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Friday, March 27, 2009

Begin the Begin (Again)

R.E.M. Releasing Dublin Rehearsals and Deluxe Reckoning

I honestly didn’t think I would still be talking about a band I fell in love with over twenty seven years ago let alone getting excited about the prospect of more additions to my music library. But a certain Athens band does have a certain effect on me. After what could be best be described as a “stellar” 2008, R.E.M. have a couple of releases planned for the current year. Although no new music is planned they'll release a live album culled from their 2007 Dublin, Ireland working rehearsals and a deluxe version of 1984's pivotal album Reckoning.

According to a recent posting on R.E.M.’s website REMHQ- “…the Dublin package will be something very special including more than 'just the music,' although 'just the music' those five nights at the Olympia was pretty incredible itself".

R.E.M. played a string of shows in Dublin in July 2007 to warm up for their tour and test new material that ended up on last year's Accelerate.

Also planned this year is a deluxe version of the band’s seminal 1984 album Reckoning. Let’s hope it maintains the same artistic integrity and creative vision their deluxe version of Murmur had late last year. No word yet on what bonus material will be included. Personally I’m hoping for nicely remastered cover versions the "Velvet’s Pale Blue Eyes" and "Femme Fatale".

Lastly, in a recent REMHQ interview Peter Buck has said R.E.M. plan to regroup in the next few months to begin work on "exploratory demos" for a new album for likely release in 2010.

R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, drummer Bill Rieflin and multi-instrumentalist Scott McCaughey are touring Australia as part of Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 in support of last month's release of the band's second album, Goodnight Oslo. The band will play 13 U.S. shows and an April 16 gig at Toronto's Mod Club next month and will also perform at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee on June 13th.


Blair Whatmore said...

Sounds good to me!
I didn't realize you were such an REM fan, Sean. I'm a huge fan as well, and was overjoyed with Accelerate. I also just recently finally got my hands on a vinyl copy of the Hindu Love Gods album, which for a fan of REM and Warren Zevon is like a holy grail tongue-in-cheek masterpiece.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

There is nothing wrong with loving a band for 27 years. In fact, when a band is so consistent for so long, that's all the more reason to celebrate them.

Sean Wraight said...

Blair - Great find with the Hindu Love Gods vinyl. That one remains to this day one of my favourite side projects ever. Their take on Princes' "Raspberry Beret" is soooo good!

Love that one!

Barb - I agree, it is just cause for celebration. I have to start to be less concerned with the numbers! ;)


amityb said...

I love that VU cover. That one and Rotary Ten are my favs from Dead Letter Office. It's so strange to watch a megasuperstar band like R.E.M. back in the day, when they were still feeling out their stage presence; Stipe looks so vulnerable (and absolutely beautiful). Thanks for posting this!

Sean Wraight said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed that one Amity. We share a mutual love for that release (Dead Letter Office) and it pleases me to no end that Rotary 10 is your favourite R.E.M. song. It's certainly one of my favourites too.

You are so right about Michael too. He looks so innocent and bright eyed in that video. It contrasts well with the last thing I saw him on. Commenting on a fashion show in Paris on Fashion File last week. My how that man has evolved.