R.E.M. / Monster anniversary reissue

R.E.M. / Monster 25th anniversary reissue

5CD+blu-ray super deluxe • Scott Litt 2019 remix • demos • Live • 5.1 surround mix • 2LP, single LP and 2CD editions also available

Craft Recordings will reissue R.E.M.‘s 1994 album Monster as a six-disc 25th anniversary issue in November. The 5CD+blu-ray set will include a brand new Scott Litt stereo mix, unreleased demos and a 5.1 surround sound mix.

Although the album was not particularly well received critically, it still delivered twice the number of UK top ten hits than its much loved predecessor Automatic For The People (‘What’s The Frequency Kenneth?’ and ‘Strange Currencies’ both got to number nine, whereas number seven hit ‘Everybody Hurts’ was the only one of six singles to penetrate the top ten). In fact of Monster’s five UK singles, only ‘Crush With Eyeliner’ failed to reach the top 20.

Six disc super deluxe of Monster comes in a CD-sized hardcover book

The 25th anniversary edition features the remastered original mix on CD 1, followed by a disc of 15 previously unreleased demos, with names like ‘Rocker With Vocal’ or ‘Mike’s Gtr’. The third CD is Scott Litt’s new 2019 stereo remix and this is followed by two further CDs that offer an unreleased live set from the 1995 Monster Tour. In terms of the new stereo mix, the idea was to pull the guitars back and push the vocals forward to create a more open sound and showcase the lyrics. You can get a taster by listening to ‘What’s The Frequency Kenneth?’, below.

The blu-ray is the sixth and final disc and it includes hi-res stereo (presumably the remastered original mix) and a 5.1 surround mix of Monster. No Dolby Atmos this time around, then. This disc also features the blu-ray debut of the 1996 Road Movie concert film as well as six music videos.

Packaging-wise, for the super deluxe, Craft Recordings are delivering a third different presentational approach in as many R.E.M. album reissues, which suggests a make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach (you could say ‘pragmatic’, if you were feeling generous). 2016’s Out Of Time super deluxe was a DVD-sized hardcover book, while Automatic For The People was a large format 12-inch box with a big book, which discs housed underneath. As can be seen from the image above, the label are cramming six discs into a CD-sized hardcover book for Monster. Doesn’t feel very ‘top of the range’. The three super deluxe reissues for consecutive albums are going to look rather higgledy-piggledy if you place them side-by-side on your shelf.

In terms of the actual audio (and video), the content is reasonably similar to previous super deluxe reissues. There’s nothing from any of the singles though, which admittedly mainly featured live cuts. Even so, there is no radio mix of ‘What’s The Frequency Kenneth?’, no ‘K Version’ of ‘Bang and Blame’, and no ‘Tongue’ or ‘Crush With Eyeliner’ instrumentals.

2CD edition of Monster is consistent with both Out of Time and Automatic For The People

The Monster reissue also boasts ‘reimagined’ artwork by the original cover artist Chris Bilheimer and features new sleeve notes by Mathew Perpetua, which include new interviews that explain a lot of process and include fresh takes on the lyrics from Michael.

There will also be a two-CD edition and a 2LP vinyl version of Monster both of which feature the album remaster on the first disc and the 2019 remix on the second. I’m not sure repeating the album in this way, on these formats, is what most fans would want. A selection of live tracks and/or some demos would surely be preferable. The two-CD of Monster comes in a small lift-off lid box with booklet and poster (as per Out Of Time and Automatic For The People).

Finally, a single vinyl LP of Monster will also be available. This features the remastered version of the original mix and comes in the original artwork.

The 25th anniversary reissue of Monster will be released on 1 November 2019.

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monster - 5CD+blu-ray super deluxe


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monster - 2CD deluxe


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monster - 2LP vinyl set


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monster - vinyl LP remaster



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) Unreleased 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 Scott Litt 2019 remix
1. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? (2019 Remix)
2. Crush With Eyeliner (2019 Remix)
3. King Of Comedy (2019 Remix)
4. I Don’t Sleep, I Dream (2019 Remix)
5. Star 69 (2019 Remix)
6. Strange Currencies (2019 Remix)
7. Tongue (2019 Remix)
8. Bang And Blame (2019 Remix)
9. I Took Your Name (2019 Remix)
10. Let Me In (2019 Remix)
11. Circus Envy (2019 Remix)
12. You (2019 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) Monster in 5.1 plus videos and Road Movie
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)

Monster 25th anniversary 2LP vinyl

LP 1

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

LP 2

1. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? (2019 Remix)
2. Crush With Eyeliner (2019 Remix)
3. King Of Comedy (2019 Remix)
4. I Don’t Sleep, I Dream (2019 Remix)
5. Star 69 (2019 Remix)
6. Strange Currencies (2019 Remix)
7. Tongue (2019 Remix)
8. Bang And Blame (2019 Remix)
9. I Took Your Name (2019 Remix)
10. Let Me In (2019 Remix)
11. Circus Envy (2019 Remix)
12. You (2019 Remix)

Monster 25th anniversary 2CD deluxe

CD 1

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

CD 2

1. What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? (2019 Remix)
2. Crush With Eyeliner (2019 Remix)
3. King Of Comedy (2019 Remix)
4. I Don’t Sleep, I Dream (2019 Remix)
5. Star 69 (2019 Remix)
6. Strange Currencies (2019 Remix)
7. Tongue (2019 Remix)
8. Bang And Blame (2019 Remix)
9. I Took Your Name (2019 Remix)
10. Let Me In (2019 Remix)
11. Circus Envy (2019 Remix)
12. You (2019 Remix)

128 responses to R.E.M. / Monster anniversary reissue

  1. Paul says:

    The Super Deluxe Edition is currently on sale in HMV for £30 if you can find it.

