The final version of R.E.M.’s 2001 LP Reveal featured twelve tracks, however the original master (known as Reveal 1.0) contained two songs that didn’t make that final cut: “Free Form Jazz Jam,” and the excellently lush ballad “Fascinating” which was an unfortunate omission that gets some retrospective justice courtesy of Fischerspooner. Warren and Casey have covered the track at Michael Stipe’s request as a bonus to their forthcoming Entertainment LP. Mr. Fischer tells us how their version came together:

The song was written for Up but never released. So Michael told us he had this song and he thought it would be really good for us. He said ’I think this song would be great for you and I think you guys should record it.’ Their version is very somber, so it was a challenge to figure out how were going to do it in our style. But it was great. Warren [Fischer] took it and sped it up. I love the lyrics and I love the melody, and everything about it just seemed right.

Seems Casey has the record wrong, but no matter: Fischerspooner’s is a listen-worthy take on a great song, dressing the song’s original pathos in a cloak of strings and electropop.

The glorious original:

Fischerspooner’s new album Entertainment is out 5/5. The “Fascinated” cover will be available as an album bonus track at iTunes.

[Fisherspooner photo by Dusan Reljin for dazeddigital.com, where you can watch a styled up FS video]

Comments (9)
  1. Nick  |   Posted on Apr 24th, 2009 0

    Interesting… Stipe’s interview in the previous volume of BUTT magazine made it seem like he was quite perturbed with Casey…

    Guess not.

    Their past relationship fascinates me.

  2. That video is gorgeous. There are some stunning photos in that montage

  3. I love REM. They have a timeless sound. Night Swimming is one of my favorite songs of all time!

  4. This is a nice reminder of how much I enjoyed Up.

  5. Reveal is so under-rated. It’s got this laid-back, slow-moving, summery feel to it and I think it would have sold better if 9/11 hadn’t shaken the whole world out of slumber.

    These guys really have only made one poor album, Around The Sun.

    • Brian  |   Posted on Aug 18th, 2009 0

      I know I’m in a minority here, but I love “Around the Sun.” A lot of great melodies and some of Michael’s best lyrics. The songs resonate with me and still connect five years later — even the ones I’ve played a gazillion times (e.g., “Aftermath” and “Final Straw.”)

      FWIW, my least favorite R.E.M. record is “Accelerate.”

  6. Jeff Kurtz  |   Posted on May 5th, 2009 0

    Thank you for this FisherSpooner great production!

  7. Fan of both groups, and I do think that Around the Sun was not poor. :-)
    but that’s just me.
    I am glad they decided to cover this song in their own style.

  8. ilike  |   Posted on May 16th, 2009 0

    Pretty good cover, but R.E.M. is R.E.M. Nobody can make their songs sound better than themselves.

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