Post-Collapse Into Now Sessions

According to Wikipedia, the July 2011 sessions were originally supposed to be for a new album. According to REM Timeline, the known songs recorded included:
A Month of Saturdays
Hallelujah
We All Go Back to Where We Belong
Elephants

I recollect reading that Buck was not involved in these sessions due to a back injury/surgery, though REM Timeline shows him performing live in the middle of the month. Was he on all of these recordings (I recollect he may have demoed Hallelujah)?

Were they really thinking about recording a new album, particularly when after-the-fact accounts suggest they had written Collapse Into Now as their swan song? Did they record other songs? Will they ever release Elephants?

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There were rumours back than claming that they intended to record 4 new songs for the compilation - a goofy-pop one, some other 2 genres, don’t remember which :slightly_smiling_face:, and the fourth one was supposed to be a rocker - at first they thought about finishing BadAss, and then they tried Elephants but Michael got tired of that one as well… so ‘alligator aviator autopilot antimatter’ got the slot instead of a new song (sadly).
Peter wasn’t there, Scott brought in the hallelujah-acoustic-guitar-home-demo from Peter’s house… that’s all I remember. the new album thingy sounds like nonsense to me…

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Didn’t know there was a 4th song! Only 14 years til the reissue, hopefully it’ll be on that… :wink:

I remember something from Michael Stipe - dunno if it was a social media post, or something on REMHQ - after the session for these songs. This was pre-break up. Something along the lines of being happy after a good studio session with R.E.M. Got me excited for a new album, which obviously never happened. :frowning:

In hindsight, it would’ve been weird for them to be back in the studio so soon. I was one of the people who didn’t see any of the signs…

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I distinctly remember laughing at the typical ‘internet tin foil hats’ pointing out that the band seemed to be waving goodbye on the cover.

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Me too! Adam Scott was one of the people putting the ‘goodbye’ theory out there back then, though I didn’t clock who he was at the time. I thought people were reading too much into it. I was wrong!

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Looks like, according to REM Timeline, We All Go Back to Where We Belong was recorded in 2009 and had vocals recorded in 2010, before they even went to Germany to record Collapse Into Now.

Any idea what Badass and Elephant are?

All I know about Badass and Elephants is that they’re supposed to be rockers, and that Michael probably was unsatisfied with his lyrics for them…
As for We All Go Back to Where We Belong - when they recorded it in 09/10 it was very different - guitar based, and with different & unfinished lyrics (the vocal melody was probably different as well but who knows…)

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I highly doubt they were working on a new album. Collapse Into Now is full of goodbye lyrics and imagery.

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Here’s a Rolling Stone (take that with a grain of salt) article from the time: REM Begin Work on New Album - Rolling Stone

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Didn’t they pretty much know they were retiring the band during the Accelerate tour? Sure I remember Michael talking about it hitting him playing Man in the Moon at their final gig. Unless I misremembered?

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I believe it first came up during that tour but if memory serves, the final decision wasn’t made until just before the sessions for Collapse into Now got underway.

I found that a while back and posted it in one of the R.E.M. groups on FB. @ethank weighed in and set the record straight. Perhaps he’ll do the same here.

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