Hard to believe — but R.E.M. is kicking off its 40th anniversary celebration. This upcoming July 23rd sees the reissue of the band's 1981 debut single “Radio Free Europe,” along with the band's 1981 demonstration tape — titled Cassette Set, which is also being made available for the first time. This ultra-rare collection will be available exclusively via the official R.E.M. store as a bundle with the seven-inch single and limited to 1,500 copies worldwide.
“Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Single)” will be presented in its original format: as a 45-RPM single, housed in a jacket featuring photography by Michael Stipe. In an homage to the band’s hometown, the single was pressed in Athens, Georgia at Kindercore Vinyl.
The details of the cassette were explained by the band in the official press release: