Craft Recordings is excited to announce a 25th anniversary reissue of R.E.M.’s acclaimed ninth album, Monster.
When Monster was released in September 1994, 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. Thanks to runaway hits like Losing My Religion, Man On The Moon, and Everybody Hurts, the Athens four-piece had become one of the biggest, most recognisable bands in the world.
Having been six years since they toured, the band was 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 gritty and brash, something that would dazzle on stage. 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 and a humorous wink.
Monster debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was certified four-times Platinum in the U.S. Rolling Stone offered this praise: “R.E.M.’s exceptional pop craftsmanship, their luminous melodic inventions, their sense of mission—in short, everything fundamental—are still there and shining more brightly than ever… Monster is one urgent-sounding album, and that’s as it should be.”
The 25th anniversary reissue is set for release 1 November and includes: a complete album remix from produced Scott Litt, previously unreleased demos, rare concert recordings from 1995, and extensive video footage.
To read more about the inception, creation and reaction to Monster, order Issue 31 of Long Live Vinyl today.