R.E.M. — “Lotus” (from Up) —

Heads up, R.E.Maniacs: Rhino has just released on DVD and Blu-ray the brilliant R.E.M. by MTV, an extraordinary full-length documentary — comprised solely of existing interview and performance footage and music video clips which were painstakingly unearthed and culled from deep within the vast vaults of MTV’s various domestic and international networks — which presents the entire story of the band in its warts-and-all entirety, from their humble beginnings playing Georgia dives, to their ascension to icon status among the college radio set, to their explosive success as Top 40 tastemakers. The gripping, gorgeously curated film premiered across MTV’s sundry television platforms late last fall, and has heretofore only been commercially available as part of the more comprehensive REMTV, a wondrously sprawling six-DVD treasure trove which also includes both of the band’s legendary appearances on MTV Unplugged, their VH1 Storytellers performance, and any number of other archival gems from three full decades of rock pioneerdom. If you’re a shameless Stipe stan like me and you let this one pass you by in the holiday crush last fall, time to play catch-up. Take it from someone who finally watched it just last weekend: you’ll be in ecstasy long before the first act finishes.

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