R.E.M.’s Collapse Into Now Continues Bold Tradition Of All-Video Albums

By Amber Colson

In the rock world, it’s difficult to stay relevant for five years, let alone stay vital for 30. But R.E.M., the band who essentially invented indie rock, have done just that, and they’re about to take another bold step through the 21st century with their new album Collapse Into Now (which hits stores on Tuesday, March 8th). This time around, the band has a bold plan in place for the new album: They plan to release a video for every single song on the album in the coming months. Frontman Michael Stipe announced that 2011 Oscar host James Franco will be directing a pair of clips, and other collaborators include filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood (director of the John Lennon biopic “Nowhere Boy”) and documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (the man behind such classics as “Grey Gardens” and the Rolling Stones concert film “Gimme Shelter”).

But while Stipe’s project is pretty ambitious, it’s not the first stab at making an album’s worth of music videos. Rob Zombie released full-length videos for each song on his 1998 album Hellbilly Deluxe, while Beck released a DVD with homemade videos for each song from 2006′s The Information (most of which were incredibly low-fi and shot for only a few dollars). Former System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian also released music videos for each song off his 2007 solo album Elect the Dead.

The trend won’t stop with R.E.M. in 2011 either, as both Foo Fighters and Drowning Pool have talked about embarking on a similar project for their forthcoming albums. As for R.E.M., they have already begun the process of rolling out their clips with an electric clip for Collapse Into Now‘s first single “Mine Smell Like Honey,” which was directed by Dominic DeJoseph (who is also responsible for R.E.M.’s “Bittersweet Me” and “New Test Leper” videos).

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What band would you like to see make a video for every song on an album? Let us know in the comments!