  2. Edevar Citton says:

    I don’t know how to describe what I feel.
    It is disappointing to be a fan of a band.
    All other previous releases had a card for downloading the songs.
    This one hasn’t!
    What is the explanation?
    I particularly find the box price abusive.
    Yet, there is no standard in size.
    This for a collector is very frustrating.
    I ask again: – why was it not included a code to download the songs?

  3. mike says:

    i love the remix vinyl and CD!!
    i am a huge R.E.M. fan but was always disappointed by monster, but
    over the years i have grown to appreciate it and enjoy it!!
    the new version is AWESOME!!
    highly recomended the cd/blu ray box and double vinyl!!

  4. ToddB says:

    A couple opinions on the release: The third different packaging in as many releases doesn’t surprise me with R.E.M., as it appears they are sticking to the practice used for the original limited edition versions from every Warner Brothers release. In regards to the demos and remixes – though I admit I only listened to several seconds of each demo – I found it interesting that none of them appeared to be related to the songs for final release. As for the remixes, these sound like they could be demos of the final release that were perhaps remixed(?). There is a lot of tape hiss present, in addition to completely different vocal takes on many of the tracks. These don’t have the characteristics of typical remixes.

  5. kook says:

    Not loving the remixed version, I’m afraid…

  6. David Perry says:

    Missing the 40 Watt Club concert, which was an incredible set, serialized over the CD singles.

    Superdeluxe should have that pre-recorded on the Tongue cassingle (which was issued at the time with space to do it yourself) with a download.

    Remix is pretty feeble, not an improvement.

    The BBC Set was mint, I’m still looking forward to this.

    • CraigH says:

      40 Watt gig was on the Automatic reissue.

      Agreed that the Tongue cassette single would have been a nice addition in that form as originally released though

  7. noyoucmon says:

    This is where I get off the R.E.M. reissue train. I’ve bought all the 2-disc versions to date. Forget that I never liked the album, it’s that the second disc is just a remix of it. Pointless for me.

  8. Malcolm B says:

    Disappointed. No Atmos means this will be the same 5.1 mix that I already have on my DVD-A. The Let Me In mix on that was wrong, you could hear the strumming from all the guitars. Hoping that would be fixed on this. DVD-A is good enough then so will have to pass on this.

  9. Gerbrand says:

    Paul, for some reason this release does not appear in the release calendar.

  10. Donovan Pain says:

    I may get laughed off the site here…but…I’m already looking forward to the Up sde. To me, it’s one of their best albums. Gets ripped apart from fans. I do recall one press review saying if this was the debut album of a new band it would be held up as a masterpiece. However, as it’s the band’s 11th album, sadly that may have caused some probs. Parakeet, You’re in the air, Suspicion, At my most beautiful…the list goes on. Ok, could possibly have chopped couple songs off, but what album is perfect from start to finish? Apart from Suede Dog man star or Lightning Seeds Dizzy Heights. That’s just personal taste…

  11. Mark F says:

    Having listened to the ‘live EP’ on Spotify, I can’t say I’m blown away by the sound quality. Is it better than Milton Keynes on the BBC set? Maybe, but not significantly. Perhaps it’s the streaming quality, but it sounds muddy to me, like I might be listening to it through a wall.

    Having recently listened to the Automatic demos again, I’m thinking of skipping the deluxe Monster 25 and just getting the double vinyl. I don’t think the quality of the audio recording of the show is very good, and if the AFTP demos are a sign of the quality of R.E.M. demos in the 90s (and I fear they are), then I don’t expect demos that I’ll want to listen to many times. A real shame as I like Monster a lot.

    I remember as a massive fan in the 90s and 00s reading about how many unreleased tracks they had and being excited that they would eventually see the light of day. It seems to be with the lack of genuine B-sides and the quality of the deluxe edition demos that we’re seeing so far (primarily sketches of released songs for OOT and AFTP) is that there weren’t many unreleased, fully formed gems during this period.

    One of my favourite bands of all time, but I’m beginning to think they either their post 1990 albums don’t deserve the deluxe treatment, or simply aren’t managing the content of them well. Am I in the minority?

  12. Goodie Andrews says:

    For the 2-CD edition, the record company should release rarities for the second CD. Having two CDs of the same album doesn’t make any sense to me.

