Retired college rock icons R.E.M. released a slew of material in physical and digital form this fine day. The 1991 and 2001 episodes of MTV Unplugged Sessions that were released on RSD in a 4LP set, is now available in a 2-disc set or digitally from iTunes and Amazon. The Unplugged Sessions includes both performances in their entirety, and features 11 songs that never aired due to time restraints. I am looking forward to finally upgrading my Unplugged copies which I still own on VCR tape, of course I do.
The Athens, Georgia rock stars also released a planned 50-song digital release of complete rarities from the I.R.S. years: 1982-1987. To the planets surprise there was an additional 131-song digital release of complete rarities from the Warner Bros years: 1988-2011 this morning. Morning surprises are fun, especially when they involve your favorite band of all-time. You read that right, 50 songs and 131 songs for a total of 181 glorious B-sides, live cuts, and non-album tracks. Both collections are available on ITunes and Amazon.
The band also made available their debut EP Chronic Town on digital download for the first time in stand alone form. The EP has always been included with the 1987 B-sides album Dead Letter Office. If that’s not enough, the entire R.E.M. catalogue received a digital reissue in the much-preferred Mastered for iTunes format.
In a recent interview with Billboard Magazine bassist Mike Mills said that the band is sitting on a fair amount of music that has never been released. The plan would be to empty the vault periodically with special releases. The music Mr. Mills speaks of is in addition to the 181-songs that surfaced today. The band has no plans reunite anytime soon, or ever.
Visit iTunes or Amazon to check out the incredible tracklistings.
Fun day to be a R.E.M. fan!
Check out the Unplugged Sessions 1991/2001 trailer here:
Enjoy the video for “The Great Beyond” here: