R.E.M. – ” Chronic Town ” EP 40th Anniversary Reissue 

Posted: June 29, 2022 in MUSIC

This year, R.E.M.’s debut EP “Chronic Town” is turning 40 years old. Four decades since the alternative rock band first graced this planet with their music, and now they’re going to celebrate their humble beginnings. For the first time ever, Chronic Town will be released as a standalone CD with liner notes from the original producer Mitch Easter, as well as on picture-disc vinyl and cassette.

“One might fancifully say that “Chronic Town” was the sound of an expedition, ready for anything, setting forth,” Easter said about the EP ahead of its August 19th re-release. “If R.E.M. ‘Radio Free Europe’ single was a signpost, the “Chronic Town” EP was the atlas.”

“Chronic Town” established R.E.M.’s signature sound immediately, expanding the jangling riffs of their debut single, “Radio Free Europe,” into a full-fledged modus operandi. Recorded at Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studios, the EP has an endearingly ragged sound — it’s a garage band playing jangling pop songs, and while the music is melodic and memorable, it has an underground mentality that keeps it from sounding conventional. Not only does the lo-fi production keep the music underground, but so do Peter Buck’s ringing arpeggios, Michael Stipe’s incomprehensible mumbled vocals, and the band’s amateurish enthusiasm. They might not be accomplished players, but already their song writing is distinctive, with “Gardening at Night,” “Wolves, Lower,” and “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)” ranking as early classics straightaway.

R.E.M. released their debut EP “Chronic Town” 40 years ago, in summer 1982, and the defunct band are celebrating the anniversary with a reissue. 

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