R.E.M. have shared a newly restored video for “New Test Leper,” from the new, expanded edition of their 1996 album, New Adventures In Hi-Fi. You can check it out below.
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.”