In celebration of the 40th anniversary of their debut EP, R.E.M. have announced the release of the five-song EP Chronic Town as a standalone CD for the first time in the U.S. on August 19 via I.R.S./UMe.
The album will also be available on picture disc vinyl and cassette.
Chronic Town was recorded in October 1981 at producer Mitch Easter‘s Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a few months after the release of R.E.M.’s debut single, “Radio Free Europe.” The EP featured tracks “Gardening at Night,” “Wolves, Lower” and “1,000,000.”
“There is a certain spare, almost live quality to the sound of this record, which makes it especially fascinating now,” Easter writes of Chronic Town in a new essay. “You hear what R.E.M. actually sounded like in its early days, only slightly enhanced with a little studio fun. No other R.E.M. record is like Chronic Town, but you hear traces of it throughout the band’s entire career.”
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