Strange") is highly political. The brooding, disturbing "Welcome to the Occupation", the hectic "Exhuming McCarthy" and the Orwellian fable "Disturbance at the Heron House" are all short, fast and angry protests against the strong tide of political conservatism that dominated in the Reagan era. The song that encapsulates the fire and chaos is the manic "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine). With abstract and often nonsensical lyrics spewing from Michael Stipe's mouth, it is both humorous and deadly serious. Side two is also dominated by images of fire, but the political theme has gone. "The One I Love", R.E.M.'s first big hit and much misinterpreted anti-love song is searing, burning itself into your mind. "Fireplace" is one of R.E.M's most underrated (and one of my all time favourite) songs. It's a delightful, anarchic song of carefree, reckless abandon which also manages to sound subversive. The brilliance of "Document" (as is the case with most of R.E.M's music) is that subversion does not necessarily mean taking up arms.Read more ›
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By benshlomo on June 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Considering that this was R.E.M.'s strongest collection of songs since their debut, there's a strange sense of uncertainty about the whole project.
You listen to the first four cuts and think "Aha, another political statement from the band that brought you Lifes Rich Pageant the previous year." Taken together, "Finest Worksong," "Welcome to the Occupation," "Exhuming McCarthy" and "Disturbance at the Heron House" sound very much like a sort of State of the Union address. In each cut you get a different take on America - the dignity of its workers, the evils of its interference overseas, its historical insistence on conformity and its domestic paranoia. "McCarthy" has a few awkward moments, but overall the music displays this band's usual mastery of style and technique; these songs move. Then there's a cover version of Pylon's "Strange" and the whole thing breaks apart.
I can't help thinking that the interruption is deliberate. R.E.M. had played plenty of covers before, and even recorded a few, but this was almost the first time they put one on a regular album release, and it's about as close to punk as they had come. (There was "Superman" the previous year, but that one came at the end of the collection rather than the middle, and it was an obvious throwaway.) "Strange" is like a signal to the listener, saying "Whatever you think you've been hearing, that's not it." Then the band proceeds to prove it - the rest of "Document" has nothing to do with political commentary.
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