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SDEtv: R.E.M. / Monster unboxed

R.E.M. / Monster 25th anniversary super deluxe edition unboxing video

SDE takes a close look at the new R.E.M. Monster 25th anniversary super deluxe with this new unboxing video, and takes the opportunity to compare it to previous R.E.M. anniversary editions.

The 25th anniversary reissue of Monster is out now.

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R.E.M.

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

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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)

50 responses to SDEtv: R.E.M. / Monster unboxed

  1. Mark Swift says:

    I haven’t listened to this album all the way through in years but bought this and think it could possibly be the best Warner R.E.M. album there is. Not a bad track. Could do without all those instrumental demos though, but they’re par for the course on a R.E.M. deluxe edition.

  2. Michael says:

    Just to alert anyone interested in the single “Monster” album with the original orange cover.

    I purchased the single record to accompany the deluxe CD set, so I could have the original album cover (for nostalgic reasons) in addition to the blue cover deluxe CD set, and because I was only interested in the remastered original mix. But, when I received the album I discovered it’s actually the REMIXED side C and D of the double album, NOT the preferred REMASTERED version of the original album, as shown on the sticker and how it’s listed on music websites. The orange cover album version of “Monster” has the blue record label (instead of orange) and is marked “Side C” and “Side “D.”

    On closer examination, I’ve noticed all the posted images of the new single vinyl of “Monster” have the blue label (and if you enlarge the image on your screen) you will notice it shows “Side C” rather than “Side A,” wherein Side C and Side D comprises the REMIXED second record included in the 2-LP package.

  3. Ruben says:

    If anyone can verify if the 5.1 is the same as what was released on DVD about 15 years go, I’d appreciate it. I believe the author of that was Elliot Schneider (sp.?)

    • Holger says:

      As far as I know the 5.1 Mixes on all new SDE blu-ray disks were the same mixes as previously released by Warner on DVD audio. For Monster it’s also the original 5.1 mix, not a / the new remix.

  4. Ian says:

    In terms of shelf required, it is at least the same sort of dimensions as the BBC box set from last year…

  5. Mike the Fish says:

    I was interested in getting the double vinyl, but having dipped into the deluxe edition on Spotify I don’t like the remix where the vocals sound largely way too high on the mix, nor do I like the alternate vocals on Strange Currencies.

  6. Kevin says:

    Having now heard the 2019 remix, it is truly odd, but not terrible. It does feel like it’s the opposite of the aim of the Replacements’ Dead Man’s Pop; like they were trying to wrong a right.

  7. Henrik says:

    Again a good video cheers Paul
    I agree funny to do 3 different style covers but typical rem
    The fact that they dont realease b sides is Strange
    The aftp super deluxe was Nice done
    Wont buy this New one now.
    Also is it just me the quality of the live recording and on the BBC realease is very poor so i dont need that.
    I have the BBC realease.
    The remix album some tracks there Are great
    Really rediscovering the album.
    Look forward to the next reissue

    Great to hear you thoughts on the format paul

  8. Bogdan says:

    Having spent a few days with this release, I am really impressed. The surround mix is tasteful, the live material (both the CDs and the concert film) is great and the entire package has a premium feel to it. Including the demos, I’d say overall the content is befitting a deluxe reissue. And I also love this quirky album. Very happy to have picked this up. Sure, the inconsistency of presentation compared to the two previous REM reissues is a bit strange, but in the end the contents matter the most.

    • Star 69 says:

      I bought limited edition box set versions of a number of R.E.M. albums when they were originally released and they were all in different packaging (I think the Out Of Time one was in a wooden box if I remember correctly). So for these re-issues to be in different types of packaging isn’t inconsistent with what they have previously done.

  9. Triply says:

    I’ve been picking up all these re-releases. Monster is perhaps R.E.M.’s most difficult record to listen to, but it has some amazing numbers like Bang and Blame, Let Me In and Strange Currencies, not to mention the ever-catchy What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

    Despite the package inconsistencies, the actual content is pretty good.

    I’m really looking forward to New Adventures in Hi-Fi and Up.
    All the ones after Up aren’t as interesting, but I’ll still pick them up.

    There was talk long back about them releasing a box-set of the Holiday Singles sometime, so a B-sides Box Set is probably not out of the question.

  10. James John Smythe says:

    As a buyer of the SDE format, I prefer something along the lines of either the hardback book style ( Most MSP & Suede’s “Night Thoughts”. CD’s ) or the Simple Minds really good reissues in the rectangular boxes. They easily fit on most shelves & they feel substantial, something special & worth having. This “Monster” package is not really in the package format I would want to buy for that amount of money to be honest if I’m being really picky. As concerns this album, I remember really liking it & buying a lot of the CD singles for not only the lead tracks but also the great b-sides. I don’t love it enough though to go & spend 70 odd quid of my hard earned on another edition of it. I don’t mind spending that amount of money on a brilliant album with all singing all dancing extras but not here on this.

