R.E.M.

With touring and promotion of 2008’s Accelerate now finished, R.E.M. this year will issue, at a minimum, a pair of archival releases, hitting both ends of its long and fruitful career.

According to a post on the band’s Web site, R.E.M. is preparing a deluxe edition of 1984’s Reckoning that “will be done in the same spirit of Universal’s excellent Murmur deluxe release in 2008.”

That expanded, two-disc edition of Murmur features a remastered version of the album, bonus tracks and a concert recorded in 1983 in Toronto.

It’s not yet clear what bonus material will appear on the expanded Reckoning, which, according to the band’s Web site, will “come out sometime toward the end of spring.”

R.E.M.’s other planned release for 2009 is a live record culled from the 2007 “Dublin Working Rehearsals,” a series of concerts in the Irish city that saw the band running through material it later would record for Accelerate.

“Word is that the Dublin package will be something very special including more than ‘just the music,’ although ‘just the music’ those five nights at the Olympia was pretty incredible itself,” the band posted on its site.

And while R.E.M. has no plans to release new music in 2009, the band isn’t quite sitting still.

In an interview earlier this month, Peter Buck confirmed the band is gearing up to start work on another record.

“Within the next few months, Mike (Mills) and I, Scott (McCaughey) and Bill (Rieflin) will be recording some demos that are exploratory and sort of a precursor to what will be coming soon,” Buck told the band’s official site. “We are really looking forward to starting another full studio record later this year.”

 

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