  13. Glen says:

    Whenever a band or artist releases a deluxe cd box set instead a vinyl one I want to hug them & never let go.

    I love R.E.M. even more now.

  14. Mathew Lauren says:

    I was marginal @$50, but the price has fluctuated wildly (upward) this week.

    My “Monster” CD/DVD-A still sounds great! Unless this has the hirez 5.1 mixes ported over to the MTV vids on the Blu-ray, I’ll probably pass and pick this up at my Local CdTrader’s during one of their quarterly sales.

    I did same with “OoT” 5.1 Blu (and it’s still in the shrink wrap), as (both) my “OoT” CD/DVD-As still sound great from that (~2005) release, as well!

    We’ll see…

  15. Mark Reed says:

    In case, anyone missed it, a version of “Revolution” is on the demos disc and a live version on the Chicago discs. And whilst “Revolution” was on Road Movie, I’m not sure a final version was recorded until the 1996 Hi Fi LP sessions.

    I do wonder what will make New Adventures megaset, as they didn’t tour that record.

  16. Shane says:

    ‘What’s The Frequency Kenneth?’ and ‘Strange Currencies’ both got to number nine, whereas number seven hit ‘Everybody Hurts’ was the only one of six singles to penetrate the top ten

    errr…. huh? what?!?!?! maybe we count differently in Canada.

  17. Mark F says:

    I’ve always loved Monster. I think the shift from AFTP to Monster was exciting in 94. I’m split on whether I think the remix is a good idea or not. The more I listen to Kenneth remix (I think the original mix is amazing), the more baffling it is that key parts are missing. On the other hand, what’s the point of a remix if it doesn’t sound different. It will be interesting to see if the same approach was taken across the board (how will “Crush” sound if guitar effects are removed/scaled back??). It may be the case that if you loved Monster in the first place, the remix won’t be for you, but maybe if you didn’t care much for it, the remix will open it up for you. I look forward to this box anyway, and I’ll buy the double vinyl (though I wish it had an orange cover).

  18. Glenn says:

    Will the Blu-Ray include the Documentary included on the 2005 CD + DVD reissue?

  19. DLG says:

    I like Monster, it was my second REM CD after Life’s Rich Pageant. I might buy the 2-CD, but I’d like to have seen the unique single versions included.

    This thread is amazing, though – the politics of an underground band going mainstream and what appeals to whichever audience. I can’t believe people are still misguidedly tripped up on that 30 years on, insecure about mainstream acceptance vs underground “credibility”.

    It’s like William Shatner on that old SNL skit addressing silly Star Trek fans. It just doesn’t matter. Like everyone else in the industry, REM sold their music for money – from the beginning. It’s a business. Deal.

    • shane says:

      ever since the first rehearsal, this band has been a sell out.

      there, does that make me the coolest fan, or what?

      (most should answer “or what” )

  20. Michael says:

    Okay, I’m a big R.E.M. fan, and yes, my brother and I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Stipe at an art gallery event in Atlanta back in 1991. But fanship aside, I’m perplexed about this “Monster” anniversary reissue from Craft Recordings, both because of a seemingly unnecessary stereo remix, and because of the unimpressive packaging for a super deluxe item.

    Turning the volume down on Peter Buck’s guitar in the remix of “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” seems counter-intuitive. I mean really?! Perhaps this new version of the song should be renamed “WTF, Kenneth?” I already have the first “Monster” deluxe set with great 5.1 mix and extras, so I guess the only reason to get this new anniversary version is for the blue colour added to the album cover.

  21. Mad Earwig says:

    My least liked REM album, I thought ‘What’s The Frequency…’ was an appalling track (to the point that I skip it) and even though I really like ‘Crush…’ and ‘Let me In’ the overrall album sounds like a collection of outtakes to me.

    The idea to bring the vocals up more in the remix is a good idea as the guitars are a bit overblown. Stipe is an amazing vocalist so why bury it?

    My favourite REM was always ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ ‘Green’ and ‘ Document’ but I have a lot of time for the following albums including the ones after Bill Berry left the band which are always criticised.

    Its all subjective of course, but ‘Monster’ following the beautiful and majestic ‘Automatic…’ was such a noisy disappointment.

    As an aside, the REM BBC boxset is brilliant and has quite a bit of live ‘Monster’ on it.

    • Iain McCarthy says:

      I found the sound quality of the 1995 Milton Keynes gig on the BBC box set to be pretty bad. Hopefully the gig included with this release will be better.

      • Mark F says:

        I agree to a large extent with that Iain. I assume it’s because it was being recorded for the radio that it sounds muddier than you’d hope for. Still listenable, but it lacks the energy of Road Movie. I expect/hope this will be a better recording. The BBC Box is still a great buy.

