R.E.M. first recorded "Radio Free Europe" in 1981 as a single for Hib-Tone records, but two years later they re-recorded in 1983 for their debut LP Murmur. The song actually cracked the Billboard Hot 100, and made them immediate favorites of college kids all across the country. It also kicked off many in a long stream of R.E.M. songs with nearly indecipherable lyrics.