Dead Letter Office is a collection of rarities and b-sides by R.E.M. Released in 1987, the album is essentially a collection of many additional recordings R.E.M. made pre-Murmur to Lifes Rich Pageant that were outtakes or released as flip sides to their singles internationally. Many of the tracks are favorite cover versions indicating the band's disparate influences and musical tastes, including three Velvet Underground covers, and songs by Pylon, Aerosmith and Roger Miller. Guitarist Peter Buck composed wry, self-deprecating (and, in one instance, apologetic) liner notes to the songs on the album. Buck initially had doubts about releasing it, saying he felt as though people would perceive the album as the band "trying to cash in, maybe to sell some records," as the ultimate release date predated that of the band's final studio album with I.R.S., Document, by a mere five months.