  22. Daniel says:

    Setting aside the audio content the packaging is a betrayal of the visual and creative equity of R.E.M. The legacy of Chris Bilheimer is being decimated by these exercises in paper, print and lamination. You need look no further than the 1994 LIMITED EDITION VERSION and the 1995 tour programme to evidence how low packaging and print has sunk

  23. Mark Story, Rochester,NY USA says:

    I must respectfully disagree with some of the comments. Every REM album but UP, REVEAL and AROUND THE SUN was great. I liked the loud guitars on MONSTER; ( especially Crush w Eyeliner which I used to crank and air guitar to )they needed a more “rockin” album after AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE. Of course , I’m biased about the group since I was there at the beginning when I was in college and loved them immediately.

  24. no.parlez says:

    Looking forward to this release, Bang and Blame being one of my all time favourites and the line “She’s a sad tomato” from Crush With Eyeliner always brings a smile to my face.

    Though it is interesting to compare the cost/value to the Marillion Afraid of Sunlight set announced earlier in the week.

    Andrew C, The 2005 CD+ DVD release of Green included a 5.1 mix.

  25. David M says:

    Weak album. Could have made a great 4 or 5 track EP out of it. So naturally now a 6 disc box set!

    • Uncle Meat says:

      Agreed. At the time R.E.M. members were already multimillionaires. And it shows! They had already lost their true rock credibility and Monster is dangerously close to comedy. Sorry.

  26. St Anger says:

    A remastered disc and a remix is PERFECT .
    Live tracks and demos???? Who cares
    Stooges did it with Raw Power 2LP with 2 different mixes was perfect
    Pity this REM album was the beginning of their end.
    Whats the freq? was their worst single

  27. Dan says:

    I would appreciate if somebody could help me with an answer to this question please: I live in Europe – if I order the special edition would the blu ray play fine on my devices?
    Thank you.

  28. Bogdan says:

    I’m not too bothered by the inconsistency of presentation for these R.E.M. reissues. Overall, the package looks great and has a lot of musical content included. It will be especially interesting to hear the remix. It’s also good value for money, particularly the Amazon US price, which still works out cheaper than the current European prices, even after factoring in customs duties. So yeah, hard to resist pressing the “order” button for this one.

  29. Samppa says:

    By the way, to those that are using streaming-services t remaster of the full album + the new remix of ”What’s Frequency, Kenneth?” is already available for streming over at Apple Music. Listening to it at the moment and haven’t heard the original album in long time.
    I haven’t yet bought any of these anniversary-releases from R.E.M. but that might actually change soon..

  30. Glenn says:

    Nice to get the details on this one. Hoping for an eventual box set with the b-sides and remixes etc.

  31. stevieb says:

    This is my favourite REM album (although I’m not a big fan of the band) and the 2-CD variant will do for me just fine. Always loved the cover and the blue variant is excellent.

  32. Jim says:

    6 disc edition is currently down to $50.80 on US Amazon. 2LP vinyl is also down to $23.22.

  33. Jason Brown says:

    An under-rated album. You know when people say you can’t un-learn stuff? I think this album has that all over it. As has been documented, the plan was a return to rock (as per Document & Green) & to tour accordingly. But the experiments – and audience? – of OoT & AFTP had changed how they worked, so the album turned out as it did.

    Also the tail-end of the imperial era, as well documented disagreements / delays / illness seemed to change / batter them a bit further. Be interesting what the notes say about that, with 25 years distance.

    Honestly thought the SDE would include New Adventures…, as it was recorded on the Monster tour (sorta) – a bit like Zooropa to Achtung Baby. Would’ve made thematic sense, but hey ho…

    Will probably wait for the SDE alert as I did for Automatic when the price halved. But will get it in due course.

  34. Charlie Waffles says:

    The packaging is awful. I wish it was including a Dolby Atmos mix. The blue cover is very cool.

  35. Aljaž says:

    My tuppence opinion would be as follows: kinda like the muddy guitar feel of the original, so not sure about the remix (unless it is even muddier, that is), but I really like the blue cover of the 2lp version. We are visual creatures, after all and I do work in a museum. On a not so different note, I miss R.E.M., they were always, for want of a better word, interesting.

  36. Kauwgompie says:

    Not a bad album but always thought the guitars were too loud. It didn’t sound like REM and it’s the REM album I listen to the least. The new mix doesn’t sound all that different but thats just a quick first impression. It’s in every charity shop for pennies. I’m glad they provided an entire disc of demos. I really don’t need another live REM concert. Almost every deluxe version of their albums has been issued with a live bonus disc. Great and of course this is a different tour but I’m more excited about the demos than another live disc(s). The fact that they keep issueing the 5.1 surround is excellent. Just for that I will buy this.
    I’m happy REM keeps reissuing box sets w surround and I will keep buying them. Not sure why they can’t stick to one size format like Marillion but then again, who cares. We’re getting some great unreleased stuff and even a new mix of the album and a surround sound mix. That’s more than I can say about many other re-issues.

    • Andrew Cherry says:

      unfortunately they didn’t include the surround mixes of Document, Green, or Out of Time with their respect live box sets…only automatic and monster thus far.

      • Kauwgompie says:

        The Out Of Time SDE does include a 5.1 surround sound mix included on blu ray. Green, Document and the other older albums do not. They were all reissued with only a live bonus disc. But Green is also on Warner Bros so that may get a similar SDE release as Out Of Time, Automatic and Monster. One can only hope. The albums before Green were on a different label.

