|Studio album by R.E.M.|
|Released||September 1, 1987|
|Recorded||April 30 – May 2, 1987Nashville, Tennessee; mixed at Master Control, Los Angeles, California, United Statesat Sound Emporium,|
|Producer||Scott Litt and R.E.M.|
|Singles from Document|
Document is the fifth studio album by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was released in 1987 a few months after their rarities collection Dead Letter Office appeared and is the last album of new material by the band released on the I.R.S. Records label. It is the first album on which the band worked with producer Scott Litt.
Document was R.E.M.'s first album co-produced by Scott Litt and the band, a collaboration that continued through Green, Out of Time, Automatic for the People, Monster, and New Adventures in Hi-Fi. The album's clear production and muscular rock riffs helped to move the band towards mainstream success and built on the work done by Don Gehman, who had produced their previous album Lifes Rich Pageant. This release not only launched "The One I Love," R.E.M.'s first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (it reached number nine), but also gave them their first platinum album.
"Exhuming McCarthy" makes an explicit parallel between the red-baiting of Joe McCarthy's time and the strengthening of the sense of American exceptionalism during the Reagan era, especially the Iran-Contra affair. Starting with the click-clack of a typewriter, it also includes a sound clip of Joseph Welch's rebuke of McCarthy from the Army-McCarthy Hearings: "Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator.... You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
The song "Strange" was originally recorded by the post-punk band Wire on their debut album Pink Flag. This version has slightly altered lyrics, changing "Joey's nervous" to "Michael's nervous" in the first verse, and has a considerably faster tempo.
R.E.M. expanded their instrumentation somewhat on the album, adding dulcimer to "King of Birds" and saxophone to "Fireplace". This experimentation would lead to their adoption of the mandolin, which featured prominently on their subsequent albums Green and Out of Time. Furthermore, the band's musicians began swapping instruments both in concert and in the studio in an effort to create new sounds and avoid stagnation.
The original sleeve for the album featured the message "File under Fire", a reference to what Michael Stipe considered to be the central lyrical theme of the album, and also references the chorus to "The One I Love". A similar message ("File under water") could be found on the cover of the band's second album, Reckoning, as well as on the compilation album Eponymous ("File under grain") referring to the idea behind "Talk About the Passion", which was about hunger. Two rejected suggestions for the title of the album—R.E.M. No. 5 and Table of Content—also appear on the sleeve artwork. Other possible album titles included Mr. Evil Breakfast, Skin Up with R.E.M., and Last Train to Disneyland (the last one having been suggested by Peter Buck, who felt that America under the presidency of former actor Ronald Reagan was beginning to feel a lot like the famed amusement park).
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Robert Christgau praised the album, and called "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" an "inspirational title." Stephan Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic said that "Where Lifes Rich Pageant sounded a bit like a party record, Document is a fiery statement, and its memorable melodies and riffs are made all the more indelible by its righteous anger."
Rolling Stone reviewer David Fricke felt that the album was R.E.M.'s "finest to date", and said that "Document is the sound of R.E.M. on the move". Rolling Stone went on to include the album in their list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s (in 41st place), and then ranked it number 470 on 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2012, Slant Magazine listed the album at number 17 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".
Track listing 
- Side one – "Page side"
- "Finest Worksong" – 3:48
- "Welcome to the Occupation" – 2:46
- "Exhuming McCarthy" – 3:19
- "Disturbance at the Heron House" – 3:32
- "Strange" (Bruce Gilbert, Graham Lewis, Colin Newman, Robert Gotobed) – 2:31
- "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4:05
- Side two – "Leaf side"
- "The One I Love" – 3:17
- "Fireplace" – 3:22
- "Lightnin' Hopkins" – 3:20
- "King of Birds" – 4:09
- "Oddfellows Local 151" – 5:21
- 1993 I.R.S. Vintage Years reissue bonus tracks
- "Finest Worksong (Other Mix)" – 3:47
- B-side of "Finest Worksong" 12" single
- "Last Date" (Floyd Cramer) – 2:16
- B-side of "The One I Love" American 12" single and "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" American 7" single
- "The One I Love" (Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop) – 4:06
- B-side of "The One I Love" American 12" single and "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" British 7" and 12" singles
- "Time After Time, Etc." (Live) – 8:22
- B-side of "Finest Worksong" 7 & 12 Inch & "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" 12 Inch UK
- "Disturbance at the Heron House" (Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop) – 3:26
- B-side of "The One I Love" British 12" single
- "Finest Worksong" (Lengthy Club Mix) – 5:52
- B-side of "Finest Worksong" 12" single
- Note: Although sometimes referred to as such, the first release of this edition does not have the original tracks remastered. They follow the first print of the album and only add the extra tracks.
