Monster Remix Thread

What are your thoughts about Scott Litt’s Monster Remix?

I was disappointed in how poor the audio quality was (must have been pulled from digitally recorded tapes), but I did like some of the added bits.

  • Did not like WTFK without the guitar hook during the chorus.
  • The King of Comedy backing vocals turns into a dumpster fire.
  • I Don’t Sleep, I Dream coda was interesting (though I could have done without the scream thing).
  • I was hoping for the full version of Star 69.
  • The Strange Currencies alternate vocal take was interesting.
  • I didn’t not like the repetitive guitar hit added throughout the entire song (much preferred the sparing use in the album version).
  • I found the random tambourine in Let Me In to be distracting.
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I agree with you on every aspect. I’ll always keep the disc (i bought the cds along with the blu-ray)but i cant envisage listening to the remix very often.

Prefer the original mix by far. It loses something, in my ears, to clearly hear the vocals

I liked it. It was a nice way of seeing what the producer envisioned for the album. It really sounded different in having Michael’s vocals more in the forefront. Had a more of a live record feel to it, which is what later wound up being New Adventures in Hi-Fi.

Crush with Eyeliner sounded a bit more like a glam rock song than it did on the album version.

King of Comedy sounded much more mechanical. The backing vocal was certainly interesting in certain parts. I can actually hear Michael’s ‘money money’ rambling.

I like the extended part of I Dont Sleep I Dream. I was so used to the sudden drop on the album version.

The different vocal take on Strange Currencies makes for more of a demo version but it sounds like it has more emotion to it.

Bang and Blame sounds a bit rough with the new mix but it brings out a bit more of what I could hear on the 2005 5.1 DTS mix.

Let Me In sounds more somber but a slightly more emotional take, similar to what they did with it live in 2008.

Overall, it almost felt like a brand new R.E.M. album of sorts. I wish they had done a similar thing with New Adventures in Hi-Fi , where they could have just put the soundcheck versions together in the album track listing order. That would have been fun.

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I thought it was great. “Kenneth” is the only reworking that fell really flat for me. Crush with Eyeliner (love that new start!), King of Comedy, I Don’t Sleep, Bang and Blame, Let Me in, and You I play more than the originals now; though they are probably benefiting from novelty. “You” was really opened up for me by Scott’s interventions.

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It was interesting to hear, particular the greater clarity in Michaels vocals. His voice lost a little range and sweetness, getting gravelly as he got older (don’t think thats controversial, its natural). I can personally hear the subtle change starting on New Adventures and always wondered if it had started with Monster, masked by the effects and distortion. The remix finally answered that and he definitely still has that full sweetness in his voice like on Automatic to my ears.

So yeah, i found that really interesting and glad it was done. That said, there’s not a single track that I prefer to the original. Very simply, Scott took out a lot of the elements that make Monster what it is so it’s not a version i revisit.

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I like the idea more than the execution.

  • excluding the tremolo guitar from “WTFK”'s chorus was a serious mistake.
  • the doubled vocals on “Crush with eyeliner” and more emphasis on the arpeggio were really interesting in a sort of alternate universe. I wouldn’t trade the original for it, but I love hearing it. It’s a much richer sound.
  • Monster has always been one of my favorites, and “King of comedy” has always been my least favorite in the album. That being said, I think my favorite part of the whole album is the female “ooooh, yeaah” backing vocals. On the other hand, the ending on this remix is atrocious.
  • I like the extended “I don’t sleep I dream”.
  • the tape hiss all along is inexcusable.
  • the alternate vocal take on “Strange currencies” is… well, it’s a lot more emotional and it’s beautiful, but I think I got the original so ingrained that it’s difficult to accept the change. I like it a lot, tho.
  • I honestly prefer the new “You” and “Circus envy” over the originals. Also, the new “Let me in” with the guitar more to the background, but… where is the organ? Why that pesky misplaced tambourine?
  • I wish they could do this with Around The Sun.
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My guess regarding the tape hiss and the occasional track bleed is that there was no budget to properly clean this up/master it. I also suspect that’s why the NAIHF reissue was so paltry.

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Haven’t listened to it for a while, but I remember really liking Crush With Eyeliner. The absence of the tremolo on Kenneth and the organ on Let Me In is rubbish.

Overall, I like it. And I like having it. But the original mix is way better.

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I listened to them so much recently that I actually prefer some of them to the orgininal album versions.

It’s really interesting how the remixes bring out different elements more, especially the vocals.

I know it’s controversial, but I wish they had done that with more albums to be honest.

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We have a while to wait and they may not be as interested by the time it comes around, but Around the Sun 25th Anniversary could be incredibly interesting with Monster setting a remix precedent. It’s the only album i could potentially see the band wanting to tinker with. I’ve always got the impression when they’ve spoken about it that it was the sound of the album that was less than perfect rather than the songs.

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I can’t imagine the original album sales of anything after the first Warner contract will justify the budget of hiring someone to remix the latter albums. As much as they could benefit from it…

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I’d def like to hear a different production, or even an absence of production lol, as i did quite enjoy the ATS cuts that i heard live on the accompanying tour (tho, i was only at two dates).

Have to agree on the audio quality, it seriously brought down the potential of this rivaling the original mix for me. I could speculate all day, but I just wish they made some official excuse as to why so many of the tapes they used sound like they weren’t being kept very well over 25 years.

On its own merits of creativity and “what-ifs” on Scott Litt’s part though, I found it interesting. I think flying in all those elements from alternate takes gave it an edge of historical appeal for me and with how much it’s stripped things down too, I personally prefer to see it as a behind-the-scenes/deconstruction of the album rather than a redo.

The original is still the primary version in my mind, but this new mix has clearly done its job of making the album much more accessible for plenty of fans, so I can’t really knock its reputation. Different strokes in the end.

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I heart the remixes! The vocals seem to be more clearer and less buried in the mix and it feels a little more pop. But I also heart the original mix, too!

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The most appealing part of “…Kenneth?” Was the ending, “I couldn’t understand” I call that one of those aurally pleasing bits in a song. I don’t know what it is about that small point, but…to me it’s practically a perfect pitch moment.

And he took it out…

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I enjoy the remixes but I don’t think they hold a candle to the original mixes. To me the remixes are less polished, like work in progress versions rather than final versions but that’s just me.