Exclusive Premiere of New R.E.M. Release on Monday, Including “The Athens Demos”

FablesNext week, KCRW will premiere a 2CD expanded 25th anniversary edition of R.E.M.’s 1985 album, Fables Of The Reconstruction, as part of our Album Preview series.

R.E.M. was the first band whose posters I had up on my bedroom wall as a kid (including my own handmade collage of photos of Michael Stipe and the guys. They were still there when I left for college, then my mom took them down – wah) so I’m especially excited for this one!

The Athens-based band went out on a limb with Fables and its still a favorite for me (“Driver 8” & “Can’t Get There From Here,” come on!). This new CD set not only includes the digitally remastered original album, plus 14 previously unreleased demo recordings cut prior to the album’s studio sessions, including “Throw Those Trolls Away,” a long-sought track that has never been released until now.

Both CDs will be available streaming in their entirety on Monday, July 5 here: http://www.kcrw.com/albumpreview

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DJ Eric J Lawrence tells us more about Fables history and the new release…

By 1985, Athens, GA-based group R.E.M. had already laid the groundwork for the alternative rock sound they helped pioneer with their two college radio-approved albums.  They decided to switch things up a bit on their third album, Fables of the Reconstruction, by recording it in London with legendary folk-music producer Joe Boyd.  Although the process ultimately proved uncomfortable for the band and its results were initially viewed by some fans as merely an interesting experiment, the record’s reputation has grown over the years, and it is now generally regarded as a masterpiece of Southern Gothic sounds.

The album’s eerie opener, “Feeling Gravitys Pull,” sets the tone for the record, replacing the band’s trademark jangle-rock sound with a moody tune complete with string quartet.  Even the album’s singles, “Cant Get There From Here” and “Driver 8,” seem to be drenched in the murky humidity of the mythic American South.

Fables of the Reconstruction celebrates its 25th anniversary with a deluxe 2-disc set featuring a digital remaster of the album, as well as a complete run-through of the album in demo form, giving an inside glimpse of the album’s development.  Also included are three other demos not included on the final album, including “Throw Those Trolls Away,” a song that has never before been released in any form.  Whether you are a long-time fan of this unique album or hearing it for the first time, enjoy this classic R.E.M. reissue as part of KCRW’s Album Preview.