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R.E.M. Reissue Warner Catalog

Reissues trace fifteen years at Warner Bros.

November 24, 2004 12:00 AM ET

R.E.M. will reissue their entire Warner Bros. catalog on February 15th, with each two disc set including the original album and a bonus DVD featuring the record remixed in 5.1 surround sound, as well as unreleased documentary and video footage.

The reissues span from R.E.M.'s 1988 Warner debut Green to this fall's Around the Sun, and mark the band's transition from indie favorites to one of the world's biggest bands.

"These days, there are R.E.M. fans who think 'Stand' or even 'Losing My Religion' is the first song the band ever wrote," bassist Mike Mills told Rolling Stone in 1991. "The people who listen to Top Forty are generally not R.E.M. record buyers -- or they weren't until the last year or two. It's kind of surprising to listen to the fourteen-year-old girls call up and go, 'How long have you been together? I like your first record.' And it's like 'No, no. See, the first record came out when you were about one year old.'"

Typical of the bonus material is the extra disc for Out of Time, which includes the unreleased documentary Time Piece, a blend of band member interviews and commentary on songs from the album that made R.E.M. a household name.

R.E.M. finish their U.S. tour Sunday with a show at Albuquerque's Kive Auditorium, before heading to Europe in January.

 

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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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