R.E.M. Reissues Debut 1981 Single, “Radio Free Europe”

The first-ever reissue of R.E.M.’s rare debut 1981 single, “Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single)” is out today on Craft Recordings! Produced by Mitch Easter and unavailable in any format for 40 years, the single is now available digitally for the very first time as well as in its original format: as a 45-RPM 7-inch record (with “Sitting Still” as the B-side), housed in a jacket featuring photography by Michael Stipe. Order the 7-inch single here.

For the first time in 40 years, rock icons R.E.M. are reissuing their foundational, debut single “Radio Free Europe,” first released in 1981. While many fans know the 1983 version of the song, which appeared on the band’s first studio album Murmur, only a lucky few have heard this version, which marks one of R.E.M.’s earliest recordings. Due for release July 23rd via Craft Recordings, and available to pre-order todayRadio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single) will be presented in its original format: as a 45-RPM single, housed in a jacket featuring photography by Michael Stipe. In an homage to the band’s hometown, the single was pressed in Athens, GA at Kindercore Vinyl.

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

Side A

1. Radio Free Europe

Side B

2. 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)