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Massive 25th Anniversary Reissue of R.E.M.’s 1994 LP ‘Monster’ Coming in November

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Among albums of the 1990s, R.E.M.‘s Monster was … well, a monster of a record. Released on Sept. 27, 1994, the record debuted at No. 1 in the United States and was a huge moment in the band‘s career.

To mark the occasion, a special 25th anniversary edition of the album will be released on No. 1, just a little over a month after the album’s actual 25th anniversary. Pre-orders are up now at this link.

Via the news release:

Remastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, the title will be available on various physical formats, as well as digitally, on November 1. A five-CD, one-Blu-ray deluxe box set will include the original album, a special 2019 remix from Monster producer Scott Litt, a CD of previously unreleased demos from the album and a complete live 1995 performance captured in Chicago. The accompanying Blu-ray will offer Monster in both hi-resolution audio and 5.1 Surround Sound, as well as a host of video content: the 90-minute film Road Movie, which documents R.E.M.’s 1995 tour, and all six music videos from Monster. The collection will be packaged in a five-and-a-half-inch portfolio book, featuring liner notes by journalist Matthew Perpetua—with new insight from band members—and archival photographs. An expanded edition of Monster, offering the original album and the 2019 remixed version, will also be available on two 180-gram vinyl LPs or two CDs, both featuring reimagined cover art by longtime R.E.M. designer Chris Bilheimer. The remastered album will also be available as a standalone 180-gram vinyl LP, with Bilheimer’s original Monster art. 

Here’s a new mix of “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” as a preview of the remastered set:

Monster came at an important time for R.E.M., who had scored big with previous records and were a major player in the rock music scene of the day. Via the release:

While R.E.M.’s last two albums were full of ballads, acoustic rock songs and intricate arrangements, the group was ready to record something grittier, brasher and highly playable on stage. In his liner notes, Perpetua writes that Monster “had no precedent in the band’s catalog,” adding that R.E.M had “never been this distorted and dirty, or this glam or this flirty.” Buck recalls, “We were trying to feel like a different band … We wanted to get away from who we were.”

The group was also reeling from the strange nature of celebrity and identity, and many of the songs in this album reflect that. Perpetua notes, “There’s no question that the characters on Monster are all dealing with obsession in some form or another, whether it’s the infatuated narrator of ‘Crush With Eyeliner,’ the lovelorn protagonist of ‘Strange Currencies,’ or the cackling supervillain in ‘I Took Your Name.’” As dark as some of the subject matter is, though, R.E.M. still infuses the songs with a dash of absurdity, irony and a humorous wink.

Here’s the track listing for the Deluxe Box Set edition of the reissue:

Disc 1 (CD) – Monster (Remastered)

  1. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
  2. Crush With Eyeliner
  3. King Of Comedy
  4. I Don’t Sleep, I Dream
  5. Star 69
  6. Strange Currencies
  7. Tongue
  8. Bang And Blame
  9. I Took Your Name
  10. Let Me In
  11. Circus Envy
  12. You

Disc 2 (CD) – Monster (Demos)

  1. Pete’s Hit
  2. Uptempo Mo Distortion
  3. Uptempo Ricky
  4. Harlan County with Whistling
  5. Lost Song
  6. AM Boo
  7. Mike’s Gtr
  8. Sputnik 1 Remix
  9. Black Sky 4-14
  10. Revolution 4-21
  11. Rocker with vocal
  12. Time Is On Mike’s Side
  13. 1Experiment 4-28 no vocal
  14. Highland Fling 4-29
  15. Cranky 4-29

Disc 3 (CD) – Monster (Remixed) 

  1. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? (Remix)
  2. Crush With Eyeliner (Remix)
  3. King Of Comedy (Remix)
  4. I Don’t Sleep, I Dream (Remix)
  5. Star 69 (Remix)
  6. Strange Currencies (Remix)
  7. Tongue (Remix)
  8. Bang And Blame (Remix)
  9. I Took Your Name (Remix)
  10. Let Me In (Remix)
  11. Circus Envy (Remix)
  12. You (Remix)

Disc 4 (CD) – Live in Chicago 6/3/95 – Monster 1995 Tour (Part One)

  1. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
  2. Circus Envy
  3. Crush With Eyeliner
  4. Near Wild Heaven
  5. Welcome To The Occupation
  6. Undertow
  7. I Took Your Name
  8. Strange Currencies
  9. Me In Honey
  10. Revolution
  11. Tongue
  12. Man On The Moon
  13. Country Feedback
  14. Monty Got A Raw Deal

Disc 5 (CD) – Live in Chicago 6/3/95 – Monster 1995 Tour (Part Two)

  1. Losing My Religion
  2. You
  3. Departure
  4. Orange Crush
  5. Get Up
  6. Star 69
  7. Let Me In
  8. Everybody Hurts
  9. So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
  10. Pop Song 89
  11. Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Disc 6 (Blu-ray)

  1. Monster – 5.1 Surround Sound
  2. Monster – Hi-Resolution Audio
  3. Road Movie (concert film)
  4. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? (music video)
  5. Crush With Eyeliner (music video)
  6. Star 69 (music video)
  7. Strange Currencies (music video)
  8. Tongue (music video)
  9. Bang And Blame (music video)

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