The Hi-Fi Reissue

I know that it was relatively paltry in terms of b-sides, demos and such (as they did exist), but I am more struck by how much difference the re-master made in the tracks.

I recently got some new studio monitors for my main computer, and its amazing how much the remasters opened up a few of the tracks, namely Be Mine, New Test Leper, Leave and Low Desert.

Low Desert especially is like a new song.

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I’ve barely listened to the CD or Blu-Ray, but I do think the vinyl reissue sounds stunning, by far the best vinyl reissue in the 25th anniversary series. It’s the one album for which I never owned the original LP, so I can’t compare the reissue to the original vinyl mastering, but, for me, the 25th anniversary LP has also been like listening to a new record in many ways. It just sounds so much better than the CD and DVD-A versions of the album that have been my go-tos for so many years.

I will also say that the book that comes with the deluxe CD/Blu-Ray set is super nice, with some interesting interviews and commentary, especially from Bill Berry.

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I’ve been listening to the vinyl, bluray, & CDs in rotation the past 3 months. E-Bow the Letter just sounds amazing on the vinyl.

I was sad that the bonus disc is simply the b-sides that I’ve been listening to for the past 25 years. The promotion for it is also very underwhelming. I really thought that Michael would be going on and on about it since its supposedly his favorite album of all.

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I love the vinyl. I think I’ll listen to it today.

I agree wholeheartedly the remaster on vinyl sounds absolutely stunning. I’ve been playing it heavily since it came out. R.E.M. always sounded better on vinyl anyway but this remastering is just so much richer than the original pressing even.

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I hadn’t had a vinyl player in so long, I had forgotten how good music sounds on it. We finally got one and Hi-Fi is one of the go to records.

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I’d imagine covid severely impacted the promotion of the New Adventures if reissue. If the world were normal, Stipe and Mills doubtless would have flown around the world giving interviews to promote it, as they did for the previous 25th anniversary reissues.

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im kinda sad that whilst ordering (and getting) the ltd edition LP and a hoodie and stuff, i cant read these liner notes from anywhere! :frowning: but yes - sounds good. my favorite record from r.e.m. too.

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id say the drums especially sound quite fresh and you can pick up some new nuances, especially on the drum-heaviest songs like wake-up bomb.

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The vinyl reissue is tremendous. It gets a lot of play on my turntable.

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Lack of anything new as bonus material was a disappointment, especially as it’s my favourite R.E.M.-album. Some songs from the bonus disc being teased out on streaming in advance was especially silly and frustrating, as everything was already on streaming anyway.

But then, I guess we got really spoiled with the Monster re-issue.

I never really notice differences in ‘remastered’ versions. It sounds great, but then I always thought it did. :smiley:

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Right, but I mean that even in the couple of online interviews they did, it wasn’t in depth or even focused on just the album. It would have been nice to see them on a zoom chat or something and have an extensive discussion.

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I did feel sad that there was less press from them - Mike and Michael did a lot more for Monster, so I was hoping for more interviews and discussions about it. Totally get the lack of bonus content since there just doesn’t seem to have been much (though I have high hopes for Up - please, please give us demos!).

But the remaster absolutely sounds great and the vinyl is nice. I also felt like I rediscovered Low Desert and So Fast, So Numb.

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This is my CD 2, before it even existed. Compiled from the CD singles acquired during my first trips to the US and Europe (both in 1998). It’s an ad-hoc album in my music server (Logitech Media Server). The only track missing is the alternate version of Leave.
I thought that a complete version of Dancing Barefoot could arise, but I guess I was wrong.

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In regard to the lack of B-Sides & such compared to the previous reissues, part of me wonders if there is stuff they lost in the Universal warehouse fire.

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I thought I was a die-hard REM fan who heard everything, so hearing a “new” song with Sponge was very unexpected, happy times… :slight_smile:

@ethank, do you know why demos and the likes weren’t included in this reissue, seeing OOT and AFTP had loads - and Monster had something completely different and awesome/unusual as well? Do you know of the considerations and reasoning behind not going all out on this release?

Not sure if he will sign back up here but I believe Chris Hartstonge of the R.E.M. Timeline has said that whatever was lost in the Universal fire were duplicates, the masters for everything are in safe keeping in Athens. Also, from what I understand, there was some previously unreleased material that could have been used but the band members opted not to.

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The only official statement I’ve seen on the lack of demos/outtakes is this vague tweet from Mike. I’m not sure why studio material is the crutch here since soundchecks and live shows could’ve made up the bulk, but I’m choosing to take it that they just didn’t have enough to dedicate a disc to them.
Personally, I think they should’ve paired whatever unreleased recordings they might have had along with the B-sides as a catch-all for the Hi-Fi era and to lend another level of interest to the fans who have all of those songs already.

That being said, as somebody who’s only gotten into R.E.M. within the past few years and is more of a casual collector, I was still excited by the convenience of having all of those B-sides on one disc. I love almost all of the extraneous stuff they did around this time and barring Dead Letter Office, it might just be my favourite group of R.E.M. odds and bobs.

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Yeah, one thing about these reissues is that they’re a treat for new fans and for older fans who may not have collectibles or may not have been as into them before (I fall into the latter category; fan since I was a kid, but not rabid until more recently and certainly not in possession of a lot).

As an older person, I confess that the days of scouring the internet to collect mp3s and put them together myself are a bit past me so I appreciate the convenience of having it all here, too.

I wonder if some of the other stuff from soundchecks just didn’t quite sound distinct enough (though that’s an interesting theory given the fact that we got the bus version of Be Mine) so they kind of figured “how many slightly different tracks would they seriously want?”.

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