Download a Rare REM Demo Tape from 1981

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By now, REM fans have resigned themselves to the fact that they’re never again going to hear any new material from the band. But hey, here’s something to soften the blow: over the weekend, music blog The Power of Independent Trucking posted the songs from an ultra-rare three-track demo tape that the band made way back in 1981. The tape contains early versions of “Radio Free Europe” and “Sitting Still” (both of which ended up on the band’s debut album Murmur), along with the surf-style instrumental “White Tornado” (a version of which eventually surfaced on 1987 b-sides compilation Dead Letter Office). There are two versions of “Radio Free Europe”, along with snippets of alternate takes of “Sitting Still” and “White Tornado”, and they’re fascinating — the Radio Dub of “Radio Free Europe,” especially, is markedly different to the Murmur version, while the alternative “Sitting Still” sheds a little more light on the song’s notoriously cryptic lyrics. You can read all the fascinating details about the history behind the alternative mixes at The Power of Independent Trucking, where you can also download a pristine FLAC transfer of the recordings. Flavorpill pro tip — if you’re on iTunes, you’ll need to convert the FLACs to WAV, Apple Lossless, or another format before you listen. We recommend Max (for OS X) or dBPowerAmp (for Windows) for these purposes! [via Spinner]