  11. Jason Brown says:

    When the price drops, I’ll have a look at this (going by the widget, about £11 per disc right now…)

    I agree that the DVD ‘bookset’ size is probably best (which makes the Manics TIMTTMY reissue last year truly odd on many levels), but I agree that the format jiggery-pokery is very R.E.M.

    Have to be honest, the format inconsistencies don’t make a difference to me. I’d be more bothered about running order rewrites & amendments…(again, Manics, looking at you, especially on Send Away The Tigers…)

    One question, which might seem really dumb : what defines a super deluxe edition? Discs? Content? Presentation? All of the above? Or is it an eye-of-the-beholder job?

  12. Jonathan says:

    For those who are quick enough (it may well be a mistake!), the HMV online store is now back open and this is price at £14.99! Over £75 on Amazon.

    Their BBC set is also about £30 vs Amazon’s +£50.

  13. Kauwgompie says:

    Thanks Paul, very informative. As far as the format, I prefer the Blu-Ray or DVD size from Out Of Time. The 12″ box of AFTP is wayyyy too big for my taste, especially since it only has 4 discs.

    As it relates to books, I find I almost never read them so BR or DVD size is fine. For me it’s all about the music unless I’m a giant fan like with Duran Duran or Prince but their SDE’s are minuscule or not existent (solves that).

    We are used to having no B-sides in the R.E.M. SDE’s but I still find that weird or rather, plain wrong. If you pay so much money for an SDE, just add them. Even if they decide to release the B-sides later as a 2 or 3 cd, add them in here so you own all the releases from that time period. It makes for a complete package.

    Lastly, I know they stick to their format of album, demos and live stuff but at this point I really have enough live R.E.M. I own all the reissued albums and they all come with a live disc(s). I love live R.E.M., saw them live several times but enough already. I find the B-sides more interesting at this point.

    • Tim-Meh says:

      Frankly, if you want an album of REM B sides it’ll be made up of umpteen live versions of Losing My Religion or Everybody Hurts. They really aren’t a B sides band. Most of the really interesting single bonus tracks were packaged on the second disc of In Time 16 years ago. All the Monster B sides were live tracks across the 5 singles with most coming from the Greenpeace show which was released on the AFTP deluxe.

  14. FrenchDuke says:

    I love this album as it takes me back to my teens and probably because of this Monster and New Adventures have to be my favourite REM albums. I picked up the double vinyl at my local indie store at the weekend and was excited to hear the remix but I was hugely disappointed. It’s totally stripped the swagger and style from the album for me and it’s (IMO) like a freakish morphing of Monster and Out Of Time. I find aspects genuinely hard to listen to. I’m curious to see what other people’s opinions on the remix are.

  15. Jeremy Earle says:

    For those of us over 40, I imagine the print on the Super Deluxe booklet is pretty small and not very easy to read. What an odd choice of packaging. It looks like one of those budget-conscious condensed box set reissues typically seen over the last few years.

    Oddly enough, the 2CD edition of Monster looks (from your pictures above) more ‘deluxe’ than the Super Deluxe edition – with a booklet, poster, separate CD jackets, and individual picture cards…all enclosed within what I assume to be a covered box.

  16. shane says:

    I dont think one should compare deluxe versions issued at the time of first issue with those of a reissue campaign, unless the reissue campaign is to reissue the original design / format.

  17. poptones says:

    Considering there’s no 12″ LP incluses, I thought the Out of Time digipack format (similar to deluxe blu-ray movies format) was great. After buying Automatic, I really liked that 12″ size format si I thought they would stick with that format so I’m quite disapointed with this new CD size format. I think the digipack BR or 12″ size formats were better for collectors.

    As far as I’m concerned I’ve put Out of Time 25th Anniversary Edition with my music digipack BR (INXS’s Kick, Pink Floyd’s early years blu-rays, etc.) and Automatic with my R.EM. 12″ LPs and vinyl box sets.

  18. Scott Mills says:

    Thanks to everyone for your interesting comments. The one thing that has been consistently left off of the more recent reissues are the (IMO) excellent b-sides from the many singles issued with these albums.

    • Matt R says:

      The B-sides for Monster were the Live At The 40 Watt Club show that was on the Automatic deluxe set.
      There were also instrumental of some of the tracks on 7″ singles I think.
      There are missing B-sides from Out of Time and AFTP.

