REM to reissue 1981 debut single, “Radio Free Europe”

To kick off their 40th anniversary celebrations, REM will reissue their 1981 debut single “Radio Free Europe” on 7″ vinyl on July 23.

Although “Radio Free Europe” was later re-recorded for REM’s 1983 debut album Murmur and released as its lead-off single, this particular mix has not been available since its release on Hib-Tone 40 years ago.

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The reissued single will be accompanied by a reproduction of REM’s 1981 three-song demo, Cassette Set, limited to 1500 copies worldwide.

Cassette Set features the songs “Sitting Still”, “White Tornado” and “Radio Free Europe”, recorded at Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem, NC – essentially his parents’ converted garage – on April 15, 1981, and has never been reissued until now.

Cassette Set’s version of “Radio Free Europe” did make it onto the REM compilations Eponymous and And I Feel Fine…The Best of The IRS Years 1982-1987, mislabelled as the ‘Hib-Tone Version’ – whereas the actual Hib-Tone version, remixed by Jonny Hibbert, hasn’t been available since that 7″ single release in 1981 – copies of which now sell for upwards of £100.

You can pre-order “Radio Free Europe” and Cassette Set here. More special REM 40th anniversary releases will be announced in due course.