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New Adventures in Hi-Fi is the tenth R.E.M. studio album, released on September 9, 1996.

Singles and b-sidesEdit

New Adventures in Hi-Fi consisted of material written during some of the same sessions as Monster and its following promotional tour; consequently, there were few outtakes or left-over tracks for inclusion as b-sides. The first three tracks were international singles, with "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us" being released only in Germany.

"E-Bow the Letter"
"Bittersweet Me"
  • "Undertow" (Live) – 5:05 Recorded at the Omni Theater, Atlanta, Georgia on November 18, 1995. Taken from the live performance video, Road Movie.
  • "Wichita Lineman" (Jimmy Webb) – 3:18 Recorded at The Woodlands, Houston, United States on September 15, 1995.
  • "New Test Leper" (Live acoustic) – 5:29 Recorded at Bad Animals Studio, Seattle, United States on April 19, 1996.
"Electrolite"
  • "The Wake-Up Bomb" (Live) – 5:07 Recorded at the Omni Theater, Atlanta, Georgia on November 18, 1995. Taken from the live performance video, Road Movie.
  • "Binky the Doormat" (Live) – 5:01 Recorded at the Omni Theater, Atlanta, Georgia on November 18, 1995. Taken from the live performance video, Road Movie.
  • "King of Comedy" (808 State remix) – 5:36
"How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us"

"Revolution" was also released from these sessions - initially on the Batman & Robin soundtrack and later on disc two of In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003.

Other singles

"New Test Leper" and "The Wake-Up Bomb" were released as promotional singles for the album; the former had a music video directed by Lance Bangs and Dominic DeJoseph. All five videos from the album would later be collected on In View: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003.

The R.E.M. fan club releases a single every Christmastime, with two singles recorded during these sessions: 1996's "Only in America" (originally by Jay & The Americans)/"I Will Survive" (a Gloria Gaynor cover) and 1997's R.E.M. original "Live for Today" was backed with Pearl Jam's "Happy When I'm Crying".

AwardsEdit

New Adventures in Hi-Fi has since appeared on several lists compiling the best albums of the 1990s or all time.

  • Magnet: Top 60 Albums 1993-2003 (#20)[1]
  • Mojo: The 100 Greatest Albums of Our Lifetime 1993-2006 (#20)

It was also features on several year-end best-of lists for 1996:

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe:

  1. "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us" – 4:31
  2. "The Wake-Up Bomb" – 5:08
  3. "New Test Leper" – 5:26
  4. "Undertow" – 5:09
  5. "E-Bow the Letter" – 5:23
  6. "Leave" – 7:18
  7. "Departure" – 3:28
  8. "Bittersweet Me" – 4:06
  9. "Be Mine" – 5:32
  10. "Binky the Doormat" – 5:01
  11. "Zither" – 2:33
  12. "So Fast, So Numb" – 4:12
  13. "Low Desert" – 3:30
  14. "Electrolite" – 4:05

Like most R.E.M. albums, the vinyl release has custom side names. Since this was released as a double album on the vinyl release, the whole records are called different names. Record 1 (tracks 1-6) is called the "Hi side" and Record 2 (tracks 7-14) the "Fi side."

