Amid the flood of renewed interest in R.E.M. in the wake of the band's break-up is the appearance of previously hard-to-find ephemeral recorded material, including a "Cassette Set" demo tape from 1981 that was recorded before the band released its first single. The tape includes early versions of "Radio Free Europe," "Sitting Still," and "White Tornado" as well as alternate takes laid down at Mitch Easter's Drive-In Studio in Winston-Salem, NC. Only 400 copies of the tape—which was made for the purpose of getting gigs, press coverage, and label attention—are thought to exist. Hard-core R.E.M. fans can download the tape here, or stream "Radio Free Europe" here. [Via Spin]
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