In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003

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For the 1991 album, see The Best of R.E.M..
In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003
R.E.M. - In Time.jpg
Greatest hits album by R.E.M.
Released October 27, 2003 (2003-10-27)
Recorded 1988–2003
Genre Alternative rock
Length 76:15
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Scott Litt, Pat McCarthy and R.E.M.
R.E.M. chronology
Vancouver Rehearsal Tapes
In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003
In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003
Singles from In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003
  1. "Bad Day"
    Released: October 2003 (2003-10)
  2. "Animal"
    Released: January 5, 2004 (2004-01-05)
R.E.M. compilations chronology
R.E.M.: In the Attic – Alternative Recordings 1985–1989
In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003
iTunes Originals – R.E.M.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly A−[2]
NME 6/10[3]
Pitchfork Media 7.5/10[4]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
RTÉ.ie 5/5 stars[6]
Stylus Magazine A[7]

In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 is the second official compilation album released by R.E.M. Issued in 2003, it includes tracks from their Warner Bros. Records era, from 1988's Green to 2001's Reveal, as well as two new recordings and two songs from movie soundtracks. The album was the tenth-best-selling album of 2003 in the UK, and the 49th-best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK.[8]


"Bad Day" was a demo version in 1986, a Life's Rich Pageant outtake when Bill Berry was still in the band, and was re-recorded for this compilation. "Animal" was a recent song written for their upcoming studio album. Similarly, "All the Right Friends", originally written in the early 1980s, had been re-recorded by the band for use in Cameron Crowe's 2001 film Vanilla Sky. Finally, "The Great Beyond" was initially issued in 1999 as part of Miloš Forman's film on Andy Kaufman, Man on the Moon. It ended up becoming the band's biggest UK hit, with a No. 3 peak, in early 2000. This, the third inclusion of the song on an official release, is the only unedited version. On the Man on the Moon soundtrack, there is some dialogue from the movie at the end of the track; the single version is a radio edit, with the bridge omitted.

In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003 was also issued in a limited two-disc edition that included a "Rarities and B-Sides" disc from the same era, with liner notes by Peter Buck. The single-disc edition of the album reached No. 1 in the UK, while going platinum in the U.S. and peaking at #8. The limited-edition two-disc release managed to reach No. 16 in the U.S. and No. 37 in the UK. There is also a vinyl edition which consists of two LPs inside a gatefold cover and a limited CD box-set edition featuring all eighteen tracks on their own individual one-track CDs, with cover art from the original singles.

A notable omission from the album is the song "Shiny Happy People" which was deliberately left out by the band despite it being one of their biggest hits.[9] "Drive" was also left out in favor of "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" from Automatic for the People. "Bang and Blame" and "Bittersweet Me," which were also hits, were left out for unknown reasons.

A companion DVD, entitled In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003, was released at the same time. In 2005, Warner Bros. Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of the compilation which included a CD, a DVD-Audio disc containing a 5.1-channel surround sound mix of the album done by Elliot Scheiner, and the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes. The "Rarities and B-Sides" bonus disc from the limited edition is not included in this package.

Track listing[edit]

