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Today's ear X-tacy: R.E.M. "Radio Free Europe" (Original Hib-Tone Label)


Today in 1981 R.E.M. records for the first time

On February 8, 1981, R.E.M. held their first-ever recording sessions at Bombay Studios in Smyrna, Georgia. In addition to capturing songs like “Sitting Still,” “Gardening At Night,” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville,” the band recorded what was to become their first single, “Radio Free Europe.”

The single was originally released on the small independent record label, Hib-Tone. Following critical acclaim, the band signed a deal with I.R.S. Records. A re-recording of “Radio Free Europe” appeared on the band’s 1983 debut, Murmur.

“I remember buying a copy of the original single (pictured below) when I worked at Phoenix Records in Louisville. I spent countless hours trying to decipher Michael Stipe’s lyrics…. to no avail. I still have my copy of that single and have been a fan ever since.”

- John Timmons

Hib-Tone Records

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org

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