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R.E.M. announce 40th-anniversary reissue of debut EP 'Chronic Town'

R.E.M. have announced a special anniversary reissue for their debut EP, Chronic Town. The EP will be available on CD, picture disc, and cassette from the release date, which is slated for August 19th via I.R.S./UMe.

The follow-up to the band’s breakout 1981 single ‘Radio Free Europe’, Chronic Town features the iconic early hits ‘Gardening at Night’ and ‘Wolves’. The EP was followed up with the band’s seminal debut album Murmur in 1983. 

Original producer Mitch Easter, who wrote the liner notes for the new pressing, said in a statement regarding the exciting reissue: “One might fancifully say that Chronic Town was the sound of an expedition, ready for anything, setting forth. If R.E.M.’s ‘Radio Free Europe’ single was a signpost, the Chronic Town EP was the atlas.”

Over the last two years, R.E.M. have also shared 25th-anniversary reissues of their albums New Adventures in Hi-Fi and Monster

In September last year, R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe confirmed that the band would never reunite, insisting that their break-up in 2011 was permanent. 

“We will never reunite. We decided when we split up that that would just be really tacky and probably money-grabbing, which might be the impetus for a lot of bands to get back together. We don’t really need that, and I’m really happy that we just have the legacy of the 32 years of work that we have,” he told All Of It.

Following the interview, the band re-posted the message they initially sent out when they broke up on September 21st, 2011, to their Instagram page.

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished,” the message read. “To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

Listen to the Chronic Town EP below.