  37. Kenna says:

    I find it hard to be picky these days. Who knows how much longer the CD will be around. I’m just grateful we’re getting these releases, regardless of what they may be missing.

    Monster came out when I was in college. I was 20. I’ve always loved it. Back then, Strange Currencies was my least favorite song on the album. Now, it’s my favorite. Funny how time can change your relationship with a song. I think it’s an amazing album, despite it’s problems. But I’m psyched for this reissue. Hope they keep it up before the powers that be decide to stop making CDs.

  38. Henrik says:

    Looking really great
    But a 2019 remix
    Can this really do something good for the album.
    The single is not super good.
    Isnt it at bit expensive.
    Maybe i Will wait for it to drop in prize.
    Have been waiting for this.

    Hoping for simple minds sfy box and tear for fears stsol box.

  39. Tony says:

    £70! I’ll wait for a fabulous SDE alert. I like the smaller format, I was in Ikea today and there’s an updated Kallax with 25 cubes, you have a lot to answer for a Paul.
    I seem to remember Monster being very well received at the time, great memories of this tour at Milton Keynes bowl with Blur supporting, oh to have a day trip back to the 90’s.

    • andrew davis says:

      Tony I was at the bowl for that show as well. I remember a scorching hot day and nightmare toilets but it was amazing to see and hear REM live for the first time. I think one of the MK bowl shows was on the REM at the BBC boxset last year. Fab day but a long coach home back in the 90s!

      • SimonP says:

        I went to that concert, too. Someone else got the tickets and I was always a bit miffed that they didn’t get them for the previous day when Radiohead were one of the supporting acts, rather than Blur.


      • *69 says:

        It was indeed – but it was the other one where instead of Blur those of us in attendance had to put up with Radiohead.

        And the Cranberries & Sleeper.

        I saw REM many more times but never again were the support acts as good.

  40. *69 says:

    To be fair if you want the live b sides from the singles all collected together all you have to do is buy the Automatic deluxe box because (aside I think from the 5th single?) they’re all there. Automatic is where lots of interesting b sides were ignored. And the instrumentals were (imho) one time listens really.

    I think with the full live show and the remix this is actually one of the better REM deluxe packages. I even ordered with ephemera from the official store despite the horrific socks. Yes, socks!

  41. backwards7 says:

    My first contact with Monster came indirectly via a scathing review of the album by the late David Cavanagh. I walked into the Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Élysées, the day before its release and they were already selling it. I fell asleep on the bed of my hotel with it playing on my Walkman – my final thoughts before passing out – ‘Great album. Cavanagh doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’

    In hindsight, Monster lacks depth, even when it is trying to be poignant (I suspect that Stipe pilfered that ‘nice try’ line in ‘Let Me In’, from Andy Prieboy’s ‘Tomorrow Wendy’ which is a better song). Still, it’s the last R.E.M. that I continue to listen to from start to finish.

    Sadly the 2CD edition doesn’t appear to offer much. It’s hard to imagine that a new mix of the record is going to be brimming over with sonic revelations. I might stick with the 2005 CD/DVD edition.

  42. Pierre Martinez says:

    My favorite R.E.M. album. It rocks and is very UN-like R.E.M. in production to my ears. I always liked the “walls” of guitars and the guitars being upfront. Loud rock with melody. Kind of reminds me of the modern rock group “The Life and Times” and how they produce their music.

    Will be getting the 2 CD package.. and maybe the vinyl… :-)

  43. Mike Mesci says:

    I hope that R.E.M. puts out a big set like this for New Adventures in Hi-Fi, which is probably my favorite R.E.M. album.

  44. Silica says:

    Mentioned i was excited by this release when first heard about it here. For me it really kicked off the guitar based ‘Brit Pop’ period for me quite nicely when at college. I am hoping for quite a radical ‘remixing’, as there are some great songs on this release. The original mix might sound a bit dated to newer fans, so a good remixing to breath some life into the songs would be most welcome. So fingers crossed …

  45. Michael says:

    I have always loved two REM albums, Green and Monster (Eponymous also, but that is a comp so…) I will get some version of this but ultimately their run of reissues has been a bit of a shambles. And I have no interest in a toned down guitar mix. The guitars made this album good.

  46. Cosmo Castanza says:


    Gave up on REM when they switched labels and hit the charts.

  47. Raffaele says:

    Road Movie will eventually be released as a stand-alone Blu Ray?
    The same question works also for Tour Film…
    Any clue?

    • Rob says:

      Think it was videoed in SD and not on film, so no chance of HD. Also no mention of a 5,1 soundtrack for it. Expect videos (which probably were captured on film) remain in standard-def, as with Out of Time and Automatic boxes.

  48. Ben Williams says:

    The content looks amazing!

    But £70 for a set with that type of packaging is odd.

  49. Matthew Langhorn says:

    Take my money (again)

  50. Jan says:

    Rather a dark album, lyrically, and Stipe used one of Cobains guitars on the tour, given to him by Courtney. Monster was very much released in the shadow of Kurt’s death.

  51. Salsa Shark says:

    With Monster, I actually disagree with your assessment of the second LP, which is exceptional because normally I would agree without even thinking about it much. The original mix is over-compressed & guitar-heavy, so I’m happy with the 2019 mix on vinyl. However, they should have done what they did with the other reissues & released a third lp. And put some of the choice outtakes/live cuts *in addition* to both full album mixes.

  52. Dogfacedboy says:

    I have loved Monster from the release day when I bought it from Woolworths in High Wycombe. It appeared to get a kicking for not being AFTP2 and a return to the loud guitar sound before their career went stratospheric.

    It’s a brilliantly confused and broken record haunted by the deaths of River Pheonix and Kurt Cobain – a reflection of its times in America. Over in the UK we were all Britpop self confidence and lairy lager fuelled bullish bullshit so this album that kicked off with a song about disconnection and disorder didn’t make sense.

    Some people might consider this the start of ‘REM-The Shit Years’ but I think revisitors will be pleasantly surprised.

    Would have been good if ‘Roughcut’ had been included as it’s an incredibly honest film of the band around this time but maybe that’s why it isn’t here.

    • Tim-meh says:

      Totally agree although it does contain the worse song they ever recorded (yes, worse than Shiny Happy People) in King of Comedy. I seem to recall the recording was quite laboured which took something away as when the songs from this record were heard live, they all made perfect sense. I Took Your Name, Circus Envy, Crush With Eyeliner… massive live, especially when they were fleshed out with Nathan December and Scott McCaughey on stage. Its misunderstood and so was the follow-up New Adventures… which I think is up there as one of the best records they ever made.

      • kook says:

        I see your ‘King of Comedy’ and raise you ‘A Month of Saturdays’. Fully agree about ‘New Adventures’ though.

        And ‘Rough Cut’ should definitely have been included, rather than another copy of ‘Roadmovie’ (which most fans will probably already have).

        • Mad Earwig says:

          My least liked REM track is ‘Superman’ from ‘Life’s Rich…’ I believe sung by Mike, to me had no place on an album with so many brilliant tracks….but somebody else, it will be their favourite!

          Not keen on ‘Mr. Richards’ either from ‘Accelerate’ but as a band they made few poor tracks.

      • MFG says:

        I like King of Comedy. But I understand why many other people do not. It’s a silly song, in the tradition of Stand, Shiny Happy People, Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite (none of which I like), and plenty of others. R.E.M. had to release at least one silly song per album, for whatever reason. I guess they were trying to blow off steam during every recording session by recording something that they knew sounded corny as hell, just for fun.

        I’m perfectly happy with my copy of the DVD-A reissue from 2005 (which I found used, cheap, and in great condition). Not a good enough album to spend any more money on, and not interested in the demos or the remixes. There’s plenty of live material available from their 1995 tours elsewhere.

    • David Bly says:

      An interesting thing about the Kurt Cobain tribute “Let Me In” is that the guitar on the song is played by Mike Mills and the organ by Peter Buck, something that was made very clear on the “Monster” tour and as seen on the “Road Movie” film.

  53. paul wren says:

    Shame that there isn’t a vinyl version of the live show – maybe this will follow later.

  54. movement says:

    As with “Out of Time” and “Automatic for the People”, I’m not going to pay top dollar for a set from that band that is missing key tracks from that period. My DVD-A sounds pretty good and I’ll just stick with that.

  55. David Bly says:

    “Although the album was not particularly well received critically…”

    Ah yes, because the unwashed American public-at-large finally actually bought an R.E.M. album (Automatic for the People) which had the mega-hit “Everybody Hurts” which caused all Amuricans to suddenly express blubbering, crying, emotions, much in the way that The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” caused millions of well-off white students to suddenly become morose pre-hispters.

    There were also some other quiet songs on AFTP, which also pleased the newbies for whom a loud guitar strum would give them apoplexy.
    The press, ever anxious to ride a trend, followed the public rather than the other way round.
    Personally I think it’s the absolute least of all their Bill Berry albums.

    So when “Monster” came around, there were apoplexies a-plenty, and the CD with the familiar orange tray became a staple of thrift stores all over the USA.
    Basically the criers couldn’t take great LOUD ROCK “N” ROLL.
    What? Did they think MONSTER was going to be a quiet stroll in the park?

    In any case, I went and saw R.E.M. about 5-6 times on the “Monster” tour (the last times I saw them live. They played most of the songs on the album, and others that would show up on “New Adventures In Hi-Fi” – in some cases directly.
    Many people don’t know that half on the songs on the album were recorded live on tour, some of which also show up on the “Road Movie” film.

    Also in the film is live version of the great song “Revolution” (not The Beatles’ song) which was an outtake from the “Monster” sessions, and is very mysteriously missing from this collection. It was ultimately released in 1997 on the “Batman and Robin” soundtrack which I intentionally bought for it. If it does not show up on teh “New Adventures In Hi-Fi” box st, I will be, and YOU should be, very disappointed.

