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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Harborcoat 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. 7 Chinese Bros. 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. So. Central Rain 3:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Pretty Pursuasion 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Time After Time (Annelise) 3:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Second Guessing 2:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Letter Never Sent 3:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Camera 5:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. (Don't Go Back To) Rockville 4:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Little America 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 

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R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Reckoning + Murmur + Fables of the Reconstruction
Price for all three: $19.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000001I0G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,732 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The 1984 follow-up to R.E.M.'s brilliantly murky debut features Michael Stipe's ambiguous moan, drummer Bill Berry's strong backbeat, and guitarist Peter Buck's endless wave of catchy, jangling riffs. They wouldn't fully beef up their hard rock until roughly 1986's Life's Rich Pageant, but the swimming melodies of "Pretty Persuasion," "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" and "Rockville (Don't Go Back To)" recall why the band frequently earned comparisons to a power-pop Beatles and the country-rock Byrds. Also, the jittery rhythms and deceptively simple guitar lines make the underappreciated "Harborcoat" and "7 Chinese Bros." worth revisiting. --Steve Knopper

Customer Reviews

A must buy for any real R.E.M. fan!!!
Stipes mumble is as loveable as ever, and the jangly guitars and beautiful backing vocals are back from Murmur.
Dan Stanley
"Time After Time" is utterly sublime, ranking up there as one of R.E.M.'s best songs.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By P. Opus on November 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
There's basically two kinds of REM fans. People who got into the post-Green material, and know them as a big-league stadium rock band, and those who appreciate their earlier indie material on the IRS label. Well, you guessed it, I'm on the IRS side of things. The only post-Document album of theirs which I actually own is "New Adventures in Hi-Fi," which is not nearly as good as the early work. I frankly don't understand why they gave up this sound at all. They had so much potential here. AARRGGHH!! Well, no use dwelling on it.

I can't begin to describe how great this album is. I first bought it when I was in high school, on cassette, a decade after it was recorded. I updated to a CD copy about five years later. It's only sounded better over that period of time. It has that raw, jangly, murky feel that REM was so good at back then, with abstract lyrics hinting at something big but never giving everything away. It's less staid-sounding than Murmur, but keeps that mysterious feeling that was lost when Mike Stipe became a regular old frontman and started demanding attention and wearing his heart on his sleeve. The whole murky-mumbly thing suited him and the band far better than anything. It is my favorite album of the 80s, even with competition from the Stone Roses, the Pixies, the Replacements, the Clash and Jesus and Mary Chain. It's also a huge influence on one of my favorite songwriters, Stephen Malkmus. So, if you're looking for everything that indie rock can be, look no further.

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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Dale Chapman on August 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
R.E.M. broke onto the scene with "Chronic Town" when I was a sophomore in high school in 1982. Prior to this time, I was "into" the mainstream hard rock of the day (Van Halen, Aldo Nova, Huey Lewis, Rush, Men at Work, etc.). R.E.M gave me an individualistic retreat amidst the pressure of adolescent conformity. In this period prior to adulthood, I was able to invest R.E.M.'s music with my own innocence, naivete, and sense of mystery. The band's initial EP ("Chronic Town") and first two LPs ("Murmur" & "Reckoning") seemed to beg the listener down this path. The music suggested a growing youth movement that embraced kindness, creativity, and commeraderie.
Side One (pardon this out-moded expression) was one of the best LP sides ever. The sound of "Reckoning" was more driving and slightly more electric than it's folk-tinged predecessor, "Murmur". The vocals were rarely decipherable, but one could extract occassional nuggets ("Your handshake is worthy, it's all that you've got"..."The wiseman builds his house upon the rock, but I'm not bound to follow suit"..."Goddamn your confusion"..."pull your dress on, and stay real close"). These little chestnuts somehow seemed and felt important at the time. Never enough to hang one's hat on, but enough to conjure intrigue.
Side Two yielded "Letter Never Sent", which is still at the top of my favorite R.E.M. songlist. Other highlights included "Second Guessing" and "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville".
While R.E.M.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By E. Lambeth on June 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
In all the years I've been listening to this CD (and I listened to it a lot today as well), I find that my favorite song of this album keeps changing. Rockville. Harborcoat. Time after Time (I'm naming my first daughter AnnElise). Today, though, it's Letter Never Sent.
Dammit, each song on this CD is totally different than the next, and just about every one of them deserves to be a hit.
Ranked against my favorite REM albums, it's hard to not put this one at the top. Fables, Murmur, Life's Rich Pageant...they are all great. I don't know if it's my favorite REM album, but I know that I wouldn't want to live the rest of my life without this masterpiece. I guess the main point is, if you enjoy Life's Rich or Murmur or any other REM album, you will definitely LOVE Reckoning.
Now if you'll excuse me, vacation in Athens is calling me. Buy Reckoning today. Don't waste another year.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B on January 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
R.E.M.'s second album "Reckoning" isn't a whole lot different from their debut, "Murmur". Perhaps it's a bit more refined and cleaner sounding. A worthy sequel for sure.

Songs like "Harborcoat" and "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville" are crisp slices of jangly pop/rock like many of the songs on the album's predecessor. Good luck getting the chorus of "Rockville" out of your head.

However, there's songs like the moody/tense "Pretty Persuasion" and the somewhat raucous closer "Little America" that feel like uncharted territory for the band at this point. They're not quite 'rocking out' (wait until "Life's Rich Pageant" for that), but it's a new sound for sure.

Also, the ballads feel a bit more personal. "Camera", in particular, is a heartbreaking song written about a friend of Michael's who passed away shortly before the album was made.

"Time After Time" is utterly sublime, ranking up there as one of R.E.M.'s best songs. And the intricate "Letter Never Sent" truly rewards itself after repeated listens.

A couple other favorites of mine include the pensive (and catchy as hell) "7 Chinese Bros.", and the dreamy "So. Central Rain", the latter of which has an elegant chord progression in the verses that I really love.

If you liked "Murmur", there's no reason you won't like "Reckoning" as well. Both albums get better and better with each listen.

Highly Recommended.

Best Songs: Camera, Time After Time, Letter Never Sent, Pretty Persuasion, So. Central Rain.
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