R.E.M.

College-rock kingpins R.E.M. will mark the 25th anniversary of their third album, Fables of the Reconstruction, this summer with the third installment in the band’s ongoing reissue series, a double-disc re-release featuring 14 previously unreleased demos — including one never-before-heard song.

Although the band hasn’t formally announced the reissue, our sharp-eyed friends at The Second Disc note that Amazon.com has begun taking pre-orders on the set, which is due out July 13. The Fables reissue follows similarly expanded re-releases of 1983’s Murmur and 1984’s Reckoning in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Unlike those two sets, however, the bonus disc on the new edition of Fables of the Reconstruction won’t include a vintage live show; instead, according to Amazon, “the bonus disc is a complete run-through of the album done in studio in Athens, before the band left for London for the actual recording sessions.”

The previously unreleased demos cover every track on Fables of the Reconstruction, plus “Bandwagon,” which was used, in finished form, as the B-side to “Can’t Get There From Here”; “Hyena,” later recorded for Lifes Rich Pageant; and “Throw Those Trolls Away,” a song the band has never released in any form.

UPDATE 5/18/10: R.E.M. this morning announced the reissue, and added some details, including this excerpt from the Peter Buck-penned liner notes:

“The last day of rehearsal, I think with (producer) Joe Boyd in attendance, Jim Hawkins recorded what we had come up with. We spent about four hours recording all the new songs live, with minimal overdubs. I hadn’t listened to this stuff since we recorded it, and I’m kind of stunned at how good it is. My memory of the rehearsals is us scrambling to finish songs. The songs on both Murmur and Reckoning had been performed for months if not years by the time they were committed to tape. I remember feeling dangerously unprepared when we flew to London, but on the evidence of this recording we must have known what we were doing.”

The Capitol/IRS set will be packaged in a “lift-top box” with a poster and four postcards. The remastered original album also will be released on 180-gram vinyl that same day.

See full tracklist for R.E.M.’s ‘Fables of the Reconstruction’ reissue after the jump…

R.E.M., 'Fables of the Reconstruction'

Tracklist: R.E.M., Fables of the Reconstruction: 25th Anniversary Edition

Disc 1: Original Album
1. “Feeling Gravitys Pull”
2. “Maps and Legends”
3. “Driver 8”
4. “Life and How to Live It”
5. “Old Man Kensey”
6. “Cant Get There from Here”
7. “Green Grow the Rushes”
8. “Kohoutek”
9. “Auctioneer (Another Engine)”
10. “Good Advices”
11. “Wendell Gee”

Disc 2: Demos
1. “Auctioneer (Another Engine)” (Demo)
2. “Bandwagon (Demo)”
3. “Cant Get There from Here” (Demo)
4. “Driver 8” (Demo)
5. “Feeling Gravitys Pull” (Demo)
6. “Good Advices” (Demo)
7. “Green Grow the Rushes” (Demo)
8. “Hyena (Demo)”
9. “Kohoutek (Demo)”
10. “Life and How to Live It” (Demo)
11. “Maps and Legends” (Demo)
12. “Old Man Kensey” (Demo)
13. “Throw These Trolls Away” (Demo)
14. “Wendell Gee” (Demo)

All tracks on Disc 2 previously unreleased.

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