Music News

R.E.M. UNPLUGGED: Both 1991 and 2001 Sessions To Receive Vinyl Release

R.E.M. delivered two knockout performances on MTV’s acclaimed “Unplugged” series, the first in 1991 and the other in 2001, giving them the unique distinction of being the only band to headline the series twice. Earlier this year, audio from both shows was released for the first time as a limited four-LP vinyl set that sold out instantly on Record Store Day 2014. Vinyl enthusiasts that missed out on the four-LP set can rejoice as the 1991 and 2001 will both be available individually as 2-LP sets on September 2 for a suggested price of $39.98 each.

The “Unplugged” performances are sonic snapshots that capture the legendary Athens, Georgia band at important points on its journey from alternative-music trailblazers to international stars that have sold more than 85 million records.

R.E.M. Unplugged
R.E.M. Unplugged

Drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and singer Michael Stipe recorded their first “Unplugged” session in 1991, while riding a growing wave of success that began in 1987 with the commercial breakthrough of Document. Much of the performance spotlights songs from R.E.M.’s then-current album Out of Time, which sold nearly ten million copies and was the band’s first #1 album in the U.S. From the album, the band performed “Radio Song,” “Low” and its biggest American hit, “Losing My Religion.”

R.E.M. made an extremely rare second appearance on “Unplugged” in 2001, but this time without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the band in 1997. For the show, the band focused mainly on its 12th studio album Reveal – which came out that year – with performances of the singles “Imitation of Life” and “All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be A Star).” The song selection draws from eight different albums with “So. Central Rain” from 1984’s Reckoning, “Cuyahoga” from 1986’s Lifes Rich Pageant and “Find The River,” the elegiac album closer from the 1992 classic Automatic For The People.

These two-LP sets serve to foreshadow another monumental release from R.E.M. coming later in the year that will dig further into the vaults of MTV. Look for more information to be announced soon.

Unplugged was created by Robert Small and Jim Burns.

1991 Unplugged was produced by Alex Coletti and directed by Milton Lage.

2001 Unplugged was produced and directed by Alex Coletti.

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Track Listing

1991 Unplugged


Side One

1.”Half A World Away”

2.”Disturbance at the Heron House”

3.”Radio Song”


Side Two

1.”Perfect Circle”

2.”Fall on Me”


4.”Love Is All Around”

Side Three

1.”Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”

2.”Losing My Religion”

3.”Pop Song 89″


Side Four


2.”Swan Swan H”*

3.”Rotary 11″*

4.”Get Up”*

5.”World Leader Pretend”*

2001 Unplugged


Side One

1.”All The Way To Reno (You’re Gonna Be a Star)”


3.”At My Most Beautiful”


Side Two 

1.”So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)”

2.”Losing My Religion”

3.”Country Feedback”


Side Three

1.”Imitation of Life”

2.”Find the River”

3.”The One I Love”*


Side Four

1.”Beat a Drum”*

2.”I’ve Been High”*

3.”I’ll Take the Rain”*

4.”Sad Professor”*


* Not included in original television broadcast