    Ironically I was at shows on either side of the versions on the album and film.
    That is some tracks were recorded the day after or before the days I was at shows. So while I was tad disappointed, all of the songs sound pretty much like I heard them.

    Peeved that “Road Movie” and the 5.1 mixes are only going to be on Blu-ray, but at least I have the film on DVD.

    In a way, I would’ve liked to see “Monster” and “New Adventures In Hi-Fi” and “Road Movie” released in one giganto box as to me they are all part of one big thing.

    • David Bly says:

      Addendum to my comment…

      I now see there is a demo called “Revolution 4-21” on disc 2, but as “Revolution” was very much a completed song, I think this may not be that.

    • Ben in Colorado says:

      As an American ( and just who are the great unwashed anyway? ) who has been listening to REM since their first album, I take offense to your comment depicting how Americans react to certain music. Is it that the British are so much more intelligent when it comes to tunes? I’m not so sure ( granted it’s a matter of taste, but look at the top 10 albums in the UK for 1994).

      ATFP was huge because it’s when they broke into the top 40 if I’m not mistaken. AFTP (along with Green) is one of their worst albums, so I was thrilled and Monster came along and brought some fire back to the band.

      • David Bly says:

        Yes, ATFP was when they broke into the top 40 – which WAS EXACTLY MY POINT.

        I was not talking about ALL Americans, hence the term, “the great unwashed”, i.e., the mass or multitude of ordinary people (not a phrase/meaning I invented).
        In other other words, loads of people who don’t really care about music, and listen to whatever pap is shoved into their faces – note I say faces, rather than ears, because they will listen more to people with pretty faces and ignore the lack of musical talent within.

        R.E.M. was not a disposable pop band, but a ROCK band who released a quiet album which became palatable to those people who in another era would make Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift types into the stars and influences they do not deserve to be.

        And lest you missed it, I am also an American, and made no comments whatsoever about the taste of British people. But the simple fact that today’s modern boy bands sprung from there is a huge blot on the taste of some British people.
        Bloody fecking Harry Styles is on the cover of this month’s “Rolling Stone”!
        Mind you, that magazine has been teetering further into one or more circles of hell for years now.

        If you were “thrilled and Monster came along and brought some fire back to the band.”, then you should have understood what I’m talking about. Why you didn’t is beyond me.

  56. Robert Laversuch says:

    Very psyched about this release. These are exciting and expensive times.

  57. The Golden Age Of The Phonograph says:

    I`ve been a fan since `Radio Free Europe` back in `81 and have bought every release since on the day of release.
    I won`t be doing the same for `Monster`, even though the 6 disc set does look interesting. I`m not really a fan of `Monster`, it`s my least favourite REM album. However the reason I won`t be buying right away is the last two REM super deluxe editons have dropped dramatically in price a few months after release. I normally buy these SDE`s right away, I can wait for `Monster`.

  58. Kevin says:

    I’m more than fine with the packaging the way they did it, especially considering it didn’t unnecessarily inflate the price ala AFTP.

    • Klaus says:

      So, no obvious reason to inflate the price, but they did it anyway?

      • Kevin says:

        Not if you pre-order from Amazon US right now where it currently lists for just over $50. Who pays list price?

        • Klaus says:

          Hi Kevin,

          Good for you if this works out for you.
          For me (in Germany) it doesn’t.
          Out of curiosity i went through the ordering process on and they would charge me about 110 USD for it (including shipping and deposit fee). That is even more expensive than the current offers on several German retail sites and imho way to much for that package.

          …and who said anything about paying list price? Like i did many times before i’ll wait this one out (like i did successfully with many other records, and, granted, unsuccessfully with a few others) until it’s available for about 40% of the current asking price. The same will apply to the freshly announced Pink Floyd- and David Bowie-boxes while i have the Tull, Marillion and XTC/Dukes-boxes on order ’cause these are offering value for money.

        • David Bly says:

          Today, a day later, it is up to $68.39 (as of 10:59 AM Eastern).
          This stuff can get so annoying…

  59. Dave Beaney says:

    Would only get this for a Atmos mix. Disappointing.

  60. Michael Fortin says:

    I’m actually glad to be getting the 2019 mix with the 2-CD version. I tend to listen to demos only once and I already have a live show from the Monster Tour in the BBC Box. The 2019 mix I might listen to multiple times depending on how good it is (fingers crossed). The lift off packages have all been nice so far and at least they have been consistent with the formatting.

  61. Mike says:

    The whole of the remastered album 1 + the new mix of Kenneth seems to be on Apple Music right now

  62. Reed says:

    Was hoping to see b-sides and fan-club only tracks from this era, but oh well. I will buy regardless. You’ve won this round, REM.

    • Ben Williams says:

      The B-sides from Monster were released on the Automatic 25 box in the form of the Live 1992 disc.

      • Musicoloog says:

        Not all b-sides were live tracks… most of the singles had instrumental versions on the flipside, none commercially released on CD as far as I know.

