The 25th anniversary edition of R.E.M.'s Monster is out this week with a brand new mix of the album by original producer Scott Litt, that features entirely different vocal takes and “instrumental parts that were either buried or excised from the original album mix.” You can now listen to the whole thing and compare both versions with a nifty little A/B player on R.E.M.'s website. You need a Spotify or Apple Music account to listen, but if you have neither, you can still A/B 30-second samples. The difference between the two mixes is significant; the new one is generally brighter, with Stipe's vocals just a little more up front. Check that out now at REMHQ.

Meanwhile, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills recently stopped by the Esquire Townhouse in London for a talk about the album and its legacy. Here's a bit about how Monster's rock-ier sound came to be:

Michael Stipe: The last tour had been 1989. The next album after that had 'Everybody Hurts' and 'Man on the Moon', and we all became incredibly famous. So we had two albums worth of material that we knew everybody had gone out and bought, and wanted to hear live. But they were all really slow songs, and some of them were quite sad. So we tried to create something that was really raw and really big and really loud, and with more than a modicum of swagger.

Mike Mills: A lot of it was due to Peter Buck's rediscovery of the electric guitar. He'd moved away from it for two records and was ready to embrace it again, and start having some fun playing loud rock music again.

The whole conversation doesn't appear to have been posted yet, but you can watch part of it it below.

Speaking of Stipe, he recently released his first-ever solo single.

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