REM (“Radio Free Europe”)

REM’s first release, “Radio Free Europe” (1981), which would later appear on their first LP, Murmur (1983). I remember hearing this on my college radio station that year and falling in love with the song, and also thinking, “what the hell is he even saying?” When their first album came out with the title Murmur, I had to laugh, thinking it a perfect title for this amazing band’s vibe and lyrical unintelligibility. Remember, there was no internet to look up lyrics, you just made do with whatever you could make up and piece together sometimes. I saw them a couple times in San Francisco, including their “Murmur Tour.” They were totally badass in concert back then. I remember that around 2008 or so (??) my babysitter went to see Modest Mouse and had to “sit through all these old farts listening to the opening band, REM, who sucked.” I didn’t even have a response…

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