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R.E.M. Plots One-Off Berry Reunion, New Album

R.E.M. will perform three songs with original drummer Bill Berry to celebrate its induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, to be held Sept. 16 in Atlanta. Berry has only played three times with his longtime colleagues since exiting the band in 1997, most prominently at the October 2005 wedding of R.E.M. guitar tech Dewitt Burton.

At that performance, the foursome played a seven-song set of classic early material, including “Sitting Still,” “Radio Free Europe” and “Wolves, Lower.” In April, Berry joined vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck and bassist Mike Mills to perform R.E.M.’s “Country Feedback” at an Athens, Ga., show by Buck’s side band, the Minus 5.

Following the Hall of Fame induction, R.E.M. will end a year-long hiatus and hit the studio to begin work on the follow-up to 2004’s critically maligned “Around the Sun.” That album debuted at No. 13 on The Billboard 200.

In the meantime, the band’s first five years will be celebrated with the CD/DVD package “And I Feel Fine,” due Sept. 12 via I.R.S./Capitol. The collection includes the first authorized release of a number of long-bootlegged rare tracks.
(Via Jonathan Cohen, N.Y. / Billboard)