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Audio CD, September 27, 1994
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. What's The Frequency, Kenneth? 4:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Crush With Eyeliner 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. King Of Comedy 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. I Don't Sleep, I Dream 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Star 69 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Strange Currencies 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tongue 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Bang And Blame 5:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Took Your Name 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Let Me In 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Circus Envy 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. You 4:54$0.99  Buy MP3 

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R.E.M. Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage: 1982-2011


R.E.M. marked the point when post-punk turned into alternative rock. When their first single, "Radio Free Europe," was released in 1981, it sparked a back-to-the-garage movement in the American underground. While there were a number of hardcore and punk bands in the U.S. during the early '80s, R.E.M. brought guitar pop back into the underground lexicon. Combining ringing guitar ... Read more in Amazon's R.E.M. Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Monster + Out of Time + Automatic for the People [Vinyl]
Price for all three: $31.57

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: September 27, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002MU3
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The guitars got cranked up-and fans got amped up when they heard this 1994 album, sending it to #1. Their most rockin' album of the era includes the hits What's the Frequency, Kenneth?; Bang and Blame; Strange Currencies , and more.

R.E.M. pushed the jangle out of the picture with Monster, replacing it with reverberating snaps, crackles, and pops. An album that wraps itself to '70s glam finery while reaching out to the flannel-clad post-Nirvana throngs, it largely succeeds at demonstrating that these Georgians still know how to rock. The MTV fave "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" kicks things off on a high note as Peter Buck's distorted power chords set the tone for the 12-song set. "Strange Currencies" may be alarmingly reminiscent of the Automatic for the People hit "Everybody Hurts," but it's actually the superior song. "Let Me In" is a heavily distorted nod to the fallen Kurt Cobain. While Monster is far from R.E.M.'s most consistent effort, it stands as a ragged and risky respite from safe and sound alterna-rock. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By "dave3k" on May 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was walking through the used-record shop and was disgusted to find several copies of Monster. Why did so many people give this tantalizing rock record away? Perhaps because it doesn't offer the mainstream chamber-folk that hooked them on Automatic, or the jangle-pop that 80's purists want still more of. Monster is NOT the shallow, failed attempt at grunge that many of these crazy reviewers would have you believe. It's still got more musical scope than Automatic and its songs range from wild rockouts to fuzzy ballads. The beautiful, shimerring "Strange Currencies" is what the plodding "Everybody Hurts" should've been. "Circus Envy", "Star 69", and "What's the Freq.." are also standout cuts. A few of the more experimental tracks seem half-formed, but none are annoying. Awash in feedback and pulsing with creativity, Monster is as unique as any REM album. Delete your "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" mp3 and buy the whole album, 'cause it's far more than the slip-up, sellout record these fools would have you believe.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By winkingtiger on September 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I don't normally write reviews for discs as over-reviewed as this one (109 reviews and counting), but I thought I might be able to offer a different perspective on this album, seeing as how my two favorite REM albums are 'Monster' and 'Murmur', and I find 'Green' unlistenable! This may put me in a special group of REM let me explain why I love this album so!
If 'Automatic' was the first sign that REM was breaking out of the pretentious, chirpy, god-awful bubble gum of 'Green' and 'Out Of Time' by becoming more serious and austere (albeit extremely low-energy), then 'Monster' finished REM's re-emergence as a newer, better-than-ever and extremely hard-rocking ensemble. Gone are any additional instruments (strings, brass, mandolins, etc.), this is just the four REM dudes rocking their socks off. They also seem to be enjoying the new energy level, and that sense of enthusiasm permeates the album.
For you gloom n' doom fans (me too!) there are still the tormented 'Let Me In' and the wistful and countrified 'Strange Currencies', also the ethereal raga-rock of 'You'. But this album is mostly about the rockers. From 'What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" on, this CD never lets up the loud, buzzing and partified atmosphere. I also like how Stipe sings in a variety of voices, falsetto on 'Tongue', and a Gordon Lightfoot-esque growl for 'Crush With Eyeliner'. Other faves are 'I Took Your Name' and the chugging 'Circus Envy'. The only tune I'm not 100 percent behind is 'King Of Comedy', although it has great lyrics, it's a wee bit grating.
All in all, if you like REM, AND you like to rock, pick this one up. Used, it's often cheaper than any other album by them (probably due to most fans wanting to hear 'Losing My Religion' redone another 1000 times...).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Donnelly VINE VOICE on June 6, 2012
Format: Vinyl
I was glancing through reviews of this album and ALL of the poor ones said things like "I've listened to them since the beginning and this sucks!" or "It's not the R.E.M that I grew up with..." or "It's their lame attempt at cashing in on grunge!" or most especially "They should've broken up after AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE!". While I understand that music, like all art, is subjective, I can't fathom the "fans" that don't see anything of value on an album that has some of their best songs ever. After the one-two mega-success punch of OUT OF TIME and AUTOMATIC, R.E.M knew that they were pretty much on top of the world. They were all over the radio; they were all over MTV (For you young people, MTV actually stands for Music Television, and they used to play lots and lots of music!); and they were about to tour all over the world. To be totally honest, after their massive success, if they decided to tour based on the work of OUT OF TIME and/or AFTP and continue with smaller venues, it would have been a colossal mistake. They were about to become arena rockers. They needed a rock and roll album that fit their aesthetic.

That idea of a R.E.M Arena Rocker Album is what gave birth to MONSTER. Out of this album, not only was there a distinctly different sound in contrast to the flowing melodies of OUT OF TIME and sorrowful tone of AFTP, there was also a distinctly different look to the band. Michael came out, head shaved to the scalp with a greater spring in his step and a Elvis-pelvis, but Mike also came out in amazingly hilarious glam-rock leisure suits (all of them the same, except the color). These were no longer the shy post-collegians with their art-rock style; this was an R.E.M we had never seen before and certainly hadn't heard before.

From the most anthemic opening to an R.E.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Biker395 on June 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
So-called because it was a "Monster" to complete, this album is a matter of love and hate. People love it. People hate it. People love to hate it. I'm one of those that hates to love it.
There is no question that after "Automatic for the People", this album is a double-whammy disappointment. First, it does a complete 180 from the soft, moody, and melodious "Automatic" to a loud, deliberately distorted sound. It's hard to imagine a more abrupt transformation from one album to the next. Second, it's not nearly as deep nor as consistent as "Automatic." But how could it be? "Automatic" was brilliant ... a masterpiece. Measured according to that standard, that "Monster" would be a disappointment is hardly a surprise ... almost any album would be. But once you are willing to set aside your disappointment for what it could have been, "Monster" can be seen for what it is ... a fine rock-n-roll album, and a chance to lighten up a bit.
As is the case with "Automatic," the direction of the album is clear at the outset. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" is all blistering guitars and heavy bass. And it's ... well, it's fun. How could anything poking fun at Dan Rather not be?
The next song, "Crush with Eyeliner" is also replete with electric guitars and heavy bass, but it adds a couple of interesting musical elements ... a bluesy shuffle synchronized with a heavy guitar fuzzbox. The shuffle works particularly well, because the song itself is about admiration for a woman "like three miles of bad road" walking down the street. I have no problem at all imagining her stroking by. "Crush with Eyeliner" is unique ... it's really hard to compare it to anything else ... the best I can do is say that it's like a down-and-dirty version of Roy Orbison's classic "Pretty Woman." Serious? No.
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