R.E.M.: Radio Free Europe

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"Radio Free Europe" was R.E.M.'s first single. It represents a breakthrough moment, when indie rock was splitting away from punk music to become its own sound. Engineer Mitch Easter, radio manager Mike Henry, and R.E.M.’s Mike Mills look back.

This story was produced by Ben Manilla and Devon Strolovitch.




Bonus Track: R.E.M. Live at Tyrone's O.C.
We have a real rarity to offer: a cassette recording one of R.E.M.’s first appearances, in 1981, at the club Tyrone's O.C. in Athens, Georgia. (Audio courtesy of Mike Henry, with permission from R.E.M.)


Music Playlist

  1. Radio Free Europe

    Artist: R.E.M.
    Album: And I Feel Fine... The Best of the I.R.S. Years (1982-1987)
    Label: Capitol
  2. Action

    Artist: R.E.M.
    Album: unreleased concert tape 4/10/80
    Label: Cool/Pylon/Gyrate Plus/DFA