Atlanta's R.E.M. are not a band you’d have put down as Christmas fans but a career spanning 4 decades yielded over a dozen festive tunes. These mostly ironic Christmas numbers were released as part of the band’s special single releases for their fanclub members each year from 1988 to 2011 and a retrospective has been strongly muted by several of the band. As recently as last week Peter Buck said that the fanclub-only songs would be released as a boxset with the proceeds going to charity. Many of these annual vinyl releases are extremely rare with copies going for large amounts on ebay. Of most interest to us is the Christmas songs which includes R.E.M. covers of ‘Parade of Wooden Soldiers’, ‘Santa Baby’ and ‘Silver Bells’ as well some originals like ‘Christmas Griping’ and ‘Ghost Reindeer In The Sky’. We’ll keep you posted for an official release date for the boxset.