- 25th anniversary bonus disc, recorded live in Utrecht, Holland – September 14, 1987
- "Finest Worksong" – 4.10
- "These Days" – 3.36
- "Lightnin' Hopkins" – 3.43
- "Welcome to the Occupation" – 2.52
- "Driver 8" – 3.35
- "Feeling Gravitys Pull" – 5.31
- "I Believe" – 4.32
- "The One I Love" – 4.20
- "Exhuming McCarthy" – 3.23
- "Wolves, Lower" – 4.23
- "Fall On Me" – 3.05
- "Just a Touch" – 3.04
- "Oddfellows Local 151" – 5.01
- "Little America" – 2.50
- "Its the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – 4.01
- "Begin the Begin" – 3.58
- "Disturbance at the Heron House" – 3.42
- "Moral Kiosk" – 3.02
- "Life and How to Live It" – 6.28
- "So. Central Rain" – 5.19
- Bill Berry – drums, backing vocals
- Peter Buck – guitar, dulcimer on "King of Birds"
- Mike Mills – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Michael Stipe – lead vocals
- Additional musicians
- Bill Berry – production
- Peter Buck – production
- Steve Catania – engineering
- Tom Der – engineering
- Toni Greene – engineering
- Gary Laney – engineering
- Scott Litt – production
- Bob Ludwig – mastering at Masterdisk, New York City, New York, United States; remastered at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine, United States in June 1999
- Jim McKay – photography
- Michael Meister – photography
- Mike Mills – production
- Ted Pattison – engineering
- Sandra-Lee Phipps – photography
- Ron Scarselli – packaging
- Elliot Scheiner – mixing on 2005 re-release
- Todd Scholar – engineering
- Michael Stipe – production
Release history 
In 1999, the album was remastered by Bob Ludwig and re-released on Compact Disc by I.R.S. Records in the United States. This version came in a replica of the record sleeve made of cardboard. In 2005, Capitol Records (whose parent company EMI now own I.R.S. Records' catalog) issued an expanded DualDisc edition of Document which includes a digitally remastered version of the album on the CD side, a DVD-Audio, DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound mix of the album done by Elliot Scheiner on the DVD side, and the original CD booklet.
|United States||September 1, 1987||I.R.S.||vinyl LP||IRS-42059|
|United Kingdom||September 14, 1987||I.R.S.||LP||IRLD 19144/MIRG1025|
|The Netherlands||1987||I.R.S.||LP||ILP-460105 1|
|The Netherlands||May 11, 1993||I.R.S.||Compact Disc||7 13200 2 6†|
|Brazil||1993||Warner Bros./EMI||Compact Disc||7 13200-2|
|United Kingdom||September 1, 1997||I.R.S.||LP||0777/CTMCD 337†|
†I.R.S. Vintage Years edition, with bonus tracks
‡Compact Disc remastered edition
•DualDisc remastered edition
A truncated edition of Document was also issued on Armed Forces Radio—catalogue number P-24576—with "Finest Worksong", "Welcome to the Occupation", "Fireplace", "Lightnin' Hopkins", and "King of Birds" on one side and tracks from Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason on the other.
Chart performance 
|1987||Billboard 200||10 (33 weeks on chart)|
|1987||UK Albums Chart||28 (5 weeks on chart)|
|1987||"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"||Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||16|
|1987||"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"||UK Singles Chart||39|
|1987||"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"||Billboard Hot 100||69|
|1987||"The One I Love"||Billboard Hot 100||9|
|1988||"The One I Love"||Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||2|
|1988||"Finest Worksong"||Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks||28|
|1988||"Finest Worksong"||UK Singles Chart||50|
|1991||"The One I Love"||UK Singles Chart||16|
Sales certifications 
|RIAA – U.S.||Gold||November 2, 1987|
|RIAA – U.S.||Platinum||January 25, 1988|
- R.E.M. in Time: The Story Behind Every Song, Craig Rosen, 1997
- Reveal: The Story of R.E.M., Johnny Black, 2004
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Document Review at Allmusic. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- Christgau, Robert. "R.E.M.". Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- Pitchfork review
- Fricke, David (October 22, 1987). "Document By R.E.M.". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved June 19, 2011.
- "R.E.M.: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Best Albums of the 1980s, page 9". Slant Magazine. March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
- Album online at radio3net.ro
- R.E.M.HQ on Document
- Document at Allmusic (I.R.S. Vintage Years edition)
- Document at Allmusic (DualDisc edition)
- Document at MusicBrainz