Sounds Like the 80s
College Rock, Alternative Music, and More

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"Radio Free Europe" by R.E.M.
I can't say I jumped on the R.E.M. bandwagon early on, but I was least aware of the band near the beginning of its career. During high school I subscribed to the late great Trouser Press magazine and one issue included a flexi-disc of "Wolves, Lower" from R.E.M.'s 1982 Chronic Town E.P. I liked the song, but didn't give the band much thought beyond that. While I must have heard the debut album at some point during the following year, it didn't stick. Then, as the spring semester was ending in 1985, I slipped into my college radio station and recorded the Murmur and Reckoning LPs on a cheap Radio Shack Concertape cassette. I listened to that cassette dozens of times over the summer and was all-in on R.E.M. from that point on, at least through the early 1990s. (For years this was the personal anecdote I'd use to refute the "home taping is killing the music industry" claim, as that dubbed cassette resulted in my spending hundreds of dollars on R.E.M. LPs, CDs, and concert tickets.)

The band's debut single, as re-made for the Murmur album in 1983:


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