It seems like R.E.M. fanclub members are getting an early Christmas present this year. Keeping with the tradition of releasing exclusive Christmas singles, the band has sent out discs featuring two new tracks: a cover of Darlene Love’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) and a strange dub-remix mashup of instrumental versions of new material from the upcoming Collapse Into Now album.
Unfortunately, the Christmas track doesn’t include vocalist Michael Stipe; Instead vocal duties are passed off to bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills. The track does however feature the return of original R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry. So close to an actual reunion, yet so far. It’s odd to hear an R.E.M. track without Stipe’s involvement, but still definitely a cool thing for hardcore fans of the band.
The other track is called IHT>U>EDIYTW (Dubmix). Judging by the official tracklist released last month, the three songs that are featured here are It Happened Today, Uberlin and Every Day Is Yours To Win. It’s a strange conglomeration of the three tracks but it should definitely appeal to those looking forward to Collapse Into Now,
currently slated to come out next April.
UPDATE: The Rock It Out! Blog has the new single, entitled Discoverer. Go listen. Also, Collapse Into Now is set for a March 8th release.