In 1985, R.E.M. were young lads preparing to record their third studio album in London in winter, far from the warm verdant tangle of Georgia. Twenty-five years later (!!) Capitol Records is digitally remastering Fables of the Reconstruction, and releasing it on July 13th along with a companion disc of the demos containing R.E.M.’s original vision for the album, rich in storytelling. Peter Buck also penned some new liner notes.
R.E.M. is teaming up with blogs to unveil exclusive streams of the remasters and the demos. Here is Fuel/Friends’ exclusive, a new look at a bit of mid-80s nostalgia from a band I heartily love:
STREAM: Good Advices (demo)
This demo version of the penultimate song on the album finds Stipe’s vocals more meandering (think “Cuyahoga”) than the focused jangling tune that eventually made it to the album. I never tire of how demos reveal new layers of the narrative we know; the reissue double disc also includes one never-before-heard demo for a song called “Throw Those Trolls Away.”
I am pleased that R.E.M.’s earlier work is getting cleaned up shiny and new, and how can we believe that it’s been 25 years? I hope Life’s Rich Pageant is next – I still have that one on vinyl.