REM are reported to be working on a new studio album for release in late 2003 or early 2004.

The band are currently putting together the tracklisting for their forthcoming Greatest Hits album and getting ready for a summer tour.

On band manager Bertis Downs said, "The band is back in the studio here in Vancouver, and it is fun to witness the songs taking shape - my stock answer to 'What's it sound like?' remains the same as ever: A really good REM record, and that is the truth."

REM's 'Best Of' is due for release in October. It will feature some new/unreleased songs as well as highlights of the band's output dating back to 'Green' in 1988.

REM play Dublin's Marlay Park on 16 and 17 July 2003.