On September 12th, EMI will release the first comprehensive CD and DVD anthologies of R.E.M.’s 1980s I.R.S. Records catalog. The CD will be called And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 and will be available in 2 formats: a 21-track single-disc collection of hits and band/fan favorites and a 2-CD Collector’s Edition with a
second 21-track disc of rarities including alternate takes, demos, previously unreleased songs, mixes, and live recordings of classic R.E.M. The DVD, When the Light Is Mine The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 Video Collection, includes the music videos from Chronic Town through Document, as well as live television performances and James Herbert’s short film, Left of Reckoning. DVD extras feature early interviews and rare acoustic performances.

Bertis Downs had the following to say about the upcoming release: “This will be a noteworthy package of R.E.M.’s early years, which a lot of people don’t know very well. The guys themselves picked the songs to be included and sequenced the records, had some fun with the liner notes, and Michael and Chris coordinated on a lot of key aspects of the package (actually all key aspects of the package). As for “Why Now?” Well, for one thing, there has never been a real great retrospective of the 5 year/5 album period of R.E.M.’s history known as the I.R.S. years. For another, after 25 years (or 26 but who’s counting?), a recognition of the specialness of these recordings seemed a fine and appropriate thing, and we figured if the band and HQ staff here in Athens had some input, the world would end up with a package that truly has “something for everybody.” For the R.E.M. aficionado, there are some surprises and true rarities here that are sure to delight and amuse; for the uninitiated, or those who first came into the R.E.M. world during Stand or Losing My Religion or Daysleeper or Imitation of Life or Bad Day or Leaving New York, whether by factors of geography, or age, or siblings, or whatever reason, this is a good history lesson on the days of yore when the band first started out and were writing sometimes 2-3 songs a day, many of which became classics, and some of which were lost in the mists of tape and time and vault. So…with those sorts of considerations as the guiding lights and impetus, Berry, Buck, Mills, Stipe and the rest of us are pleased to participate in this exercise of re-releasing the “hits” of their early years, accompanied by some great things that we had forgotten about, if we ever remembered them in the first place: And I Feel Fine… the Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982- 1987. The bonus disc is especially chock full of material for the experienced, discerning fan and the newcomer alike.”

And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 (CD)

1. Begin the Begin
2. Radio Free Europe
3. Pretty Persuasion
4. Talk About the Passion
5. (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville
6. Sitting Still
7. Gardening at Night
8. 7 Chinese Bros.
9. So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
10.Driver 8
11.Can’t Get There From Here
12.Finest Worksong
13.Feeling Gravity’s Pull
14.I Believe
15.Life and How To Live It
17.The One I Love
18.Welcome To the Occupation
19.Fall On Me
20.Perfect Circle
21.It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987
Collectors’ Edition
(Contains Disc 1 + Rarities Disc)

1. Pilgrimage (Mike’s pick)
2. These Days (Bill’s pick)
3. Gardening at Night (slower electric demo; previously unreleased)
4. Radio Free Europe (Hib-tone version)
5. Sitting Still (Hib-tone version)
6. Life and How to Live It (Live at the Muziekcentrum, Utrecht, Holland 9/14/87; previously unreleased)
7. Ages of You (Live at the Paradise, Boston 7/13/83; previously unreleased)
8. We Walk (Live at the Paradise, Boston 7/13/83; previously unreleased)
9. 1,000,000 (Live at the Paradise, Boston 7/13/83; previously unreleased)
10.Finest Worksong (other mix)
11.Hyena (demo; previously unreleased)
12.Theme From Two Steps Onward (previously unreleased)
14.All the Right Friends (previously unreleased)
15.Mystery to Me (demo; previously unreleased)
16.Just A Touch (live in-studio version; previously unreleased)
17.Bad Day (session outtake; previously unreleased)
18.King of Birds (last song cut from the Best Of…)
19.Swan Swan H (live, acoustic from Athens,GA-Inside/Out)
20.Disturbance at the Heron House (Peter’s pick)
21.Time After Time (annElise) (Michael’s pick)

When The Light Is Mine
The Best Of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 Video Collection
1. Wolves, Lower
2. Radio Free Europe
3. Talk About the Passion
4. Radio Free Europe (Live, The Tube, 11/18/83)
5. Talk About the Passion (Live, The Tube, 11/18/83)
6. So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
7. James Herbert’s “Left of Reckoning” (20-minute film)
8. Pretty Persuasion (Live, The Old Grey Whistle Test, 11/20/84)
9. Can’t Get There From Here
10.Driver 8
11.Life and How To Live It
12.Feeling Gravity’s Pull
13.Can’t Get There From Here (Live, The Tube, 10/25/85)
14.Fall On Me
15.Swan Swan H (Athens, GA-Inside/Out)
16.The One I Love
17.It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
18.Finest Worksong
DVD extras include rare interview footage and acoustic performances.