R.E.M Rarities Available For Limited Time

October 28, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Last week, JAMTV reported that EMI-Capitol Entertainment Properties released a must-have collection of David Bowie songs. The record company has done the same thing with R.E.M.

Also released on Oct. 7, Essential - R.E.M In The Attic: Alternative Recordings 1985 - 1989, highlights songs from the Athens, Ga.,-based foursome's early career when they were darlings of college radio. Young R.E.M. fans who caught on when Monster hit in 1994 can now understand what older R.E.M. fans were raving about back when Fables of the Reconstruction, Life's Rich Pageant and Document came out in the mid-'80s.

R.E.M. In The Attic is just one of the albums helping commemorate the 100th anniversary of EMI Records. The collection, which features songs like "Finest Worksong," "The One I Love" and "Gardening At Night," will only be available for six months from the date of release. This limited edition includes live tracks as well as never before heard alternative versions of some of the band's most popular songs.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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