R.E.M.’s original Hib-Tone version of Radio Free Europe (1981) has been selected as one of the 25 songs included in the 2009 National Recording Registry which is housed at the Library of Congress. The Registry entry for Radio Free Europe reads:
The original Hib-Tone single of this song set the pattern for later indie rock releases by breaking through on college radio. Although a more elaborately produced version of the song appeared on the band’s first album, “Murmur,” the original maintains a raw immediacy which undoubtedly contributed to its overwhelmingly favorable critical reception. Singer Michael Stipe’s elliptical lyrics and guitarist Peter Buck’s arpeggiated open chords would not only become signatures of the band’s future output, but added greatly to the song’s enigmatic appeal.
The National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 established “the National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant, and for other purposes” (Public Law 106-474; H.R.4846).
Listen to an excellent audio montage of all of the songs included in the registry for 2009 HERE.
And while on the subject of preservation, the Georgia Theatre here in Athens just received some great news that their plans to rebuild have been approved by the Georgia Historic Preservation Division almost a year to the day that a fire gutted the theatre in June 2009. The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is currently accepting donations on behalf of the Georgia Theatre in an effort to help raise funds for their reconstruction project. You can learn more about how you can get involved HERE.