We're going to call this a "holiday" package today, and Bill O'Reilly can just shove that up his tight, fat, insufferable ass.
There was a time when my once-beloved R.E.M. made music that sounded FUN. Alas, in recent years, their studio efforts have sounded... well... ANTI-FUN. Which leaves me ferreting around their vast back-catalogue to rediscover the FUN stuff.
Thus, in the spirit of the "holiday" season, we present yet another handy-dandy zip-file with some appropriately loose and festive selections. And I've decided to fill it out with tracks sung by R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills. Mills' backing vocals were always one of the things I found especially effective (and affecting) about R.E.M. in their early-to-mid career years. Nowadays, for whatever reason, Senor Stipe doesn't seem to want the competition/complement. Our loss. And R.E.M.'s.
Now, make no mistake: I don't think for a minute that Mills' somewhat John Denver-esque tenor is as rich or distinctive an instrument as Stipe's through-the-nose baritone. But the boy can hold his own. And R.E.M. have always known their way around a cover song.
So left-click [here] for that aforementioned handy-dandy zip-file.
1) Good King Wenceslas
2) Ghost Reindeers in the Sky
4) Christmas Griping
5) Silver Bells
6) Christmas Time is Here
7) Deck the Halls
8) Superman (The Clique cover) [from the LP Lifes Rich Pageant, 1986]
9) Near Wild Heaven [from the LP Out of Time, 1991]
10) Texarkana [from the LP Out of Time, 1991]
11) Love is All Around (Troggs cover)
12) Jesus Christ (Big Star cover)
13) Yellow River (Christie cover)
14) Out in the Country (Three Dog Night cover)
15) No Matter What (Badfinger cover)
16) Baby Baby (The Vibrators cover)
17) Roadrunner [Mike Mills with the Backbeat Band]