Reckoning (Bonus Tracks)
Released: Apr 1984
This is the sound of an indie band that's been touring incessantly. While the songs are every bit as strange and beautiful as those on Murmur, they're also more driving -- tailor-made for a band that can't stop spinning around on stage. Even the slow numbers feature insistent rhythms. "Harborcoat" and "7 Chinese Bros." are early-period R.E.M. at their best. The 1984 classic gets remastered, which takes away some of the original's warmth (the guitars can be brittle, the drums have more snap), but if you doubt why R.E.M. broke through to major stardom, just listen to the bonus live tracks.