R.E.M., 'Radio Free Europe'

The Library of Congress today added R.E.M.’s debut single “Radio Free Europe” — one of the cornerstones of ’80s college rock — to its National Recording Registry, honoring the landmark song as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

In picking the 1981 single for inclusion, Billboard.com reports, the National Recording Preservation Board celebrated R.E.M. for setting “the pattern for later indie rock releases by breaking through on college radio in the face of mainstream radio’s general indifference.”

The track is one of 25 works — and the only music from the ’80s — added to the registry this year; other inductees included Patti Smith’s album Horses, Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” and the Tupac Shakur song “Dear Mama.” Last year’s honorees included Sonic Youth’s classic album Daydream Nation.

See the list of this year’s inductees here and the full registry here.

Watch R.E.M. perform “Radio Free Europe” after the jump…

Video: R.E.M., ‘Radio Free Europe,’ on ‘Late Night With David Letterman,’ 10/6/83

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