R.E.M.’s ‘Monster’ six-disc reissue to feature newly remixed album, live set and unheard demos
R.E.M. will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their YEAR Monster this fall with a six-disc reissue that will include previously unheard demos, an unreleased live concert, the “Road Movie” film and a newly remixed version of the album by original producer Scott Litt.
The 5 CD/1 Blu-ray box set and a 2 LP vinyl edition are both due out Nov. 1 on Craft Recordings. They’ll officially be announced Wednesday, but already are available for pre-order via Amazon.com.
The box set will include:
- CD 1: The original album, remastered
- CD 2: Fifteen previously unreleased demos with titles like “Uptempo Mo Distortion,” “Time Is On Mike’s Side,” “Harlan County with Whistling” and “Uptempo Ricky”
- CD 3: A newly remixed version of the album by Scott Litt. According to the product listing, “The original 199(4) version was dense in guitars and feedback with the vocals mixed within the sonic wall, but on this alternative version the guitars are pulled back and the vocals pushed forward to create a more open sound and showcase often-revealing lyrics”
- CDs 4-5: A previously unreleased recording of the band’s 25-song Monster Tour set at the Rosemont Horizon outside of Chicago, Ill., on June 3, 1995
- Blu-ray: A disc featuring 5.1 Surround and Hi-Resolution Audio mixes of the remastered Monster, plus the 1996 concert film “Road Movie” and the music videos for the singles “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?,” “Crush With Eyeliner,” “Star 69,” “Strange Currencies,” “Tongue” and “Bang and Blame”
The Monster box set also will include new liner notes, featuring fresh interviews with the band’s members, by Matthew Perpetua, creator of Fluxblog and the R.E.M.-focused Pop Songs 07-08 blog. Additionally, the packaging will feature artwork redesigned by the original cover artist, Chris Bilheimer.
The 2 LP vinyl edition will include the remastered album on one disc and the 2019 remix on the other.
Released on Sept. 27, 1994, Monster was both a multi-platinum seller and managed to alienate some of the group’s longtime fans with a loud mix that was heavy on Peter Buck’s tremelo-affected guitars. The band launched its first tour in six years in 1995, though it was plagued by repeated health problems.
The 6-disc Monster set is the largest yet in R.E.M.’s ongoing 25th anniversary reissue series, which graduated from 2-disc sets to 4-disc packages with Out of Time and Automatic For the People.
Below, check out the tracklist for the highly-anticipated set.