R.E.M. Enlists Neil Young For Christmas Single

This year, R.E.M. will get a bit of help from Neil Young on its annual Christmas single.

Each year, the band sends a holiday offering to members of its fan club, and this year the devoted will receive a CD single featuring performances taken from the band's turn at Young's annual Bridge School Benefit. The CD will boast a version of R.E.M.'s "Country Feedback" featuring Young on acoustic guitar and Young's "Ambulance Blues" featuring R.E.M. as his backing band.

Only 8,500 numbered copies of the Christmas CD will be available, and the band's management says that it's too late to join the fan club for this year's gift.

This will mark the twelfth year for the fan club holiday giveaway, and in the past the band has sent its fans 7" vinyl releases and videos. This is the first year that R.E.M. has stuffed fans' stockings with CDs.

-- Kara Manning