Watch R.E.M.’s 2003 Performance of “Nightswimming” From Their Upcoming BBC Box Set
R.E.M.‘s new monolithic box set R.E.M. at the BBC is due out on October 19. In addition to compiling recordings of broadcasts the band did on the BBC between 1984 and 2008, the super deluxe 8-disc version of the set includes a DVD. The film combines video of performances the band did for the network with interviews and other live footage. Today, the band has uploaded a clip included on the disc: a version of “Nightswimming” from a 2003 episode of Later…with Jools Holland.
As on the recording, Michael Stipe sings accompanied by Mike Mills on piano. A string section bolsters the arrangement later in the performance, with the song closing with a prominent oboe solo. The performance came ten years after the initial release of the song on the band’s 1993 album Automatic for the People.
R.E.M. recently released a 2004 recording of Thom Yorke performing “E-Bow the Letter” with the band at a London concert, which is also included in the box set. (In its original studio version from 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi, Yorke’s part was sung by Patti Smith.) The band has also released a 2003 version of “Orange Crush” from a BBC Radio 1 session, a 1984 live version of “Radio Free Europe,” recorded at Nottingham’s Rock City venue, and a take on “Losing My Religion” with alternate instrumentation from 1991. Watch the “Nightswimming” performance on Jools Holland below.