To celebrate 25 years of REM's ninth album, Monster, Craft Recordings has put together a deluxe reissue that sees the original mix remastered with a second disc offering an all-new remix from producer Scott Litt.
Litt was REM's producer for six albums and the mix on Monster has always bugged him. "I always had a problem with my mixing on that record," he says. "Of all the albums I’ve done with REM, that was the one that really always got under my skin . . . And I really wanted to take another crack at it."
Now Litt has had his chance, and in this video above he explains what bothered him about the original mix and how it could have been improved.
The Monster reissue will be available on all the usual formats and available digitally and to stream via your preferred service. It has been remastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound.
Monster was released on September 1994, at a time when REM were one of the biggest bands on the planet following the success of Out Of Time (1991) and Automatic For The People (1992).
And yet, it had been six years since they had toured. Looking at it from the band's point of view, knowing that this would all soon change, it was maybe no surprise that Monster was a more propulsive, rock-driven record.
Litt recorded it live where possible, and Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and drummer Bill Berry put together arrangements that would translate onstage – perhaps none more so than What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
The album was made during a febrile time for popular culture. It was dedicated to the late River Phoenix and saw the late actor's sister, Rain, join Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore on the track Bang And Blame.
The band were also still reeling from Kurt Cobain's death Mills played Cobain's guitar on Let Me In, a song written in tribute to the late Nirvana frontman. “It’s Michael’s cathartic release in response to the loss of a good friend and someone we all felt creatively aligned with," says Mills.
Fidgety and anxious, smart, pop-culturally and socially aware, Monster captured the zeitgeist. The deluxe reissue package is a five-CD, book and Blu-ray box-set that sees the original album mix packaged with Litt's remixed album, REM's 1995 show in Chicago, and previously unreleased demos.
The Blu-ray has the album on 5.1 surround sound plus the 90-minute Road Movie and all six promo videos for Monster's singles. Journalist Matthew Perpetua provides the liner notes.
The Monster 25 anniversary reissue is out 1 November and is now available to pre-order (opens in new tab).