When I finally completed my six-year degree plan at the University of Texas in the spring of 1991, I sent out 25 graduation announcements. 24 went to friends and family, and the last one was sent to R.E.M. headquarters in Athens. Sound strange? It shouldn’t. R.E.M. did more to help me get through college than almost anyone I knew, and sending out that announcement/party invitation to Berry-Buck-Mills-Stipe was the very least I could do.

I didn’t expect them to show up for the party. and of course they didn’t make it. But the truth is that I wouldn’t have been shocked to see Peter Buck and Mike Mills walk through the door with a bottle of tequila– R.E.M. was just that kind of band.

Here are 5 rare R.E.M. songs for your enjoyment. I imagine that this will be the first installment of a long, ongoing series…

R.E.M._ Singles & B-Sides

R.E.M.: “Academy Fight Song” [Live] (Clint Conley)

Promotional 7″ single from Bucketfull Of Brains magazine, 1992

Vinyl rip courtesy of the Analog Kid

Academy Fight Song [Live]

This live version of Mission of Burma’s “Academy Fight Song” was given away as a 45 with Bucketfull Of Brains magazine in 1992, and it remains one of the rarest R.E.M. collectibles. Thank you, Beth Hooper, for one of the best gifts ever!


R.E.M._ Singles & B-Sides 2

R.E.M.: “Fretless” (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)

From the soundtrack Until The End Of The World

Warner Brothers Records, 1991


“Fretless” was an outtake from the Out Of Time sessions, and in retrospect it probably should have been on the album. Perhaps it was just a little too depressing for the mostly uptempo Out Of Time, but it sure makes one hell of a b-side.


R.E.M._ Singles & B-Sides 3

R.E.M.: “Revolution”  (Berry/Buck/Mills/Stipe)

From the soundtrack Batman & Robin

Warner Brothers  Records, 1997


R.E.M. debuted a slew of new songs during the extensive Monster tour in 1995, and most of them ended up on 1996’s criminally-underrated New Adventures In Hi-Fi, “Revolution” didn’t make the cut, but it did finally surface on the Batman & Robin soundtrack in 1997. I saw R.E.M. five times on that monster Monster tour, and they played “Revolution” at every single show. I was very grateful to finally own a copy of a song that I had been singing in my head for two years.


R.E.M._ iTunes Originals

R.E.M.: “The Outsiders” (Buck/Mills/Stipe)

iTunes Originals, 2004

Original version from the album Around The Sun

Warner Brothers Records, 2004

The Outsiders

I’ll admit it: Around The Sun wasn’t R.E.M.’s finest hour. Only a few songs really stood out, one of them being the moody “The Outsiders.” Q-tip performed the rap on the album, but Michael Stipe does it himself on this iTunes-only version.


R.E.M._ Singles & B-Sides 1

R.E.M.: “Dark Globe” (Syd Barrett)

From the U.K. 12″ single Orange Crush

Warner Brothers Records, 1988

Dark Globe

R.E.M. does Syd. This may be my all-time favorite R.E.M. b-side.


Bonus Tracks!

The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.

The Madcap Laughs

Syd Barrett: “Dark Globe” (Syd Barrett)

From the album The Madcap Laughs

Harvest Records, 1970

Dark Globe


Around The Sun

R.E.M.: “The Outsiders” (Buck/Mills/Stipe)

From the album Around The Sun

Warner Brothers Records, 2004

The Outsiders

About The Analog Kid

"I'm 5-foot-8, 123 pounds. I have, uh, brown hair, blue eyes. I enjoy surfing, backgammon and men who aren't afraid to cry."

4 responses »

  1. Dave Cadriel says:

    I knew you would eventually get to R.E.M. They will always be “my band”. I knew eventually they would call it a day as a band. But, they left so much. I also agree that “New Adventures in Hi-Fi” is so incredibly underrated. But, maybe that’s why I love it so much. “Low Desert” is probably my favorite off that record. Thanks for posting some rare stuff. Stipe rapping? A must!

  2. WTF Pancakes says:

    I think it’s funny to think of anything as “too depressing” for Out of Time. Country Feedback? Me In Honey? Heck, Half A World Away and Texarkana sound positively upbeat for that record. Shiny happy my shiny metal ass.

    • MaxHorn says:

      Yeah, you’re right. They did put a shiny sheen on some material that was pretty down. I would have loved for “Fretless” to be on the album, but I don’t know what I would have cut off. I know Stipe hates “Near Wild Heaven” because he told me so, but Mills loves it.

  3. MaxHorn says:

    I guess I also think of “Out Of Time” as relatively happy because of the what came after it: “Automatic For The People.” That’s my co-favorite R.E.M. album (“Murmur” is the other), but damn– depression city. But so, so beautiful…

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