The “lost” songs

Over the years there were a few songs that were mentioned in interviews, or scratchy versions appeared on bootlegs. Some have eventually appeared, like Devil Rides Backwards on a Horse Named Maybe and Fascinating.

But some have not. These are like the Holy Grail for us R.E.M. fans!


Do we think we’ll ever hear them? Two stick out for me: Lucky Piece and Weatherman.

I’ve never heard Lucky Piece, but Michael Stipe mentioned it in a Mojo interview around the time of Monster.

I’ve heard the same low quality version of Weatherman as everyone else, and it sounds amazing. I understand why it might not have fit on Around the Sun, but I really hope that a decent version exists somewhere, and that we get to hear it some day.

Any others?


There’s a couple. “Kick the Traces” is vocal only on the 90 Nights content, and I have an instrumental version of it (no vocals) on a set of demos from the Dublin sessions.

If you are sleuth minded, I think I let slip a lyric sheet around Collapse Into Now for a song called Bad Ass, which I never heard but had lyrics.

A lot of the vault content has surfaced elsewhere. Peter has used some on his solo stuff, etc.


I remember the snippet of Kick the Traces. Loved 90 Nights - is that stuff still available anywhere? Do you know if there’s a decent version of Weatherman in a vault somewhere?

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By the way, I love fascinating.


Around the time the Man on the Moon score was first announced, I recollect an article posted on Murmurs mentioning one of the songs they were working on had the phrase “Gruesome Self” in the title (this was before Great Beyond emerged). Never saw it again, don’t see it on REM Timeline, and wasn’t able to locate the article when I looked a few years ago.


True! Actually I distinctly remember a news post right here 23-24 years ago, by @ethank mentioning 2 working titles from that era - “Gruesome Self of Sense" & “That Very Noisy Gentelman Above Us”

This is second hand, but someone (who apparently has heard it) mentioned recently on one of the FB threads that there is a good studio version of’ “Weatherman” in the vault. Hopefully that sees the ight of day at some point.


Here’s a quote from an interview I did with Scott years ago - "Weatherman was from Around The Sun sessions in Vancouver. I remember we had Dave Alvin come in and play lead guitar on it. It’s a cool song but I think Michael thought some of the lyrics were a little silly. We also did a completed first version of I’m Gonna DJ then. Slower and weirder than the Accelerate version. "


I didn’t know that about Weatherman, thanks.

It’s funny, with the two songs I mentioned, it sounds like Weatherman was jettisoned because Stipe didn’t like it, and Lucky Piece because the band didn’t like it! I love that they were a democracy, each with veto power, but I wonder how many potentially amazing songs were cast off into oblivion…

Is the interview still kicking around somewhere? I always enjoy McCaughey interviews.


You’re welcome! & I’ve been wondering the same thing for many years… :pensive:
Unfortunately the interview is not available anymore, but here’s another little quote from him regarding unreleased material - “I really love “BadAss” and I do hope it sees the light of day eventually.
There are tons of great instrumental outtakes from the Up sessions. I think it would be a really cool project to finish them or even release them as is.”


That bodes well for the Up reissue! I have a few Up demos/alternative mixes but, with the exception of I’m in Love, they’re all songs that made the album.

On a slightly related note, there were a couple of guys on the original Murmurs who used to cover R.E.M. songs. They went by the name ‘Owenshire’. They did their own interpretations of some unfinished R.E.M. songs, adding lyrics and melody where Michael Stipe hadn’t. That was really cool.

Owenshire, if you’re here, fancy having a crack at Weatherman?!


In the absence of a studio recording, I’m particularly partial to their version of “Title”. Although I would love a good quality soundboard recording of that song from the Document tour!


Here’s a photo I have of the working track list from Vancouver during Accelerate


Is it fair to say that the songs listed here made it far enough to have lyrics and melodies? So there might be a reasonably fully-formed song called Tomorrow floating around…?!


Tomorrow became Hollow man


Ah, didn’t know that. Thanks!


Tomorrow → Hollow Man. However, the demo dates back to Compass Point which was 2004 where they recorded Around the Sun.


And Black Sky that became Until The Day is Done dates back to Monster. Black Sky can be found on the demos disc.


Living Well’s the Best Revenge was a riff dating back to the 1999 tour I think.


Interesting that it traces back to the 90s. Living Well always reminded me of Revolution