R.E.M., preparing to release their BBC Sessions box set, have shared a live version of ‘E-Bow the Letter’ which includes Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.
The track, taken from R.E.M.’s 1996 album New Adventures in Hi-Fi, originally included backing vocals from Patti Smith. The song was the first single released from the album.
According to Michael Stipe, the song’s title refers to an electromagnetic field-generating device called ‘EBow’. Radiohead’s longstanding relationship with R.E.M. spans decades. As part of the 1995 Monster tour, Radiohead was selected as the support act.
Now, the live version of ‘E-Bow the Letter’ featuring Yorke has been released. It was recorded during a performance from St. James’ Church in London, 2004: