Indie

R.E.M. Celebrates 25 Years Of ‘New Adventures In Hi-Fi’ With A Restored ‘New Test Leper’ Video

Michael Stipe made it pretty clear last month that R.E.M. will, in his words, “never reunite.” The good news, though, is that we still have decades of music from the band to enjoy. One of their defining releases, 1996’s New Adventures In Hi-Fi, recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the band is releasing an expansive new deluxe edition of the album that comes with a ton of goodies. Among those is a newly restored video for “New Test Leper,” which the band shared today.

Set to drop on October 29 via Craft Recordings, the deluxe edition comes with two CDs and 1 Blu-ray disc. Across them is the newly remastered album, B-sides, rarities, “a never-before-released 64-minute outdoor projection film (shown on buildings across five cities in 1996 to promote the album’s original release),” and a previously unreleased 30-minute EPK. On top of that, there’s a surround sound edition of the album, restored music videos (beyond just the one for “New Test Leper”), a 52-page hardcover book, and written reflections from R.E.M. members, Thom Yorke, Patti Smith, and others.

Of “New Test Leper,” Yorke said, “Now there’s a song from the inside, from the other side of the bubble. But because of the way that Michael made his observations, they’re weirdly direct, but at the same time he’s sort of taking the pieces of a picture frame and smashing it, you know, he’s not being specific enough, so that he leaves these gaps, which allow you in in a kind of weird way.”

Peter Buck also noted, “‘New Test Leper’ still may be my favorite R.E.M. song. Funnily enough, that’s one that we only played once on the entire tour at soundcheck, and we totally forgot about it. Then Michael said, ‘I’ve got a cassette of this one song I’ve got lyrics for,”‘and he played it, and we’re like, ‘Oh yeah!'”

The band is also releasing a vinyl edition of the reissue, as well as digital and 2-CD versions.

Upon its initial release, New Adventures In Hi-Fi topped the charts around the world and achieved a peak at No. 2 in the US. It’s also the band’s most recently released Platinum-certified album. In the liner notes, R.E.M.’s Mike Mills says, “We wanted to make a record about being on the road without singing about being on the road. The idea was that the feeling of being on the road would come through in the sound and feel of the record itself.”

Check out the deluxe edition art and tracklist below.

Craft Recordings

Disc 1 — New Adventures In Hi-Fi
1. “How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us”
2. “The Wake-Up Bomb”
3. “New Test Leper”
4. “Undertow”
5. “E-Bow The Letter”
6. “Leave”
7. “Departure”
8. “Bittersweet Me”
9. “Be Mine”
10. “Binky The Doormat”
11. “Zither”
12. “So Fast, So Numb”
13. “Low Desert”
14. “Electrolite”

Disc 2 — B-sides And Rarities
1. “Tricycle (Instrumental)”
2. “Departure (Live Rome Soundcheck / Rome, Italy / 2/22/1995)”
3. “Wall Of Death”
4. “Undertow (Live / Atlanta, GA / 11/18/1995)”
5. “Wichita Lineman (Live / Houston, TX / 9/15/1995)”
6. “New Test Leper (Live Acoustic / Seattle, WA / 4/19/1996)”
7. “The Wake-Up Bomb (Live / Atlanta, GA / 10/4/1995)”
8. “Binky The Doormat (Live / Atlanta, GA / 11/18/1995)”
9. “King Of Comedy (808 State Remix)”
10. “Be Mine (Mike On Bus version)”
11. “Love Is All Around”
12. “Sponge”
13. “Leave (Alternate Version)”

Disc 3 (Blu-Ray)
1. R.E.M. Outdoor Projections – Saturday Sept 7, 1996 – 5 cities
2. New Adventures In Hi-Fi EPK – previously unreleased 30 min version
3. New Adventures In Hi-Fi 5.1 Audio
4. New Adventures In Hi-Fi – Hi-Resolution Audio
5. “E-Bow The Letter” (Music Video)
6. “Bittersweet Me” (Music Video)
7. “Electrolite” (Music Video)
8. “How The West Was Won And Where It Got Us” (Music Video)
9. “New Test Leper” (Music Video)

New Adventures In Hi-Fi (25th Anniversary Edition) is out 10/29 via Craft Recordings. Pre-order it here.

R.E.M. is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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