R.E.M. made unique chart history today with “In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003” debuting at #8 and #16 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, the first time the same album debuts twice in the Top 20 in the same week.
Released on October 28th, “In Time” is for sale as both a single compact disc and double CD featuring the same initial piece and a second disc with rarities and b-sides compiled by the band. The albums scanned 75,560 units and 51,163 units respectively with a cumulative total of 126,723 units according to Nielsen Soundscan which would put the album at #4 on the chart had it been a unified release.
“Warner Bros. Records and R.E.M. have enjoyed a mutually respectful relationship that has resulted in the staggering body of work reflected within ‘In Time,'” said Warner Bros. Records Chairman Tom Whalley. “Over the years very few bands sustain the quality of this creative output, and we’re extremely proud to have them at the label and look forward to continuing this artistic partnership.”
“In Time” is an occasion to reflect on the astonishing musical and cultural influence of one of the most innovative and influential bands of the rock & roll era; and, the addition of two new originals – “Bad Day” and “Animal” – is an absolute reminder of the band’s continued aesthetic. It brings into sharp relief R.E.M.’s career-long commitment to meeting, and exceeding, their fans’ highest expectations. “In Time” has also debuted in the #1 slot in nine European countries including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
“We think of this Best Of album as the close of a chapter,” said Michael Stipe. “It’s a way of saying thanks to our fans, putting a bookend on everything that’s come before, and making way for what’s still to come.”