Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions

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Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions
A blurred photograph of the band performing on a soundstage with the album title written on top in white
Live album by R.E.M.
Released April 19, 2014 (2014-04-19)
Recorded April 10, 1991 in Chelsea Studios and May 21, 2001 in TRL Studio at MTV Studios, both in New York City, New York, United States
Genre Alternative rock
Length 134:56
Language English
Label Rhino
R.E.M. chronology
Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011
(2011)
Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions
(2014)
Complete Rarities: I.R.S. 1982–1987
(2014)

Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions is a 2014 live album from alternative rock band R.E.M., released initially on vinyl recordings through Rhino Records for Record Store Day, later made available on compact disc and digitally. The album is composed of two performances that the band made on the U.S. television show MTV Unplugged. Among the album's 33 tracks are 11 performances which were not aired on either broadcast.[1] To promote the album, Mike Mills signed copies at independent record store Bull Moose in Scarborough, Maine.[2] Video of the concerts was released later that year on REMTV.[3]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
American Songwriter 4.5/5 stars[5]
Clash[6] 6/10
Drowned in Sound[7] 7/10
Popmatters[8] 7/10
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]

Andrzej Lukowski of Drowned in Sound gave the album a positive review, commenting that R.E.M. was "a great live band, and the acoustic format is a fine showcase for Stipe's remarkable voice" and "1991 and 2001 complement each other well, as contrasting mood pieces".[7] Rolling Stone '​s Will Hermes gave the album four out of five stars remarking, "No band but Nirvana made more breathtakingly transformative use of MTV Unplugged than R.E.M."[9] Mike Diver of Clash considers the album inessential in R.E.M.'s catalogue but still welcome and a "fan-pleasing release".[6] Similarly, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic calls this release a "treat for hardcore R.E.M. fans" and contrasts the baroque pop of the 2001 set with the folk rock of the 1991 performance.[4] Alternately, American Songwriter '​s Lynne Margolis considers the album an important document of R.E.M.'s history writing, "By stripping their work to its most elemental form, this collection expresses their artistry in a truly definitive way."[5]

Sales[edit]

A corner view of the building
Chelsea Studios was the home for taping MTV Unplugged when R.E.M. performed in 1991

The album debuted at number 21 on the Billboard 200 in late May 2014 after having its wide-scale release on Compact Disc and digital download.[10] It also peaked at number 27 on the Italian Albums Chart.[11]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe except as indicated.

Disc 1 (1991 Unplugged)
  1. "Half a World Away" (from Out of Time) – 3:58
  2. "Disturbance at the Heron House" (from Document) – 3:47
  3. "Radio Song" (from Out of Time) – 4:19
  4. "Low" (from Out of Time) – 5:09
  5. "Perfect Circle" (from Murmur) – 4:13
  6. "Fall on Me" (from Lifes Rich Pageant) – 3:21
  7. "Belong" (from Out of Time) – 4:30
  8. "Love Is All Around" (Reg Presley) (cover) – 3:22
  9. "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (from Document) – 4:36
  10. "Losing My Religion" (from Out of Time) – 4:53
  11. "Pop Song 89" (from Green) – 3:28
  12. "Endgame" (from Out of Time) – 3:41
  13. "Fretless" (from Until the End of the World soundtrack) – 5:33
  14. "Swan Swan H" (from Lifes Rich Pageant) – 3:00
  15. "Rotary 11" (from "Losing My Religion") – 1:48
  16. "Get Up" (from Green) – 2:53
  17. "World Leader Pretend" (from Green) – 4:57
Disc 2 (2001 Unplugged)
  1. "All the Way to Reno (You're Gonna Be a Star)" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 4:27
  2. "Electrolite" (from New Adventures in Hi-Fi) – 4:05
  3. "At My Most Beautiful" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Up) – 3:25
  4. "Daysleeper" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Up) – 3:12
  5. "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" (from Reckoning) – 4:05
  6. "Losing My Religion" (from Out of Time) – 4:43
  7. "Country Feedback" (from Out of Time) – 5:25
  8. "Cuyahoga" (from Lifes Rich Pageant) – 4:30
  9. "Imitation of Life" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 4:12
  10. "Find the River" (from Automatic for the People) – 3:59
  11. "The One I Love" (from Document) – 3:33
  12. "Disappear" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 4:00
  13. "Beat a Drum" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 4:27
  14. "I've Been High" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 3:20
  15. "I'll Take the Rain" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 5:36
  16. "Sad Professor" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Up) – 4:29

Personnel[edit]

R.E.M.
Additional musicians
Technical personnel
Note that this list excludes the television executives credited with creating the television program

References[edit]

  1. ^ Newman, Jason (March 17, 2014). "R.E.M. to Release 2 'Unplugged' Concerts for Record Store Day". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media, LLC. 
  2. ^ Pierce, Kathleen (April 15, 2014). "'We Were Pretty Damn Good Songwriters' Says Mike Mills of R.E.M. in Advance of Record Store Day Visit to Scarborough". Bangor Daily News. Bangor Publishing Company. 
  3. ^ Rosen, Craig (November 18, 2014). "Shiny Happy Records: R.E.M.'s Peter Buck Talks 7IN— 83-88 and REMTV Reissues". Yahoo! Music. 
  4. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Unplugged 1991 & 2001: The Complete Sessions – R.E.M.". AllMusic. AllRovi. 
  5. ^ a b Margolis, Lynne (June 10, 2014). "R.E.M.: R.E.M. Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions". American Songwriter. ForASong Media, LLC. 
  6. ^ a b Diver, Mike (May 30, 2014). "R.E.M. – Unplugged 1991/2001". Clash. Music Republic Ltd. 
  7. ^ a b Lukoswki, Andrzej (May 12, 2014). "Album Review: R.E.M. – Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions". Drowned in Sound. 
  8. ^ Gu, Marshall. "R.E.M.: Unplugged 1991 & 2001". PopMatters. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Hermes, Will (March 17, 2014). "R.E.M. Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions Album Review". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media, LLC. 
  10. ^ "Chart Moves: R.E.M. Gets 'Unplugged' With 18th Top 40 Album, Billy Joel's 'Russia' Concert Returns". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. May 30, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Artisti – Classifica settimanale WK 22 (dal 26-05-2014 al 01-06-2014)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]