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3.7 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 27 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000002MU3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,614 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
2. Crush With Eyeliner
3. King Of Comedy
4. I Don't Sleep, I Dream
5. Star 69
6. Strange Currencies
7. Tongue
8. Bang And Blame
9. I Took Your Name
10. Let Me In
11. Circus Envy
12. You

Product Description

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 1970s 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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Ah, the early 90's. Excuse me while I wax nostalgic: huge vintage amps, even more vintage guitars, lots of analog effects pedals, fuzzy indie-pop sensibility all over the place, long hair for the musicians with a bizzare frontman genius, the Swirlies, Tsunami, early Sunny Day Real Estate, My Bloody Valentine, anything on Spin Art Records... it's all coming back to me now.
In retrospect this arrogant slab of metal from REM was simply their way of mastering a genre they themselves gave birth to, their pronounced way of fathering a million stepchildren, as though to remind the indie-kids who was (and always will be) boss. Take "You" for instance, it's simply "I Remember California" on viagra, and "Star 69" takes three seconds to become one of my all-time favorites. "I Don't Sleep, I Dream" wastes no time either in becoming an instant REM classic. They toss around massive melodic hooks and lyrical triumph effortlessly, and it's that lack of apparent effort and angst that seems to have turned so many off to this project as the years have passed. Shame, then, that everyone wants to forget its proper context, and concentrate on the pitfalls of an album that still has it, can tear wallpaper like any indie-shoegazer project, and serves as a fantastic outlet for sanguine self-expression at the dawning of an age when "out" was "in". It just seems like after this album came out, everyone I knew suddenly was "in a band."
It's impossible to understand what REM have done since "Automatic" without dwelling on the highs of "Monster," a totally misunderstood trip. And when was the last time you even THOUGHT about Courtney?
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Format: Audio CD
There are a bunch of songs on it that aren't really that great, but there are about as many good songs as well. The glam-ish songs are quite a bit of departure, but fun, especially "crush with eyeliner", which always makes me laugh because it makes me think of the video spike jonze did for it that featured some random asian teenagers lipsyncing and pretending to play instruments to the song, with nary an r.e.m. member in sight. as for more rocking r.e.m. albums, prior to "automatic for the people", most r.e.m. albums were not majorly acoustic ballad oriented. Although the electric guitar wasn't quite as prominently featured in the mix as on monster before, most of their less well-known albums were definitely more rock oriented than that. I reccomend Document, which is a more rock oriented album and is somewhat well known ("end of the world" and "the one I love" are heard on the radio fairly often, so youu wouldn't be going into it completely without knowing anything)
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By A Customer on May 23 1999
Format: Audio CD
Just because "Monster" isn't quite as good as some of R.E.M.'s other work doesn't make it bad... Even R.E.M.'s B-Sides and throw-aways are 10X times better than most bands best work... and "Monster" is definitely better than their throw-aways! A lot of people seem to think that R.E.M. should stick to one type of music... i.e. acoustics like in "Automatic..." or their early, "jangly" sound. But, wouldn't 12 albums full of the same sounding stuff get old? R.E.M.'s success and talent lies in a big part in the fact that they are always trying different things, doing what no one expects of them. And "Monster" is a good example of that - coming from two largely acoustic, introspective albums into the hardest rocking album as a whole that they've ever done... the album that made some grunge bands who thought alternative rock had nothing to offer turn their heads in surprise. Every track has something to offer:
"What's The Frequency, Kenneth?" is a great album opener, although radio has played it enough that it's not as good as it used to be.... "Crush With Eyeliner" is one of my favorites on the album - it has attitude, and truly rocks... "King Of Comedy" is my least favorite - I realize that it's a good song, I just can't get into its groove enough to enjoy it much... "I Don't Sleep, I Dream" is a little slower song, Stipe using falsetto for the chorus... "Star 69" is back to fast hard rock with an echo on the vocal... "Strange Currencies" is a beautiful ballad, shows that electric guitar feedback can really give feeling to a ballad if introduced at the right time...
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Format: Audio CD
I know the REMs can play rock. They proved it on "Life's Rich Pageant". And I REALLY like the way Peter Buck gets all these weird sounds from his guitar, like on "What's The Frequency Kenneth?". He plays it backwards, gets huge fuzz tones, and all this other guitar stuff I wouldn't know because I ain't no guitarist. Anyway the guitar tone is REALLY neat. So this really could have been an AMAZING album, but alas it was not to be. Ever heard the song "Tongue"? Ever notice that it has absolutely no melody at all? Ever notice that Michael has one of the most annoying embarrasing vocals on that song? He sounds fine on the rest of the songs though. If only they just worked on them a little more. The songs have NO melody at all!! And melody is like the most important thing in a song! And if they wanted to sound all "hip" and rock-like with the tough indie crowd they should have speeded their songs up and Michael should have started mumbling a lot like he used to. Oh well... From this and "New Adventures" and "Up" they've put themselves in a hole that they can't get out of. I'm really starting to get worried.
I really like "What's The Frequency Kenneth" for no apparent reason, though. WAIT! did I just say something GOOD about this album...
NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!
This album is TERRIBLE!!!! PLEASE buy Murmur instead!!!
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