Sunday, July 30, 2006
R.E.M. officially released the info on their upcoming "Best of" cd/dvd. It's going to be called "And I Feel Fine...The Best of the I.R.S. Years". The interesting stuff, of course, comes in the 2-disc version, where you get all the demos, live tracks and "rare" stuff. Some of it has been released before, but there are a few things of note here.
One is the slow-electric version of "Gardening At Night". If this is the version I'm thinking of, it's just beautiful. The tracklist says "previously unreleased", but I'll bet this is the one that was on the incredibly rare Alternative Radio Sampler promo cd. It's so rare, that even I don't own it. That's pretty rare, being that I'm such an R.E.M. freak.
The other track that has R.E.M. fans all abuzz is "Theme From Two Steps Onward". A track from the Fables sessions, the master tapes for this was lost for years. Rumor has it the tape finally turned up. This is sort of the "holy grail" of lost R.E.M. tracks.
And let's not forget the Hib-Tone version of "Sitting Still". Everyone is always so ga-ga over the Hib-Tone version of "Radio Free Europe" they forget that the b-side was just as interesting.
The dvd contains some goodies as well. In addition to all of the regular promo videos, we finally see the 20-minute Left of Reckoning film on dvd. This hasn't been available since Succumbs went out of print on VHS years ago. The early live videos should be interesting as well. Oh, how I wish they included their appearance on Solid Gold. No such luck.
Why another I.R.S. "Best of..." collection? There are already 3 of them. My guess is they're trying to get some attention to get in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for which they're now eligible.
Release date is September 12.
Other R.E.M. news... They're being inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in September. Also, Michael provides backing vocals on a track on the new NY Dolls cd (which doesn't suck, btw.)
Here's a live version of "Theme From Two Seps Onward" from Madison, Wisconsin in 1985.
Just for the hell of it - here's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?" from the same show.
pic from www.cmj.com