The posting from last Sunday should have given you all the backstory you need, but I should add that the singles usually came with a few other things in a special package.  For instance, the 1996 Fan Club Package included a 7″ single, a greetings card in an envelope, a 1997 Fan Club calendar, a New Adventures In Hi-Fi sticker & beer mat, all in a specially designed cardboard envelope.

1993 (black vinyl): pressing of 6,000

A: Silver Bells
a song associated with Christmas, popularised in the United States by Bing Crosby‘s duet with Carol Richards (1950)

B: Christmas Time Is Here
an instrumental version of a song from the TV show A Charlie Brown Christmas, first aired in 1965

1994 (black vinyl) : pressing unknown, but it did come in three different-coloured sleeves

A: Sex Bomb
a cover of a song by San Francisco-based hardcore punk band Flipper from their album, Generic (1982)

B: Christmas In Tunisia
a track written by R.E.M., described as a Middle-Eastern influenced instrumental

1995 (black vinyl): pressing unknown, but it did come in two different-coloured sleeves

NB: The first of the giveaways NOT to have a Christmas-themed song on at least one side of the vinyl and thus, setting the theme for the next few years

A: Wicked Game
cover of the 1990 hit single by Chris Isaak

B: Java
cover of a 1963 hit instrumental single for Floyd Cramer, originally written by New Orleans writer and producer Allen Toussaint

1996 (black vinyl): pressing unknown

A: Only In America
originally recorded by Jay & The Americans in 1963; written by legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil.

B: I Will Survive
Yup.  The very song as made famous by Gloria Gaynor (and which was covered by your humble scribe, live at the Glasgow Pavilion in 1990 – as recalled here)

1997 (black vinyl): pressing unknown

A: Live For Today
previously unreleased original R.E.M. song

B: Happy When I’m Crying
previously unreleased original song written and performed by Pearl Jam

Yup.  A further move away from tradition, with just one side of the vinyl coming from R.E.M. and the other from Eddie Vedder and co. in what, I’m sure is their first-ever appearance on the blog

It’s back to normal next Sunday with Part 27 of the R.E.M. singles series as released here in the UK.  We’re still in the era of Monster……


2 thoughts on “THE FESTIVE SINGLES OF R.E.M (Part 2 of 2)

  1. Thanks, JC, and a very Happy New Year to you and Mrs Villain. Not that the bar was set high to begin with, but increasingly throwaway by the time of the 1997 single (a “double B-side” according to Discogs). Not having had the pleasure of being in the audience for the Julian Clary show back in 1990, I’m still pretty confident that your version of I Will Survive will have topped R.E.M.’s…!

  2. Yeah, HNY JC and Mrs. VV.
    Just another quick note: between 1991 and 1997 and for 2002, the sleeves, inserts and envelopes that they were mailed in were designed and made by Bruce Licher and printed by his company, Independent Project Press.

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