Sunday, June 20, 2010

80's Jams #67: R.E.M. "Radio Free Europe" (1983)

With more distorted guitars, this song could be a straight-up punk rock number. Instead, the driving clean electric guitar textures offered a new and enigmatic sound in 1981. Picking licks from chords (as opposed to strumming), guitarist Peter Buck harkens back to the 1960s folk-rock of the Byrds, but the insistent rhythms and urgency of the track has more to do with punk rock than the rock & roll traditionalism of other Byrds-inspired roots-rockers like Tom Petty. -- Allmusic

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