Flashback to Radio Free Europe
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the release of R.E.M.’s first full length album Murmur, which was released in April 1983, following their first EP the previous year. 30 years! While I didn’t fall in love with R.E.M. and all things Michael Stipe until the early 90s, a few of my favorite songs of theirs are on this album: Radio Free Europe and Perfect Circle. The album contains the early R.E.M. trademark sound with vocalist Stipe’s indecipherable mumbling over jangling guitars and strong drum beats. While alternative in nature, the album was well received and Rolling Stone Magazine called it the best album of year, beating out the likes of Michael Jackson and U2. It also showed up on Rolling Stone's top 100 albums of the 80s at #8.
An alternative-rock-turned-college-radio quartet straight outta Athens, Georgia, R.E.M.’s drummer Bill Berry left in 1997. As a trio the band continued to release albums and officially called it quits in 2011.
In the AADL collection is Murmur, as well as a special 2 disc version, which includes Murmur as well as a Live in Toronto 1983 disc- which is a worthy listen. Or you can just bust out the old cassette tape and give it a whirl.