Anniversary, Reissues — November 17, 2018 at 1:14 pm

R.E.M. to reissue ‘Monster’ next October to celebrate album’s 25th anniversary

R.E.M. will continue its album-by-album reissue series with a 25th anniversary re-release of its ninth studio album Monster next October, the band’s manager, Bertis Downs, revealed today in a post on the group’s website reminiscing about the genesis of that record.

Under the headline “Early murmurs of Monster, part 1,” Downs writes that while Monster’s actual birthday — it was released Sept. 27, 1994 — won’t land until next year, the 25th anniversary period starts right around now for him, as he goes on to recall the trip he and the band took to Mexico in the fall of 1993 to start planning the record and its subsequent world tour.

In slight stream-of-consciousness, Downs rattles through the events: the decision to tour for the first time since 1989, the recording of “a hard record,” the seeds being planted for its follow-up, 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi, along with the near-disaster that befell the band on tour when drummer Bill Berry suffered an aneurysm onstage.

He concludes by announcing a Monster reissue will be out next October, then noting that 2020 will bring the 40th anniversary of the band’s formation:

“Anyway, 1995 was truly ‘the year that was’ in the history of the band, and in my mind, the #Monster25 anniversary dates to those intense meetings in Acapulco 1993— reissue coming next October,  with the 40th anniversary of the whole shooting match year after next!  #40REM2020!”

No details, of course, have been announced for any reissue of Monster, the band’s grunge-era record that was both a multi-platinum seller and managed to alienate some of the group’s longtime fans — and has earned the reputation of one of the most ubiquitously traded-in discs of the CD era. Monster — now known as “The Scary One” — was last reissued in 2005 as a 2CD set with a surround mix.

The last release in R.E.M.’s current reissue series, Automatic For the People, arrived in November 2017 as a four-disc set with previously unreleased demos, a surround-sound mix and a live set recorded at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Ga., in 1992.  The band also released a full Monster-era live concert, recorded in England in 1995, as part of its just-issued R.E.M. at the BBC box set.

Read Downs’ full post at





  1. It will be interesting to see what they cobble together for bonus material with this one. I would have guessed a live show from the Monster tour, but then they just released the heavily bootlegged Milton Keynes show as part of the new BBC package so that’s kind of covered. Possibly the “Greenpeace” concert that was parceled out over the Monster EP’s, but that show was in 1992 and doesn’t really reflect the period in question. Hopefully there’s something surprising left in the vaults!

  2. thomas solimine

    REM will milk the vaults until every fart is released.

  3. Scott R Stalcup

    What’s that taste in my mouth? Yep. That is definitely vomit. Not sure which was worse: The album content or Mikey Mills’ fixation with Nudie suits.

    Shark not jumped so much as down its mouth like Quentin in JAWS, chief.

  4. This was the number one album to clog used record stores across the country with a mountain of unwanted copies at every location. Definitely needs a reissue. Thankfully I gave up after Green.

  5. Monster was the album that officially made people sick of REM.

  6. Wondering when/if they will release a box set with all of their non-lp b-sides/mixes. They did so digitally but not on physical formats. A box with their fan club tracks would also be nice.

    • Scott R Stalcup

      A lot of us want the fan club singles. I have a sick feeling when it comes out, it’ll be some overpriced/underpressed Record Store Day exclusive available only in Athens.

  7. I was done after they left IRS Records. I was a huge fan but never felt connected to any of the WB material.

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