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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

R.E.M.’s Lifes Rich Pageant 25th Anniversary Reissue Announced

It’s not just my aching shoulder today reminding me of advanced years... Rather this very special announcement that Athens, GA rockers R.E.M. will continue their generous reissue series this July with a 25th anniversary edition of Lifes Rich Pageant. I remember well hearing the original release for the first time and the effect was staggering. This maked a bold step for prolific foursome and my college boy ears welcomed it.  Lifes Rich Pageant made a brilliant addition that year to my collection that featured life changing discs from the Replacements to Husker Du. In 1986 College Radio was king and it was stuff like this that made it that way.  This release will feature a newly remastered version of the pivotal 1986 album as well as a bonus CD that includes nineteen unreleased demos — one of which is a song that’s never officially seen the light of day.

The band announced today the expanded reissue is due out July 12th as a double set on Capitol/I.R.S. and on 180-gram audiophile vinyl via Mobile Fidelity. The set will feature new liner notes by music journalist and author Parke Puterbaugh in a special CD package “presented in a lift-top box with a poster and four postcards.”

The bonus disc, dubbed “The Athens Demos,” features nineteen tracks recorded in March 1986 at John Keane’s studio in Athens, GA. Among the tracks are early recordings of all 12 Lifes Rich Pageant tracks, plus several songs later recorded for subsequent releases: “Bad Day,” “Rotary Ten,” “Two Steps Onward,” “Mystery To Me,” “All The Right Friends” and “March Song (King Of Birds),” an early instrumental of “King Of Birds” from Document.

The real treasure, for longtime fans though is the inclusion of the demo for “Wait,” a track never before officially released by the band.

Track list: R.E.M., Lifes Rich Pageant (25th Anniversary Edition)

Disc 1: Original Album
01. “Begin The Begin”
02. “These Days”
03. “Fall on Me”
04. “Cuyahoga”
05. “Hyena”
06. “Underneath The Bunker”
07. “The Flowers of Guatemala”
08. “I Believe”
09. “What If We Give It Away?”
10. “Just a Touch”
11. “Swan Swan H”
12. “Superman”

Disc 2: The Athens Demos (All Previously Unreleased)
(Recorded March 1986 at John Keane’s Studio, Athens GA)
01. “Fall On Me”
02. “Hyena”
03. “March Song (King Of Birds)”
04. “These Days”
05. “Bad Day”
06. “Salsa (Underneath The Bunker)”
07. “Swan Swan H”
08. “Flowers Of Guatemala”
09. “Begin The Begin”
10. “Cuyahoga”
11. “I Believe”
12. “Out Of Tune”
13. “Rotary Ten”
14. “Two Steps Onward”
15. “Just A Touch”
16. “Mystery To Me”
17. “Wait”
18. “All The Right Friends”
19. “Get On Their Way (What If We Give It Away)”


Barbara Bruederlin said...

180-gram audiophile vinyl? Of course you know that I will now be spending the day weighing all my vinyl to understand the significance of this information.

Westcoast Walker said...

Hi Sean

Long-time EIP fan as you know, and pleased with my timing to come back to your blog and read your celebration of this fine album.

I will likely save up my milk money and fork out some hard earned doe for this one - and in the true spirit of my fanaticism I'll probably listen to the CD version, with my vintage vinyl version close by for comparison.

REM have given a text book example of how to do reissues the right way - lots of reward and love for long-term fans.