The concept of the “fan club” has faded in the age of the Internet. It’s called Twitter, people! However, if you’re an R.E.M. fan, you might want to join theirs. Every year they send out a new holiday single exclusively to club members. Last year saw them singing Lenny Kaye’s “Crazy Like a Fox” and “Santa Baby.” This year keeps the holiday-romance theme going with Darlene Love‘s classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”
“Christmas” sees Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and the Minus 5’s Scott McCaughey create their best Wall of Sound. They don’t disappoint. Like last year, R.E.M. alum Billy Berry returns on drums. Plus, half the R.E.M. office pitches in on backing vocals (and someone’s playing those sleigh bells). Listen below. Thanks to the good folks at the Murmurs forum for help with the creidts.
It also includes “IHT>U>EDIYTW (Dubmix),” an instrumental mix of three tracks from their upcoming album (which, for the sake of thoroughness, we have below too). Presumably, these are “It Happened Today,” “Uberlin,” and “Every Day Is Yours to Win.” (via R.E.M.HQ)
Mike Mills Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Tenor Sax, Vocals and Piano
Peter Buck, 12 String Guitar, 6 String Bass
Bill Berry, Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals
Scott McCaughey, Glockenspiel, Bass Harmonica and Mellotron
Chorus: Rachel, Paige, Jessica, Aidan, Cybele, Kevin, David and Mercer
Peter Buck, Mike Mills & Michael Stipe
Check out more R.E.M. at their website.