'Fine' And Dandy
R.E.M.'s pre-major label stint on I.R.S. Records is anthologized on two CDs and a DVD due this week via EMI Catalog Music Marketing.R.E.M.'s pre-major label stint on I.R.S. Records is anthologized on two CDs and a DVD due this week via EMI Catalog Music Marketing. "And I Feel Fine" will be available as both a single-disc CD package and a double-disc set with a host of rarities, live cuts and previously unreleased selections. The DVD, "When the Light Is Mine," features a mix of music videos and live TV performances.
As expected, the single-disc version of "And I Feel Fine" includes the finest tracks from R.E.M.'s first five years, from "So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)" and "Radio Free Europe" to "Driver 8," "Sitting Still" and "Begin the Begin." The set appropriately closes with "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," from 1987's "Document," the band's final I.R.S. album before inking with Warner Bros.
But it's the two-disc edition of the collection that will prove a bounty for R.E.M. collectors, as it includes the first authorized release of the studio outtakes "Theme From Two Steps Onward" and "Bad Day." The former has circulated on bootlegs for years, while the latter was originally recorded during the sessions for 1986's "Life's Rich Pageant." It was revived and re-recorded for inclusion on R.E.M.'s 2003 retrospective "In Time -- The Best of R.E.M."
"When the Light Is Mine" is highlighted by performances from the U.K. TV show "The Tube" of "Talk About the Passion," "Radio Free Europe" and "Can't Get There From Here" (featuring a blonde Michael Stipe), a 20-minute film titled "Left of Reckoning" and a 1984 performance of "Pretty Persuasion" from "The Old Grey Whistle Test."