During the summer of 1981, R.E.M. recorded its first single, "Radio Free Europe", at producer Mitch Easter 's Drive-In Studios in Winston-Salem, North Carolina . The single was released on the local independent record label Hib-Tone with an initial pressing of one thousand copies, which quickly sold out.  Despite its limited pressing, the single garnered critical acclaim, and was listed as one of the ten best singles of the year by The New York Times . 
R.E.M.'s cover of the Syd Barrett song " Dark Globe " was released as a brown marbled 7" for Record Store Day on April 18, 2015 as the B-side to the original.