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Document (DVD-Audio)

4.6 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Document (R.E.M. No. 5)
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Audio DVD, February 11, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

This is a DVD-Audio disc. It will only play on players with a DVD logo and will not play on a conventional CD player. Catalog 72434-90149-9-2. There is a saw cut on the side of the case. Also includes videos for Finest Worksong, It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) & The One I Love.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Finest Worksong
  2. Welcome to the Occupation
  3. Exhuming McCarthy
  4. Disturbance at the Heron House
  5. Strange
  6. It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
  7. The One I Love
  8. Fireplace
  9. Lightnin' Hopkins
  10. King of Birds
  11. Oddfellows Local 151


Product Details

  • DVD Audio (February 11, 2003)
  • Please Note: This is a DVD-Audio disc which is playable on most DVD players as well as all DVD-Audio players. Click here for additional information regarding compatibility.
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000083EMQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,385 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Audio CD
Once again, I have to protest Amazon's policy of mixing together reviews of the original release with reviews of the 2012 Deluxe Remaster. All the most "helpful" reviews, which rise to the top as the first ones to read, were written before 2012, so nobody's addressing the new version.

The original album is well-documented (pun intended), so let me just focus on the specific merits of the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. In short, it's superb. They really got it right.

There's a booklet with excellent liner notes that puts this album in a historical context that's important in making sense of it, especially for younger listeners who weren't around in 1987. It was the tail end of the Reagan administration, and the optimism of his first term had given way to the Iran-Contra scandal, the increasingly stagnating economy, and a generally repressive atmosphere in the country. "Document" reflected all of that.

The sound of the deluxe edition is excellent. They haven't changed anything, but it's clean, rich and full-sounding, and that includes the live bonus disc, which has a great mix and really great sound for a live recording. If you've got a decent-quality sound system, crank this one up and you'll see what I mean.

Finally, there's the bonus live disc of a concert recorded in Europe on the "Finest Worksong" tour. I wish every single vintage album from "Exile on Main Street" to "This Year's Model" came with a bonus live disc from that year's tour. David Bowie's "Station to Station" did it, and I see it happening more and more, and I love it. Marketing-wise, it's a no-brainer.
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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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