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The Sound of Music was released late in August. Touring began early in September. For the first time, The dBs had a functioning American label willing to promote their record while they were on tour. The seven-week first leg of the tour took in the eastern half of the US, plus a few dates in Ontario. Radio interviews, in-store appearances, glad-handing rack-jobbers all the little things that a band does when trying to sell a record were all gamely encompassed while squeezing five (including road manager) in a Toyota minivan.
"I Lie" was released both commercially and to radio as the first single. Late in the year it was followed by a promo-only single (both 12" and CD, the latter featuring an amusing cover drawn by Peter) of "Working for Somebody Else." Neither song made much of a dent on radio beyond the support the band had previously established, and the market was changing: with major labels now more conscious of the value of promoting records at college radio, the competition for that airtime was more fierce and expensive.
One dark cloud was that The dBs now shared a label with R.E.M., whose new record Document had been released around the same time and was selling so briskly that (as The dBs discovered to their disgruntlement after they made an in-store appearance only to find that the store had no dBs albums to sell) I.R.S. had dedicated all of their pressing capacity to keeping up with demand for R.E.M., effectively letting The Sound of Music temporarily go out of print when it was only weeks old and the band was on tour supporting it.
After seven weeks headlining clubs and college-campus shows, The dBs joined R.E.M.s tour in October for four weeks. Unlike 1984, this time The dBs faced the much more daunting task of playing to crowds trickling in to their seats in much larger halls, mostly basketball arenas. Its nearly always a thankless job opening shows that big. The boys from Athens were getting huge; their single broke into the Top 10 while The dBs were on tour with them. R.E.M. remained supportive of The dBs, but their new, less musically plugged-in audiences were largely indifferent.
This tour wound up as Thanksgiving approached with R.E.M.s by now traditional end-of-tour appearance at Atlantas Fox Theatre, this year a four-night stand.