R.E.M.’s ninth album, Monster, was released at a time when the band were coming off the peak of their mainstream success, following Out of Time (1991) and Automatic For The People (1992). Coming from a long break in touring (the band famously didn’t tour with the two previous records), Monster represented an intentional shift in R.E.M.’s sound, a “return to rock” with guitar laden, simple arrangements. It was released to strong reviews and significant global success - reaching #1 on Billboard. EXPLICIT Special Pkg:180g Heavy Vinyl
When Monster was released in September 1994, the members of R.E.M. were at a crossroads in their career. Singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry were decompressing from the massive commercial and critical success of 1991’s Out of Time and 1992’s Automatic for the People. In just a few years, the Athens, GA, four-piece had become one of the biggest, most recognizable bands in the world. It had also been six years since the group had toured. By the time that work began on Monster, they were itching to end their self-imposed hiatus and get back on the road. The band was also looking for a sonic shake-up. 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.
Celebrating Monster's 25th anniversary, this expanded 2-LP edition offers the original album remastered, plus a special 2019 remix from producer Scott Litt. The set also features liner notes by journalist Matthew Perpetua—with new insight from band members—and archival photographs, as well as imagined cover art.
Highlights include the singles “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?,” “Crush with Eyeliner,” “Star 69,” “Strange Currencies,” “Tongue,” and “Bang and Blame.”