R.E.M., 'Chronic Town'

College-rock fixture-to-be R.E.M. released its landmark debut EP, the five-track Chronic Town, 28 years ago today, and to commemorate the anniversary, we present, below, alternate takes of four songs recorded and considered for inclusion on the EP: a faster version of “Wolves, Lower”; “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)” with different vocals and no fadeout; and “Shaking Through,” featuring an organ in the mix; and an early version of “Ages of You,” all courtesy of YouTube user REMchout, who has posted a sizable collection of vintage R.E.M.

Sure it’s only five tracks, but for such an influential band and release, it’s a crime that Chronic Town still doesn’t have a standalone CD release; while it initially came out on vinyl and cassette — and was reissued earlier this year on blue vinyl — the EP remains available on CD only as part of the 1987 odds ‘n’ sods collection Dead Letter Office.

Hear R.E.M.’s ‘Chronic Town’ outtakes after the jump…

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