R.E.M. – Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

(Last Updated On: December 3, 2021)

R.E.M. – Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 135:12 minutes | 1,56 GB | Genre: Rock, Alternative
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Front cover | © Concord Records

R.E.M. delivered two knockout performances on MTV’s Grammy and Emmy award-winning “Unplugged” series, the first in 1991 and the other in 2001, giving them the unique distinction of being the only band to headline the series twice. Surprisingly, audio from both shows has never been available, making these some of the most demanded music in the R.E.M. vaults. The collection includes every performance from the original broadcasts, as well as 11 songs that never aired, from the storied collection of the band’s MTV appearances.

Originally issued in May of 2014 as half of Unplugged 1991 & 2001: The Complete Sessions, this live recording is of R.E.M.’s 1991 show only. Following their exhaustive touring schedule for 1988’s Green, the band decided they wouldn’t tour for 1991’s Out of Time, which proved to be the commercial breakout album they’d long been leading up to. As “Losing My Religion” slowly rose to number one, the band only turned in a handful of shows, the most visible of which was their debut set of MTV Unplugged; the show was also at the height of its power and influence. The material from Out of Time was well-suited to the show’s acoustic format and their versions of tracks like “Half a World Away,” “Radio Song,” and of course, “Losing My Religion” sound strong and relevant. There are a handful of tunes from Life’s Rich Pageant (“Fall on Me” and the already acoustic “Swan Swan Hummingbird”) and Document (“Disturbance at the Heron House” and the immortal “It’s the End of the World as We Know It [And I Feel Fine]”) alongside the more recent material from Green as well as one early chestnut (“A Perfect Circle”) from their 1983 debut Murmur. This earthy, Baroque folk sound came to define the R.E.M. of this era with 1992’s Automatic for the People following a similar bent. Unlike their second Unplugged appearance in 2001, the 1991 show features the original lineup with Bill Berry on congas along with Peter Buck’s guitar and mandolin playing, Mike Mills’ acoustic bass and tenor vocals, and Michael Stipe’s rich, thoughtful drawl. Auxiliary cohort Peter Holsapple further colors the set on additional guitar and organ. When the band eventually returned to touring several years later, they had essentially gone electric again making this show a unique snapshot of a very specific time in R.E.M.’s career when they finally came into the world’s greater consciousness in a surprisingly organic way.

Originally issued in May of 2014 as half of Unplugged 1991 & 2001: The Complete Sessions, this live recording is of R.E.M.’s 2001 show only. The only band ever to headline MTV’s acoustic concert series twice, the Georgians return here without drummer Bill Berry for a tight 16-song set that dips generously into their nearly two-decade career. Aided by auxiliary sidemen Ken Stringfellow and Scott McCaughey along with touring drummer Joey Waronker on percussion, the band is in fine form and nimbly makes its way through early fare like “So. Central Rain” and “Cuyahoga” and into mid-period songs like their unlikely number one smash “Losing My Religion” and the beautiful 1992 ballad “Find the River.” Of course, much focus is placed on what were their more current songs at the time, like Up’s “At My Most Beautiful” and Reveal’s “Imitation of Life,” both of which dovetail fairly nicely with their more successful earlier work within this acoustic context. In the greater span of R.E.M.’s career, 2001 isn’t necessarily considered their greatest period, but this outing sounds confident and strong, revealing a band that still had plenty more to offer.

01 – Half A World Away
02 – Disturbance At The Heron House
03 – Radio Song
04 – Low
05 – Perfect Circle
06 – Fall On Me
07 – Belong
08 – Love is All Around
09 – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
10 – Losing My Religion
11 – Pop Song 89
12 – Endgame
13 – Fretless
14 – Swan Swan H
15 – Rotary 11
16 – Get Up
17 – World Leader Pretend
18 – All The Way To Reno
19 – Electrolite
20 – At My Most Beautiful
21 – Daysleeper
22 – So. Central Rain
23 – Losing My Religion (2)
24 – Country Feedback
25 – Cuyahoga
26 – Imitation Of Life
27 – Find The River
28 – The One I Love
29 – Disappear
30 – Beat A Drum
31 – I’ve Been High
32 – I’ll Take The Rain
33 – Sad Professor

Recorded April 10, 1991 in Chelsea Studios and May 21, 2001 in TRL Studio at MTV Studios, both in New York City, New York.


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