R.E.M.'s "Accelerate" Rehearsal Gigs Turn Into "Olympia" Live LP

August 25, 2009 11:29 AM ET

In July 2007, R.E.M. booked five nights of shows at Dublin's Olympia Theatre and dubbed the performances as a "working rehearsal" as they tested out new tunes in front of small crowds of die-hard fans (read Rolling Stone's report from one of the gigs here). Many of the songs from the concerts ended up on R.E.M.'s 2008 album Accelerate, and now the highlights from the five shows will be featured on the upcoming double-disc set Live at the Olympia, due out October 27th.

In addition to the 39 tracks from the show, a deluxe version of Olympia will feature concert and backstage footage from French director Vincent Moon. A sampling of Moon's work can be seen in his video for "Living Well Is The Best Revenge," the opening track on both Accelerate and Live at the Olympia, above.

The set includes embryonic versions of Accelerate tracks — the single "Supernatural Superserious" is still called by its original name "Disguised" on this collection — but Olympia also features hits like "So. Central Rain" and "Drive," plus deeper cuts from the band's discography like "Disturbance At the Heron House" and four-fifths of their debut Chronic Town EP. There's also two still-unreleased Accelerate-era tracks, "On the Fly" and "Staring Down the Barrel of the Middle Distance."

Live at the Olympia
Disc 1:
"Living Well Is The Best Revenge"
"Second Guessing"
"Letter Never Sent"
"Staring Down The Barrel of the Middle Distance"
"Disturbance At The Heron House"
"Mr. Richards"
"New Test Leper"
"Man-Sized Wreath"
"So. Central Rain"
"On The Fly"
"Maps And Legends"
"Sitting Still"
"Driver 8"
"Horse To Water"
"I'm Gonna DJ"
"Circus Envy"
"These Days"

Disc 2:
"Feeling Gravity's Pull"
"Until The Day Is Done"
"Little America"
"Worst Joke Ever"
"Welcome To the Occupation"
"Carnival of Sorts
"Harbor Coat"
"Wolves, Lower"
"I've Been High"
"West of the Fields"
"Pretty Persuasion"
"Gardening At Night"

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

More Song Stories entries »