In 1994, R.E.M., released Monster, an album that became one of the landmark moments in the band’s iconic career. Today, Nov. 1, a special 25th anniversary edition of the album has been released to commemorate the occasion and add to its legacy. Pick up a copy here.
Leading up to the reissue’s release, a special website was launched that featured a built-in music player, allowing fans to compare versions of the tracks side-by-side.
— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) November 1, 2019
The impact of Monster came at a big time for R.E.M., which was riding high after some smash-hit records and was a major band in the music scene at the time. From the news release announcing the Monster reissue:
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.
Stream the reissue below, via Spotify: