On this Date in 1980: Wall Of Voodoo released its self-titled, six-track debut EP, which included the songs “Longarm,”“The Passenger,” “Granma’s House,” “Struggle,” “Can’t Make Love”— a brutally frank, confessional lament from the perspective of a player suffering from a profound inability to get casual sex – and a throbbing, atmospheric cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” that I like even better than the original. I own this release on twelve-inch vinyl and was also able to find it on CD a few years back. I’m sure you could hunt it down on iTunes or eBay if you’re unfamiliar but curious, and you should be curious, because this EP is fantastic.
On This Date in 1982: R.E.M. released its first EP, Chronic Town, which is awesome. The EP features five tracks including “Wolves, Lower,” “Gardening At Night,” “Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars),” “1,000,000” and “Stumble.” None of the tracks appeared on their debut album, Murmur. As was the case until they recorded their dismally crappy breakthrough hit, “Losing My Religion,” it is impossible to understand anything Michael Stipe sings. I love this record.