R.E.M. announce 40th anniversary reissue of debut single ‘Radio Free Europe’

The single was one of the band’s earliest recordings and their first official release

R.E.M. have announced the reissue of their debut single ‘Radio Free Europe’ to mark 40 years since the track’s initial release.

The 1983 version of the track is already well-known among the band’s fans, but this reissue will allow fans to experience the original 1981 recording when it arrives on July 23.

One of R.E.M.’s earliest recordings, ‘Radio Free Europe’ was first recorded in the garage of influential producer Mitch Easter, who produced the bulk of the band’s formative material.

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Now set for release via Craft Recordings, the reissue will be presented in its original format as a 45-RPM single, housed in a jacket featuring photography by Michael Stipe.

(Picture: Press)

(Picture: Press)

In an nod to the band’s hometown, the single was also pressed in Athens, GA at Kindercore Vinyl.

The ‘Cassette Set’ tape, which is also arriving on July 23, will replicate the original packaging assembled by the band using photocopied cards and handwritten cassette labels by frontman Michael Stipe.

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Additionally, the official R.E.M. store will be offering a custom, limited edition portable cassette player (limited to just 500 worldwide), produced by Recording the Masters.

You can check out the tracklist in full below.

‘Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single)’ tracklist:

Side A

  1. ‘Radio Free Europe’

Side B

  1. ‘Sitting Still’

‘Cassette Set (1981 demo tape)’ tracklist: 

1. ‘Sitting Still (fast “Polka” version, snippet)’
2. ‘Sitting Still’
3. ‘Radio Free Europe’
4. ‘White Tornado’
5. ‘White Tornado (take 2, aborted)’

Last month saw Michael Stipe criticising the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, over his failure to not suspend the account of former US President Donald Trump sooner.

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