R.E.M.'s 'Unplugged' Performances to be Released on Audio

Posted on April 3, 2014

R.E.M. may have broken up, but fans won’t be missing those jangly guitars for too long—as the godfathers of alternative rock are releasing their MTV Unplugged performances for the first time on audio.

Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions will be released by Rhino Records on May 20.

The quartet out of Athens, Georgia was reportedly the only artists to record two episodes of the acoustics-only MTV show--the first at the height of the band’s popularity in 1991, and the second ten years later, when they’d settled into a role as 40-something-year-old rock ‘n’ roll elder statesmen.

While long out on video, this release marks the first time the performances will be available on CD and digitally. In honor of international Record Store Day this month, the album will be available April 19 as a 4-LP vinyl set at participating independent record stores.

The Unplugged set lists are heavy on songs from R.E.M.’s acoustic catalog, including “Losing My Religion,” “World Leader Pretend,” “Half a World Away,” “So. Central Rain (Sorry)” and “Perfect Circle.” Also featured are de-electrified versions of “Get Up,” “Pop Song 89,” “Radio Song,” and a previously unbroadcast performance of “The One I Love.”

For those R.E.M. fans in the North East, bassist Mike Mills will reportedly be signing copies of the 4-LP set on Record Store Day at Bull Moose record store in Scarborough, Maine.

Check out the above video of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” from their Unplugged appearance in1991.

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