R.E.M Thread

oh god, I think I did too. The 2003 tour?


Yep. Dublin for me

I was 12 at the time, but I remember being incredibly jealous of my parents seeing them at Murrayfield on this tour. Apparently The Cranberries were incredible.

First day was The Beautiful South, Belly and Magnapop. Second day was The Beautiful South, Terrorvision and Echobelly

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Me too! First night at Marlay Park.

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I was at one of the Milton Keynes shows, blur supporting

Definitely one of my best gig memories, hot day, non crushy crowd, fantastic view of the band

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They’ve just made an unreleased track from 2004 available to download for a good cause…



I never saw REM live, much to my annoyance. I had tickets for a Hyde Park show later on in their career, but when they announced the supports were Feeder and The Zutons, I decided to sell my tickets and go on tour with my cricket team instead.

Ooof! 5 songs from Around The Sun, looks like I dodged a bullet!


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Previously Unreleased R.E.M. Song “Fascinating” to Raise Funds for Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Relief Efforts in the Bahamas

The band is sharing previously unreleased song “Fascinating” to benefit global organization Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Dorian relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. Peter, Mike, and Michael recorded the song in 2004 at Nassau’s Compass Point Studios.

It’s now available for download for the first time via Bandcamp.com.

You can stream the song for free on Bandcamp and download it for a minimum donation of $2 or an amount of your choosing. Proceeds will go directly to Mercy Corps’ emergency response and recovery efforts in the Bahamas.

About the Song:
“Fascinating” first appeared on the original master of 2001’s Reveal before being cut last minute. It was Michael’s favorite song from the Reveal sessions according to Peter’s recollection, as chronicled in David Buckley’s R.E.M. biography, Fiction .

“It’s really beautiful,” Mike told Buckley. “It has a flute, oboe arrangement, but it made the record too long… and something had to go.” The track was re-recorded in Nassau for 2004’s Around the Sun, but the lush ballad ultimately didn’t jibe with that album. Now this poignant outtake finally finds its fitting moment, as a means to aid the country where the band enjoyed over two months of creative retreat.

“I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” reflects Mike. “It breaks my heart to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian. Please help us and Mercy Corps do what we can to alleviate the suffering caused by this catastrophe.”

Hurricane Dorian hammered the Bahamas’ northwest islands of Grand Bahama and Abaco for 48 hours in early September 2019, causing widespread destruction and leaving 76,000 people homeless and in need of lifesaving assistance. Mercy Corps mobilized immediately and are committed to reaching 3,000 families with emergency kits including mosquito nets, tarps, jerrycans, water-purifying tablets and rope.

“The Bahamas faces a long road to recovery after this devastating hurricane,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps. “We’re grateful to have R.E.M. in our global community of humanitarians, sharing their song with the world to help the people of the Bahamas recover and build back even stronger.”

In 2005, following a visit to Mercy Corps’ Hurricane Katrina recovery program in New Orleans, Michael released a six-song EP that raised nearly $100K for Mercy Corps’ relief efforts along the United States Gulf Coast. The band also generously supported Mercy Corps’ Katrina relief efforts.

I saw two shows in 4 days (one had been rescheduled) on that tour - they were awesome both times. The Around the Sun stuff made for nice toilet and bar breaks!

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only time I saw REM was on the “Around the Sun” tour - it was great but I distinctly remember “High Speed Train” being a “I could be watching ‘Heat’ right now” moment…


Not my favourite album of theirs but insanely hard to call what my favourite track off of it is. Could have listed any of 5 given the mood I was in.


I’m really looking forward to the ‘Monster’ re-issue as i have really come to love the album more over the last few years. There doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of promotional interviews with Stipe & Mills for this re-issue though?!

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There was a Guardian interview with Michael Stipe about his photography in which he mentioned the three of them had been in London to do some promo interviews. Guessing they’ll start popping up in the next few days.


Stipe is in London as part of a short promotional tour, with a double set of duties. It’s the 25th anniversary of REM’s Monster , and there’s a special box set coming out, so he’s been chatting about that to journalists, alongside REM musicians Peter Buck and Mike Mills.

