R.E.M. are back…sort of. No, the famed alt-rock pioneers-who disbanded amicably in 2011-are not reuniting anytime soon, but the Athens, Georgia trio are deliberating a new project with songs that many people have never heard before. In an interview with the BBC, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck said that he and his former bandmates were discussing releasing a box set of the band’s fan-club singles.
According to Buck, R.E.M. recorded and released singles exclusively for members of their fan club every Christmas from 1988 until 2011. Some of the singles featured original songs, Christmas-themed parodies of existing songs (“Ghost Reindeers In The Sky”) and duets with the likes of Neil Young and Radiohead. Today, those singles go for close to $1,000 online, but Buck says that the band are considering releasing those singles to the public at a much lower price. According to Buck, proceeds from any proposed box set would go to charity.
Currently, Buck is in the studio with Tired Pony, a project he started with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody. He put out a very-limited-release solo album in 2012