  19. Tony says:

    It’s the shade of blue on this which draws me in, I must be an easy sell. I’ll wait for a deal, I remember Milton Keynes Bowl with Blur supporting on the Monster tour, great memories but I don’t feel as attached to Monster as OOT or AFTP.
    Stipe & Mills don’t seem too enthusiastic on the interviews I’ve seen recently. Great video.

  20. Matt R says:

    The original releases had deluxe editions that were wildly different – A card box for putting the single in with Out Of Time, wooden box for AFTP, book for Monster, thick box for New Adventures so it’s not a new step for R.E.M to have wildly divergent box sizes.

  21. Ross Baker says:

    I totally get the issues people have with the varying formats – there’s definitely a crossover of people who buy deluxe box sets and those who enjoy the aesthetics of a neatly arranged collection – but in some ways they seem very fitting to me. R.E.M.’s artwork was always messy looking and changed radically from release to release, and I see this as an extension of that. Practical? Collector-friendly? No. But the decision seems very R.E.M.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Maybe. Not convinced that Michael and Mike etc. are really *that* bothered about the specifics…

      • Mychael says:

        Michael Stipe still coordinates and oversees all artworks for R.E.M. – even the reissues from their former label.

      • Tim-Meh says:

        An interview with Michael & Mike has been broadcast on 5Live this afternoon where Michael stated that he revisited the artwork and photography for Monster for this release.

    • Giuseppe Iacobaci says:

      I don’t believe R.E.M. were really concerned in adjusting to a better format along the way.
      I imagine them having a birthday to celebrate, and thinking about a nice cake to offer.
      Every album is different, formats must be different. I do not expect -nor want – consistency from a band that always made nice crazy different deluxe editions at the time already. I have them all -the wooden box, the scrapbook, the rough black cardboard sleeve… I love them all!
      I like the chaos in my R.E.M. shrine, it tells so much about them – and about me :-)

  22. Mychael says:

    The “inconsistent” packaging is nothing new with R.E.M. The limited CD editions of their Warner albums all came in different sizes and materials – one was in a custom-made wooden box, one came in a pizza carton, another one in a deliberately “cheap” DVD plastic case. All very irritating, but fabulous looking. Not every collector’s priority is a neat shelf.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes, consistent in their inconsistency! The ones you mention weren’t really designed for mass appeal – they were ultra limited – AND more importantly they weren’t created knowing that some similar sets would be coming a year or two later. Craft Music always knew Out of Time would happen in 2016, Automatic in 2017 and Monster in 2019. They should have had planned better, really.

  23. daveid76 says:

    It would be interesting to know how all these different repackaging efforts are affecting people’s willingness to get on board generally. For me the wildly differing styles is very off-putting and makes me not want to buy (at least until some kind of consistency emerges). The overall product is the collected deluxe editions and you want them to look consistent on your shelves. I imagine it’s true to a lesser extent on the shelves in record shops (remember them?) Having said that I did get the 3-disc vinyl re-release of Out of Time, but still haven’t played it.

  24. Kevin says:

    While the sleeves make pulling out the discs slightly problematic, I didn’t notice any scratches of any kind. All disc appeared clean, readable and extractable. No problems.

    I will say, I did forgo buying AFTP because of packaging, but that had more to do with the conflated price as a result of the oversize book. Then again, all I really wanted was the live set anyway, so the 2-disc worked perfectly.

  25. patjoller says:

    So…
    Out of Time – DVD size
    Automatic – 12″ size
    Monster – CD size
    Is new adventures in hi-fi gonna on cassette format ?

    Other than that, I find the remixed version pretty useless. Some mixes are weird (king of comedy is the worst).

  26. jaycee says:

    Have to say, as interesting an endeavour the 2019 remix project was, I prefer the remastered originals each and every time.

  27. Shane says:

    I saw this in the stores last WE and looked very cute tho

  28. Ian Murphy says:

    I’m actually ok with the packaging of all the sets being consistently inconsistent as it were. My problem with the Monster set is that the glue from the pages has got onto the playing surfaces of the discs causing a few of them to skip. Have had a replacement set delivered, so I hope that doesn’t have the same issue.

    Quite like the set itself and am impressed that the demos don’t seem to replicate any previously released tracks (Revolution excepted).

  29. gogandmagog says:

    Paul
    In the Blu-Ray:
    Are stereo Hi-res for the original mix…the new mix….or both?

    what audio has Road Movie?

  30. Robert says:

    Agree with everything you said there, Paul – the packaging inconsistency is ridiculous and boggling. As nice as ‘Monster’ is, it gets major points deduced as the discs are so damn difficult to remove from those folio sleeves!

  31. Peter says:

    Its around £70 and that’s not realistic when all the rem sets have dropped within a few months.nice video paul.gives a great feel to what your buying

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