Digital Music, Single News — December 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Listen: R.E.M. debuts Christmas song with Bill Berry, new album mix on fan club single

R.E.M. by Anton Corbijn, circa 2010

Members of R.E.M.’s fan club have begun receiving their annual holiday single in the mail, and, like last year’s, the 2010 installment features the return of departed drummer Bill Berry on a cover of Darlene Love’s classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” — as well as an instrumental mashup of three tracks off the band’s forthcoming album Collapse Into Now.

While we haven’t received our package yet at Slicing Up Eyeballs World HQ, the folks at Cover Me have, and uploaded it for your listening pleasure (hear them below).

Like last year’s near-reunion on Lenny Kaye’s “Crazy Like a Fox” (featuring Berry and Mike Mills, but not Michael Stipe and Peter Buck), the new cover of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” also doesn’t feature Stipe. Instead,  Mills tackles lead vocals and is joined by Buck, Berry, sideman Scott McCaughey and a chorus of R.E.M. office staffers.

The second track is called “IHT>U>EDIYTW (Dubmix),” and it’s an instrumental mix of three songs off the new album — presumably “It Happened Today,” “Uberlin” and “Every Day Is Yours to Win,” the first of which, in its final form, features Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder contributing vocals. The finished album is due out next spring.

Hear R.E.M.’s 2010 Christmas single after the jump…

R.E.M., “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Cover Me

R.E.M., “IHT->U->EDIYTW (Dubmix)” by Cover Me


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