PersonnelEdit

"How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us"
Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States
"The Wake-Up Bomb"
Recorded live at the North Charleston Coliseum, in Charleston, United States on November 16, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Nathan December – Guitar
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, backing vocals, organ
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"New Test Leper"
Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, backing vocals, organ
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Undertow"
Recorded live at the Fleet Center in Boston, United States on October 3, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Nathan December – Guitar
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, backing vocals
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"E-Bow the Letter"
Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States
"Leave"
Recorded at a soundcheck at the Omni Theater in Atlanta, United States on November 18, 19, or 21, 1995
"Departure"
Recorded live at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, United States on June 6 or 7, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Nathan December – Guitar
  • Mike Mills – Fuzz bass, backing vocals, Farfisa organ
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Bittersweet Me"
Recorded at a soundcheck at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, United States on November 7, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Scott McCaughey – Piano
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, organ, Mellotron
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Be Mine"
Recorded at Bad Animals Studio in Seattle, United States
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Bass guitar
  • Mike Mills – Guitar, backing vocals, keyboards
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Binky the Doormat"
Recorded live at the Desert Sky Mall in Phoenix, United States on November 4, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion, backing vocals
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Nathan December – Guitar
  • Scott McCaughey – Farfisa organ
  • Mike Mills – Fuzz bass, backing vocals, keyboards
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Zither"
Recorded in the dressing room of The Spectrum in Philadelphia, United States on October 12, 13, or 14, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Bass guitar
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Nathan December – Tambourine
  • Scott McCaughey – Autoharp
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, organ
  • Michael Stipe – Count in
"So Fast, So Numb"
Recorded at a soundcheck at the Orlando Arena in Orland, United States on November 15, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Scott McCaughey – Piano
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, backing vocals, organ
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Low Desert"
Recorded at a soundcheck at the Omni Theater in Atlanta, United States on November 18, 19, or 21, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drums and percussion
  • Peter Buck – Guitar
  • Nathan December – Slide guitar
  • Scott McCaughey – Piano
  • Mike Mills – Bass guitar, organ
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
"Electrolite"
Recorded at a soundcheck the Desert Sky Mall in Phoenix, United States on November 4, 1995
  • Bill Berry – Drum kit, percussion
  • Peter Buck – Banjo
  • Andy CarlsonViolin
  • Nathan December – Guiro
  • Mike Mills – Piano
  • Michael Stipe – Vocals
Technical crew

Sales chart performanceEdit

Although it reached #2 in the U.S.[3], spending 22 weeks on the charts,[4] and topped the UK Album Charts [5] (20 weeks on chart) as well as #1 on the Australian Charts, New Adventures in Hi-Fi began the band's sales decline in the United States. The first single "E-Bow the Letter" received only modest radio airplay in the U.S. and peaked at #49 on the U.S. charts.[6] In the UK, however, the single became the band's biggest hit at that point, reaching #4.[5] As of March 2007, New Adventures in Hi-Fi has sold 994,000 units in the U.S.[7]

Album
Year Chart Position
1996 Billboard 200 2
1996 UK Albums Chart 1
1996 ARIA Albums Chart 1
Singles
Year Single Chart Position
1996 "E-Bow the Letter" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 2
1996 "E-Bow the Letter" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 15
1996 "E-Bow the Letter" Billboard Hot 100 49
1996 "E-Bow the Letter" ARIA Singles Chart 23
1996 "E-Bow the Letter" UK Singles Chart 4
1996 "Bittersweet Me" Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 6
1996 "Bittersweet Me" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 7
1996 "Bittersweet Me" Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 28
1996 "Bittersweet Me" Billboard Hot 100 46
1996 "Bittersweet Me" UK Singles Chart 19
1996 "Electrolite" UK Singles Chart 29
1997 "Electrolite" Billboard Hot 100 96
1997 "The Wake-Up Bomb" Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 30


Sales ertificationsEdit

Organization Level Date
RIAA – U.S. Gold November 18, 1996
RIAA – U.S. Platinum November 18, 1996
BPI – U.K. Platinum September 1, 1996


Release historyEdit

Like all R.E.M. albums since 1988's Green, New Adventures in Hi-Fi was released in a special edition packaging containing a 64-page hardcover book designed by Chris Bilheimer, featuring photos from the Monster tour. In 2005, Warner Brothers Records issued an expanded two-disc edition of the album which includes a CD, a DVD-Audio disc containing several new audio mixes of the album (5.1-channel surround sound, high resolution, AC3, Dolby Stereo, and DTS 5.1) done by Elliot Scheiner, and the original CD booklet with expanded liner notes. In addition, the DVD includes a video documentary, lyrics, and a photo gallery.

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Worldwide Template:Start date Warner Bros. Compact Disc, cassette tape, double LP 46320
United States Template:Start date Warner Bros. Compact Disc 46321
Worldwide Template:Startdate Warner Bros. Compact Disc and DVD-Audio 73950


ReferencesEdit

  1. Magnet Tenth Anniversary issue, January 2003
  2. The "Ennio Whistle" is the two-note main theme melody of Ennio Morricone's score for Sergio Leone's 1966 spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
  3. 5.0 5.1

External linksEdit

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