R.E.M.’s BBC Archives Released

A generous batch of R.E.M. radio sessions and live concerts exclusively broadcast by the BBC will be released Oct. 19 via Craft Recordings.

For completists, the 8-CD/1-DVD mega-box includes audio of a 1984 Nottingham concert, along with a ’91 session (promo tour for Out of Time) and ’95 full concert (the Monster tour), but the bulk of the content is culled from the later, post-Bill Berry years. In other words, good but not necessarily indispensable. The DVD includes a 60-minute career retrospective originally only broadcast in the UK, a complete 1998 Later…with Jools Holland episode dedicated to the band, and appearances on other BBC programs.

If eight CDs seem like a little much, there’ll be a 2-CD Best Of available, as well as a further truncated 2-LP sampler.