Hard to believe R.E.M. broke up three years ago, partly because 2014 has seen the release of more R.E.M. product than at any point ever, even when the band was an actual living, breathing, ongoing concern. In the last seven months, we’ve been treated to their two Unplugged appearances, in their entirety (Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions, plus separate releases of each show); two digital-only odds ‘n’ sods collections (Complete Rarities: I.R.S. 1982–1987 and Complete Warner Bros. Rarities 1988–2011); and a six-DVD box set of their appearances on MTV and its sister channels (REMTV). They’ve become a nostalgia machine without peer, a fact recently noted in Bloomberg Businessweek.
This has all been quality stuff, mind you—a trove of treasures that any hardcore fan would be tempted to break his or her piggy bank to own.
Ah, but there’s one more—next week, the band’s ghost will release 7IN – 83-88, a vinyl-only box set containing 11 singles released on I.R.S. between 1983 and 1988. Each single’s sleeve art has been faithfully reproduced, and it’s all contained in a handsome box. The singles included are:
- “Radio Free Europe” / “There She Goes Again”
- “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)” / “King of the Road”
- “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” / “Catapult” (Live)
- “Can’t Get There From Here” / “Bandwagon”
- “Driver 8” / “Crazy”
- “Wendell G” / “Crazy” + “Ages of You” / “Burning Down” [U.K. double-pack, previously unreleased on vinyl in U.S.]
- “Fall On Me” / “Rotary Ten”
- “Superman” / “White Tornado”
- “The One I Love” / “Maps and Legends” (Live)
- “Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” / “Last Date”
- “Finest Worksong” / “Time After Time” (Live) [U.K. single, previously unreleased on vinyl in U.S.]
It’s great stuff, and we at Popdose
have had one to give away. To have a chance to win, send me an email (one per person, please) with the subject line “What’s the Frequency, Robert?” In the body, include your name and mailing address. I will picked one entry at random from the emails I received by 5:00pm Eastern Time Tuesday, December 9. That person will win won the box. Also, since I and my colleagues here would rather listen to “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” on a loop while riding a Greyhound bus for eight hours through western PA coal towns (again), I will personally delete deleted all received emails after the winner is was selected.
If you’re not feeling lucky, you can pre-order the box here.
Good luck! Thanks to all who entered!