In Time 1988-2003 (The Best of R.E.M.)



Fine collection of 18 classic R.E.M. hits.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The hopeful message in "Everybody Hurts" gets an A+.


These guys are too busy writing poetry.


All sexual references are poetically obtuse.


"Kiss my ass" ("The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight") is as bad as it gets.



Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Benzedrine ("What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"), hash bars, Seconal, "smoke it, drink it" ("E-Bow the Letter"), does Orange Crush count?

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that younger children may have some questions about the metaphorical lyrics in songs like "Man in the Moon" and "Losing My Religion."

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What's the story?

There will be endless discussion in online fan newsgroups about whether R.E.M. chose the best songs for their greatest hits CD, IN TIME. Whether or not you agree with these selections, you'll find nicely written background information about each song, along with artistically grainy photos, in the accompanying booklet -- sure to be a fan-pleaser. Since this is a \"best of\" compilation, there are no surprises; rather, the songs reflect the audience-tested favorites. Younger children may have some trouble with the poetic, metaphorical lyrics. Older teens will be enchanted by them. From a dealing-with-depressed-and-lonely-teenagers viewpoint, the song \"Everybody Hurts\" is nothing short of heroic, with its message of you're-not-alone hopefulness.

Is it any good?


If you and your kids already love R.E.M., you'll find enough familiar musical moments to be satisfying. For new listeners, In Time is a fine sampler of R.E.M.'s work between 1998 and 2003. The absent songs tell their own story, which is that you can probably expect a Volume Two sometime, including hits omitted here such as "The One I Love" and "End Of The World."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether the song choices seem to be the group's best. Also, the lyrics and their symbolism are bound to intrigue older teens -- and could make for an interesting discussion.

Music details

Release date:October 28, 2003
Label:Warner Brothers
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bySweetDisposition March 8, 2011

Kids deserve to be raised on this music.

I have a very strong opinion on what kids should listen to. I feel like kids who listen to pop throughout their child/teen years are highly deprived. Bands and singers like R.E.M., The Who, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and B.B. King is what kids should be listening to. If a child can appreciate the root of music at a young age, they will never want to listen to the systhesized, over done and manufactured songs pop artists put out. What I'm saying is R.E.M. is great, do yourself a favor and listen to them. Sorry for my rant-tacular review, I just need to spread the word.
Teen, 15 years old Written byTheresaL April 9, 2008


This is the first R.E.M. album that I ever bought. Actually, my dad bought it but that's not important. What IS important is that this album was enough to get me interested in R.E.M. I now own a lot of their CD's and several concerts and music video collections. While I think that R.E.M. could have picked better tracks to put on "The Best of" (i.e. Drive, Strange Currencies), this is still a great collection. It has popular songs like "Everybody Hurts" and "Losing My Religion", but it also has obscure and previously unreleased songs like "Animal" and "Bad Day." While it was an odd choice to put these songs on a best of album, I am still very glad that we got to hear them at all. I know that this review was very long and rambling and it probably didn't make a lot of sense, but I love R.E.M. and I wanted to encourage other people to start listening to them, as well. I'm not sure if I succeeded or not, but I certainly tried. So please, go out and buy this album and stop worrying if it's appropriate, which it is by the way. Trust me, music doesn't get any better than this.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymatt_m April 9, 2008


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