According to REM's official web-site, Michael Stipe is a big fan of the new U2 album, having heard some of the tracks while visiting U2 in Dublin over the summer.
According to Stipe's diary on REMHQ.Com, the singer was inspired by reading a piece on U2 on a plane recently.
I read Edna Gunderson's interview with U2 on the plane and thought it was one of the most exciting and thoughtful and downright inspiring articles i'd read in a while, i heard their record a couple months ago in France and i was whooping and jumping, its really challenging, esp. for me since i'm still squeaking out lyrics for the final songs. anyway, it is a g- r- e- a- t- record, esp. for me 'elevation' and i love 'beautiful day' as a first single. guts and brains and brawn and smarts and super hooky. when Bono plays you their songs he sings in your ear. the whole time loud. he's looking really good these days, by the way.
It was Larry's birthday today so me and Mike called up and sang happy birthday, i did that harmony thing on the 'birthday to you' part that my dad taught me from years of singing in church........'
(Read the rest of Michael Stipe's diary at
and also here, link to the original USA Today interview with U2)