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R.E.M. share unreleased version of “E-Bow the Letter” featuring Thom Yorke: Stream

on September 27, 2018, 9:34am

On October 19th, R.E.M.’s career trajectory as it relates to their relationship with the BBC will be laid out in a new box set that’s aptly titled, R.E.M. at the BBC. The eight-CD, one-DVD collection arrives via Craft Recordings and features a number of rare and previously unreleased performances. One such recording is the band’s on-stage collaboration with Thom Yorke.

Today, they’ve gone ahead and shared that collaboration, which finds the English rocker coming in for an assist on “E-Bow the Letter” off of 1996’s incredible New Adventures in Hi-Fi. The recording dates back to their performance at London’s St. James Church on September 15, 2004. Yorke fills in for Patti Smith, who appeared on the original single.

Stream below.

Now, here’s a fun fact: Radiohead originally supported R.E.M. on tour from 1994-95, and they were so inspired by the English rockers that they actually adopted their approach to producing The Bends, which began from basic tracks recorded whilst on tour. Much of New Adventures in Hi-Fi was recorded during various sound checks.

Earlier this summer, in the midst of Radiohead’s four-night run at Madison Square Garden, Yorke appeared at an art show that was curated by frontman Michael Stipe. The stop and chat resulted in one incredibly adorable photo. Ever the charmer, Stipe returned the favor by attending one of those aforementioned gigs at MSG. How sweet.

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