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

  1. "Man on the Moon" (from Automatic for the People) – 5:12
  2. "The Great Beyond" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from the Man on the Moon soundtrack) – 5:04
  3. "Bad Day" (previously unreleased) – 4:05
  4. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" (from Monster) – 3:58
  5. "All the Way to Reno (You're Gonna Be a Star)" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 4:43
  6. "Losing My Religion" (from Out of Time) – 4:26
  7. "E-Bow the Letter" (from New Adventures in Hi-Fi) – 5:22
  8. "Orange Crush" (from Green) – 3:50
  9. "Imitation of Life" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Reveal) – 3:56
  10. "Daysleeper" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Up) – 3:37
  11. "Animal" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (previously unreleased) – 4:00
  12. "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" (from Automatic for the People) – 4:06
  13. "Stand" (from Green) – 3:09
  14. "Electrolite" (from New Adventures in Hi-Fi) – 4:04
  15. "All the Right Friends" (from the Vanilla Sky soundtrack) – 2:45
  16. "Everybody Hurts" (from Automatic for the People) – 5:17
  17. "At My Most Beautiful" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) (from Up) – 3:33
  18. "Nightswimming" (from Automatic for the People) – 4:16
Bonus disc 'Rarities and B-sides'
  1. "Pop Song 89" (acoustic) – 2:56
  2. "Turn You Inside-Out" (live) – 4:16
    • although listed on the cover as being from the live video Tourfilm (which version was also released as B-side of "Losing My Religion" "Collector's Editions" CD 1), this recording is actually from the radio broadcast of the Orlando show from April 30, 1989, previously included on a "Get Up" promotional CD-single.
  3. "Fretless" – 4:49
  4. "Chance (Dub)" – 2:33
  5. "It's a Free World, Baby" – 5:11
    • B-side of "Drive" "Collector's Edition" Single UK & the Coneheads soundtrack; 1992
  6. "Drive" (live, November 19, 1992) – 3:59
  7. "Star Me Kitten" (featuring William S. Burroughs) – 3:29
  8. "Revolution" – 3:02
  9. "Leave" (alternate version) – 4:40
  10. "Why Not Smile" (Oxford American version) (Buck, Mills, Stipe) – 2:59
  11. "The Lifting" (original version) (Buck, Mills, Stipe) – 5:19
  12. "Beat a Drum" (Dalkey demo) (Buck, Mills, Stipe) – 4:25
  13. "2JN" (Buck, Mills, Stipe) – 3:24
  14. "The One I Love" (live from the Museum of Television and Radio, June 8, 2001) – 3:23
    • previously unreleased
  15. "Country Feedback" (live from Wiesbaden, Germany, 2003) – 6:15
    • previously unreleased

Later pressings of the collector's edition have the second disc enhanced with the "Bad Day" video.


Year Chart Position
2003 U.S. Billboard 200 8 (13 weeks on chart) Regular Edition
16 (4 weeks on chart) Limited Edition[citation needed]
2003 UK album chart 1 (41 weeks on chart) Regular Edition
36 (1 week on chart) Limited Edition[citation needed]
Year Single Chart Position
2003 "Bad Day" Billboard Canadian Singles Chart 17[citation needed]
2003 "Bad Day" UK Singles Chart 8[citation needed]
2004 "Animal" UK Singles Chart 33[citation needed]


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[10] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[11] Platinum  
Belgium (BEA)[12] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[13] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Italy (FIMI)[14] Platinum 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[15] 2× Platinum 600,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[16] 2× Platinum 30,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[17] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[18] Gold 30,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[19] Platinum 40,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] 5× Platinum 1,500,000^
United States (RIAA)[21] Platinum 1,000,000^
Europe (IFPI)[22] 2× Platinum 2,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988–2003". Allmusic. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ Sinclair, Tom (October 31, 2003). "In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ Dalton, Stephen (October 30, 2003). "NME Album Reviews – REM : In Time: The Best Of REM 1988–2003". NME. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ Idov, Michael (October 28, 2003). "R.E.M.: In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  5. ^ Puterbaugh, Parke (November 4, 2003). "In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  6. ^ Grealis, Tom (November 25, 2003). "REM – In Time: The Best Of REM 1988–2003 – RTÉ Ten". Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ Passantino, Dom (November 19, 2003). "R.E.M. – In Time: The Best of REM 1988–2003 – Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Radio 1 to reveal best-selling singles and albums of the Noughties". Press Office. British Broadcasting Corporation. December 14, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ "2003 interview with R.E.M. explaining the omission". 
  10. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2007 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  11. ^ "Austrian album certifications – R.E.M. – In Time - Best of R.E.M." (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter R.E.M. in the field Interpret. Enter In Time - Best of R.E.M. in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  12. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2007". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  13. ^ "Album Top-40 - Uge 12 2004" (in Danish). Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. 
  14. ^ "Musica: Classifica, REM conquistano il primo posto" (in Italian). Adnkronos. 3 November 2003. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (REM; 'In Time: The Best of REM 1988 - 2003')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  16. ^ "Chart #1398 - Sunday 14 March 2004 - Top 50 Albums Chart". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Spanish album certifications – R.E.M. – In Time - Best of R.E.M." (PDF) (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España.  Select the "Chart", enter 2008 in the field "Year". Select '' in the field "Semana". Click on "Search Charts"
  18. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2003" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (R.E.M.; 'In Time - The Best Of')". Hung Medien. 
  20. ^ "British album certifications – REM – In Time: The Best of REM 1988 - 2003". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter In Time: The Best of REM 1988 - 2003 in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  21. ^ "American album certifications – REM – In Time: The Best of REM 1988 - 2003". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  22. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2003". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Life for Rent by Dido
UK number one album
November 8–14, 2003
Succeeded by
Guilty by Blue