Document helped transition the Athens quartet from indie staples to mainstream rock favorites thanks to the hit "The One I Love," a sarcastic song about a man who has cruelly and thoughtlessly discarded a lover. Nonetheless, Peter Buck's powerful opening riff was undeniable and Michael Stipe's impassioned vocals were intoxicating; it's entirely possible that a lot of listeners weren't aware how bleak "The One I Love" really was. Document was the last album that R.E.M. recorded for I.R.S., moving on to Warner Bros. soon after.
According to Rolling Stone, the new version of Document will be remastered and feature a concert performance from that tour that took place in Holland. The band, which at that time of Document's release also included drummer Bill Berry, have been working their way through the I.R.S. years, releasing spiffier versions of their old albums with new live tracks or demos. With Document ending that period in the band's legacy, I can't help but wonder if some Warner Bros. reissues will be coming next.
Photo: Ed Colver.