R.E.M. Unearth 'Fascinating' to Aid Hurricane Relief in Bahamas - Rolling Stone
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R.E.M. Unearth Lost Song ‘Fascinating’ to Aid Hurricane Relief in Bahamas

“I’m glad the song is now available,” says R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. “But I’m heartsick it’s for this particular situation”

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21:  R.E.M. attends a photocall to present new album "In Time: The Best Of R.E.M. 1988-2003"  October 21, 2003 at Hesperia Hotel in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

R.E.M. have put their lost 2001 song 'Fascinating' on sale to help aid with Hurricane Dorian rescue and recovery in the Bahamas.

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R.E.M. have dug into their vault and are offering fans the chance to download their lost song “Fascinating” via Bandcamp for $2 to aid victims of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas. All proceeds will benefit Mercy Corps’ hurricane relief and recovery effort in the Bahamas. “I’m glad the song is now available,” R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills tells Rolling Stone. “But I’m heartsick it’s for this particular situation.”

“Fascinating” was originally recorded for Reveal in 2001 and nearly made the record before being cut at the last second. “It wasn’t that the song didn’t work,” says Mills. “It has a really cool melodic figure and I think we arranged it with oboe and flute, which you usually don’t hear together. It’s an odd song about alienation and I really liked it, but it just didn’t fit on the record.”

They re-recorded the song in Nassau for 2004’s Around The Sun, though once again couldn’t find a place for it on the album. But their minds went back to it recently when they wanted to release something to help with the horrible devastation that Dorian caused on the island. “I’ve personally spent a lot of time right where that hurricane sat for two days,” says Mills. “I know a lot of people who have no home, literally no home, and no place of employment. Everything there is gone, wiped out. It’s heartbreaking for me. I wish we had more that we could do for this, but at least this is a start.”

The song is one of many unreleased tracks in the group’s vault. There are also many complete concerts that may see the light of day. “If the quality is good enough and there is some element to it that makes the concert special, then I’m open to releasing it,” says Mills. “You don’t want to throw things out willy-nilly just because you have a bootleg. But if the recording enhances the songs and presents them in an unusual way, I’m absolutely open to more releases.”

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