If you already own a copy of R.E.M.'s second album, then this is by no means a necessary purchase. If you don't, then it might just be worthwhile shelling out a little extra money for this imported version. Why? Because this is no tarted-up import with a b-side tacked on the end. This is a completely remastered version, made using the original 1983 master tapes. If you've heard the regular CD version of this album, you'll appreciate that the sound quality is ropey in places (not aided of course, by the fact that Michael Stipe laid down some of the vocal tracks while covered in a sheet). It's muffled, and lacking clarity. The quality of the sound in this remastered version hits you straight away. And I mean from the first note. The drums at the very beginning of Harborcoat now have a real kick to them. The treble of the whole album has been raised a notch, and the bass has been made much clearer. Soem other things have changed too. The strange opening of (Don't go back to) Rockville has now been put in the negative time at the start of the track. This can be a little confusing if you've skipped forward. I thought nothing could make So. Central Rain any better, but I was mistaken. The new clarity has given it an added dimension. This remastered version makes you realise just how poor the sound quality was in parts of the original version. If you're a real completist, then this is worthwhile just for the sound improvement. If you're just discovering R.E.M.'s back catalogue and don't own a copy of Reckoning yet, then it's worth paying a little extra for this version. But if you already have a copy, then the price is a bit steep for something you've already got.