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R.E.M. Retro Singles Nothing To Get Excited About

EMI’s announcement of releasing these old singles will probably fall on deaf ears among most R.E.M. fans as there are several reasons why these fall short.

The subsequent songs and their accompanying B-Sides are listed below.
(A) Can’t Get There From Here
(B) Bandwagon

(A) Driver 8
(B) Crazy

(A) Fall On Me
(B) Rotary Ten

(A) It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
(B) Last Date

(A) The One I Love
(B) Maps and Legends (Live)

(A) Superman
(B) White Tornado

And while as much as I can appreciate the idea of the 45, the retro single does not work in this case because all of these songs have been released on several different formats already. For the B sides listed, Bandwagon, Crazy, Rotary Ten and White Tornado were all released on Dead Letter Office. Maps and Legends (Live) as well as Last Date were also on several releases most notably ‘In the Attic’ but also on a ‘Deep Cuts’ EP that was also released this year including other re-released tracks of ‘The One I Love’ and ‘Disturbance at The Heron House’ live acoustic versions from the infamous McCabes Show in 1987.

While the singles of these songs claim to be remastered there is no detail as to what the remastering process actually was. Listening to the samples I was not blown away one way or the other.

From a hardcore fans perspective, the singles are ideal for the collector that likes the cover art and vinyl for their collection, something that is lost on these digital recordings.
As the announcement states, these songs are currently available on iTunes and should be available currently in other digital outlets.
If you are really interested in getting it however, I would suggest the Amazon site which offers all of these singles for the price of $1.42, vs. the Apple iTunes cost of $1.99.