R.E.M. Partners With FX's 'The Bear' For 'Strange Currencies (Remix)' Video


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(Craft Recordings) Alt-rock pioneers R.E.M. and the team behind FX's critically acclaimed, award-winning hit series, The Bear, have partnered to release a full-length music video for "Strange Currencies (Remix)."

The visual combines footage from R.E.M.'s Road Movie (documenting their 1995 tour), plus exclusive clips and behind-the-scenes footage from The Bear's second season, which premiered June 22 exclusively on Hulu. The remix, which first appeared on 2019's Monster (25th Anniversary Edition), found the band's longtime producer Scott Litt revisiting the bestselling 1994 album, offering a fresh perspective on each track.

On May 15, "Strange Currencies (Remix)" was featured prominently in the official trailer for Season 2 of The Bear, which follows Carmen "Carmy" Berzatto (Jeremy Allen White), Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri), and Richard "Richie" Jerimovich (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) as they turn their grimy sandwich joint into a next-level restaurant. Multiple iterations of "Strange Currencies" will appear throughout the season, including the original 1994 mix, the 2019 remix, as well as a never-before-heard demo of the song, which will be exclusive to the show. Additionally, a "Strange Currencies" digital single featuring a live version captured in 1995 and on 1996's Road Movie, along with the remastered album version and the 2019 remix, debuted on digital platforms this past Friday.

This is not The Bear's first foray into R.E.M.'s prolific discography. During its first season, "Oh My Heart" (off 2011's Collapse Into Now) closed out Episode 3, adding additional emotional intensity to the poignant final scene, while the Season 2 finale will feature "Half a World Away" (off 1991's Out of Time). That thoughtful integration can be attributed in part to the show's creator, Christopher Storer, and Executive Producer Josh Senior, who are both longtime R.E.M. fans.

The admiration is mutual, as R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe counts himself among the series' biggest fans. "The Bear is hands down my favorite show of last year - I cannot wait to dive into episodes for Season 2. Having incorporated R.E.M. songs into their universe makes it even sweeter." He continues, "The best people at any party are always in the kitchen!" Adds bassist Mike Mills, "I'm so glad The Bear exists. It has become one of my favorite TV shows, and I can't wait to watch more of it."

Released as Monster's third single in 1995, "Strange Currencies" follows a lovelorn protagonist who yearns to win over a mysterious crush. The soulful song was a Top 10 hit in the UK, a Top 20 hit in Canada, and peaked at No.8 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

Monster was released at the height of R.E.M.'s success, following 1991's Out of Time and 1992's Automatic for the People. In just a few years, the four-piece had emerged from Athens, GA's underground to become one of the biggest bands in the world, thanks to hits like "Losing My Religion," "Man on the Moon," "Everybody Hurts," and, of course, "Strange Currencies." Singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, and bassist Mike Mills traded in the intricate arrangements and acoustic settings of their earlier work for a grittier, brasher sound. Their instincts paid off, as Monster debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified 4X Platinum.

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