  63. Craig says:

    Will the Blu-ray surround mix be new or the same as what was on the DVD-A?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Good question! I suspect it’s the old surround mix, since they would have probably highlighted a new mix and also would be likely to create a Dolby Atmos version if they were going to the trouble of creating a new surround version.

      • Francois says:

        Was the DVD-A surround mix any good? I consider a good surround mix to be a discrete mix were each channel is used to its maximum capability. A mix were the front channel are echoed or replicated in the 3 other channels and the low bass moved to the LFE channel is not a surround mix I enjoy, or even consider a surround mix as my amplifier can do that on its own with its DSP

      • James Pigg says:

        What set up do you need to listen to a Dolby Atmos mix? Can it be heard through a traditional 5.1 speaker system?

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          You can play it through a standard 5.1 set-up, but you need a Dolby Atmos compatible amp, or soundbar to unlock the the full benefits

  64. Mark says:

    “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” was perfectly imperfect in it’s muddy, incoherent splendour. The only way it could be improved is with less clarity, not more. It’s like “Raw Power”. You get so used to Bowie’s terrible mix that a better mix becomes unthinkable

  65. wardo says:

    I wonder if the remix will cause me to dislike the album less. This is where they started to lose me.

    • Javier Usano says:

      Same feeling. They were my favourite band at that time after 8 great albums. And “Monster” is their one of their weak records, if not the weakest, in terms of quality.

  66. Jan says:

    No 808 State remix, instrumental or otherwise. :(

    Next year should be interesting.

    BIG Anniversary.

  67. Mike the Fish says:

    Strangely, if I were to buy this, the thing I’m most interested in is the 2019 mix so the arrangement as is would suit me nicely. I wasn’t taken with the new mix of Kenneth though.

    • Un-boned Real Dead Frog says:

      I have to agree with Mike the Fish– I’m surprised I *didn’t* like the remix of Kenneth. I thought the name of the release came from the fact that Peter had really loud, buzzy guitars, and they were up-front in the mix? Also, it’s an R.E.M. record, you’re not supposed to hear the lyrics the first time. (Just a joke, take it easy…).

      Looking forward to the “simply” remastered version, when it arrives on the streamz. If it’s good, I’ll probably pick up the two-disc. It will be interesting to hear the outtakes disc, if they’re good, I may spring for the whole shebang.

      XTC make an extra effort to put a full disc of instrumentals out on the Blu-ray. That would be sweet for R.E.M. releases– there’s a lot going on that’s cool to hear. FWIW, in the “new” Kenneth, there seems to be noises and such missing? I’ll try and stay open-minded, but yeah, the Kenneth of old was a hearty distortion sandwich of fun, and the new one is a tad lighter weight.

  68. WillW says:

    I really like the look of this, the live album and Road Movie make it a must buy for me. Not sure about the remix.
    I hope it comes down in price a bit

  69. Bruce N says:

    I’m quite fond of this album, so it’s nice to see it being unleashed. I’m not clear on cd1 the remaster of the original mix – this means the ‘original’ version isn’t on this set? Not sure what the differences would be between the original and the remaster of the original? And the stereo remix is remix of the original or the original remaster? I’ve confused myself…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      CD 1 is the ‘original’ mix (but remastered) and CD 3 is the new 2019 mix. The latter remix means going back to the multi-track tapes and literally ‘re-mixing’ the album, so it has nothing whatever to do with the original mix. In short, both the box set and the 2CD give you BOTH versions of the album.

  70. Paul Whitfield says:

    Paul, do you think the 5 CD set will be available to order on Amazon UK soon?

  71. craiged says:

    Happy to be getting the remixed version on the 2nd LP rather than any live cuts, there are enough live REM release available on vinyl already so no real need for another. The Demos would have been nice as a 3rd LP but until I’ve heard them I won’t be too worried about those given REMs demos tend not to be too riveting.

  72. Saar Freedman says:

    Paul you got an error there in track 5 of disc 1

  73. Saar Freedman says:

    bummer about those “K versions” and instrumentals, some of which were limited to the cassette single only ans never issued on CD

    • Shaun says:

      Too bad they are omitting the instrumentals of ‘Tongue’ and ‘Crush With Eyeliner’. I sought out the card sleeve versions of the other CD singles back in the day just to get those versions.

  74. Tim-Meh says:

    Reimagined artwork that roughly translates as ‘colour it blue’. That a lot of unnecessary stuff here. They should have reverted to the clamshell box of the earlier reissues and slimmed down the number of discs. The remix will be interesting, but thank some sort of imaginary higher power that the 808 State Mix of King Of Comedy has been forgotten. Come the Xmas period I think its inevitable that Amazon will be practically giving this away.

  75. Roberto R says:

    Every deluxe release has a different packagng (cd+blu-ray) Too hard to do all the same…similar

    • Marco says:

      They could even “improve”: New Adventures In Hi-FI (one of my favourites, by the way) might be similar to the latest Dylan’s Bootleg Series, and Up (worst R.E.M. album ever, for me) can be a “cube” like Bowie’s box sets!

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