Listening to the Monster remix for the first time - initial thoughts/impressions are below. Apparently the band have set up some online player where you can A/B the original and remixed songs, but I’m comparing them from memory. That said, I’ve listened to Monster countless times since 1994 so the differences are obvious even on a first listen. It’s all spoilers, so they’re hidden…


What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
The lyrics are more audible and Mike Mills’ bass is beefier, but I still can’t get over the absence of the tremolo guitar. They’ve cut 20 seconds off the outro, removing the F-bomb in the process. Despite that, the song is still being labelled as “Explicit” on iTunes :man_shrugging: Still love how R.E.M. managed to sneak a 4-letter curse onto daytime radio back in 1994 :slight_smile:

Crush With Eyeliner
Weird "la-la-la"s from Stipe at the very start. Lovely extra twangy/warbly guitar lead lines from Buck and a subtle flange running through the verses. The vocals are obviously pushed forwards and the background vocals in the last verse are much more prominent, but there’s loads more going on instrumentally as well. Fantastic remix - it might well better the original on first listen.

King Of Comedy
Kinda segues from the last track. There’s an intriguing carnival organ part swirling around the verses. Odd filtering effects and sound FX everywhere, particularly in the choruses. Stipe sounds even more deadpan than in the original. Chaotic chorus of voices in the outro.

I Don’t Sleep, I Dream
Very different vocal take with a dirty, gritty filter - Stipe sings this song completely differently, almost slurring the words in places. The bass throbs like a beast. Stipe squeaks like a chipmunk at the end, and the extended outro features a brief change in chords/key/I dunno what the proper term is. It’s a very intriguing version of the song, but I still love the masterful atmosphere and tension of the original version.

Star 69
Less busy instrumentally, making the vocals much easier to discern. New noises ‘n’ stuff in the chorus. Sounds more ‘live’ than the original. Bye bye Mills’ ‘oooh oooh oooh’ background vocals :frowning:

Strange Currencies
Stipe’s vocals are really pushed to the forefront here, and it’s a different vocal take again with slight variations in the lyrics in places. Buck’s feedback guitar is still there, but not so prominent. They’ve taken out the lovely ‘guitar strings plucked above the neck’ part too, which makes me sad.

Drums, bass and vox are all much more prominent, pushing the piano part slightly into the background. Another different vocal take, I think. Buck’s high strummy guitar part now runs through the song instead of only at the end. Doesn’t have most of the instruments dropping out briefly before the last verse, and the song fades early too. Yeah, I definitely prefer the more delicate, pretty original version.

Bang And Blame
Not hugely different from the original. More bass and obvious vocals (Stipe and background singers), and a new drum overdub comes in at the third verse.

I Took Your Name
Completely different vocal effect used, which makes Stipe’s lyrics much clearer. As usual, they’ve beefed up the rhythm section and toned down the guitars a bit.

Let Me In
Mills’ guitar sounds less muddy and has been pushed way into the background along with Buck’s organ (which is now practically subliminal) leaving Stipe’s vocals front and centre in harrowing clarity. Affecting in a very different way to the original.

Circus Envy
Big boomy Berry drums, clearer vocals and a bit more buzzsaw guitar in the verses from Buck. Quite similar to the original all told. One of R.E.M’s more underrated songs, I feel.

The oppressive, all-enveloping guitars have been toned down dramatically, but Stipe’s clear, double-tracked vocals lend an eerie air of their own. No drums until the second verse, and the bass is huge from this point on. Mills/Berry’s background vocals have gone. I really, really love the suffocating atmosphere of the original (it fits the lyrics perfectly), so again, I’m not sure what to make of the remix.

Overall, I really like what Scott Litt has done with the album - it complements the original well. Some songs work better than others, but for fans of Monster it should prove a very intriguing listen, and it’s one I’ll probably return to often. I was admittedly worried reading/watching interviews beforehand - I kept seeing Scott Litt saying he wanted it to sound more like Document - but my fears were unfounded. Monster still sounds like Monster, it’s just not the Peter Buck show any more :slight_smile: