In an effort to lend some assistance to relief work associated with Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas right now, R.E.M. dug up a previously unheard song recorded in 2004.
Titled “Fascinating,” the track was made available by the band on Thursday, and put up for download in exchange for a $2 donation that will go to Mercy Corps and helping with the humanitarian aid in the Bahamas.
This comes a little bit after R.E.M. unveiled plans for a lavish 25th anniversary reissue of 1994’s landmark album Monster.
Some more about the origin of this song being dug up for charity:
“Fascinating” first appeared on the original master of 2001’s Reveal before being cut last minute, and, in fact, was singer Michael Stipe’s favorite song from the Reveal sessions (according to guitarist Peter Buck’s recollection, as chronicled in David Buckley’s R.E.M. biography, Fiction). “It’s really beautiful,” bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills told Buckley. “It has a flute, oboe arrangement, but it made the record too long… and something had to go.” R.E.M. rerecorded the track in Nassau for 2004’s Around the Sun (co-produced by Pat McCarthy and R.E.M, and engineered by Jamie Candiloro), but the lush ballad ultimately didn’t jibe with that spare, atmospheric album. Now this poignant outtake finally finds its fitting moment, as a means to aid the country where R.E.M. enjoyed over two months of creative retreat.
“I have been fortunate to spend many weeks working and playing in the Bahamas, making friends and lots of music there,” reflects Mills. “It breaks my heart to see the damage wrought by Hurricane Dorian. Please help us and Mercy Corps do what we can to alleviate the suffering caused by this catastrophe.”
A great effort by the band to drum up some much-needed aid for those going through the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Dorian, truly.