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R.E.M. Get Primitive

New album due next year

Posted Sep 06, 2002 12:00 AM

R.E.M. are at work on their thirteenth studio album, which they plan to release next year. "We're writing zillions of songs and pieces of songs, and patching them all together," says singer Michael Stipe. "Themes are starting to emerge, and it sounds like it's taking off from the last couple of records into unchartered R.E.M. territory. Kind of primitive and howling. For me, a very exciting trip."

The album will be Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills' follow-up to last year's Reveal and their third recording since the departure of drummer Bill Berry. R.E.M. spent a week in June doing pre-production in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, and plan on resuming recording when Buck finishes touring with the Minus 5 in the opening slot on the Wilco bill.

While fans wait for the record to move toward completion, R.E.M. plan to re-release Reveal and Automatic for the People in DVD audio format on October 15th. Both DVDs will feature behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the albums.

Stipe completists can also look ahead to the October 1st release of To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet. Included in the compilation is the song "Tainted Obligation" a Stipe/Sweet duet recorded under the name "Community Trolls," which features Stipe on accordion.

COLIN DEVENISH
(September 6, 2002)

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