Sunday, 9 January 2011

She said "Yeah"

One of the things I want to do this year is finally complete a few of my music collections and in particular chunks of my record collection that got cut down with no real plan during the late 1980's and 90's when I was replacing stuff by cd.
Specifically my Rolling Stones lp collection remains all over the place with the odd legacy disc remaining and odd titles picked up off and on in the mean time even though I started the collection in the late 1970's.
One reason for attempt a restocking is the UK albums aren't all available on cd form today because Abkco, who have the rights for the 1960's recordings, prefers to keep the first two UK albums off the market and equally the two UK compilations High Tide  and Green Grass and Thru The Past Darkly that contain many tracks not issued on studio album but scattered without any real reason across several US discs was not issued (They issued the inferior US versions instead!).
It may come as shock to some but unlike the Beatles where I infamously love my Canadian/American discs, the Stones are the one act I really prefer to hear via their UK albums because as sequences of songs they make more sense rather than adding odd singles and heaven forbid faded in and out live tracks mid flow just because London Records wanted new product that season! 
Currently many of their albums can bought new on lp sourced from the transfers done in 2002 for the SACD/CD issued released back then (I use the word 'transfers' because what happens after the track is transferred at a a very high digital resolution is the mastering and their is evidence that some alterations (noise "hiss" reduction and narrowing the stereo image) were made from the when the promotional cd was issued and the SACD's were issued and these difference won't necessarily be on the vinyl as that was mastered separately.)
In December 2010 Universal/Decca issued a lp box set of the UK albums complete with digitally sourced versions of these two compilations, two studio EP's and the 1975 outtakes album Metamorphosis.
Postscript: In 2013 Clear vinyl editions were issued of Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed and the US compilation Hit Rocks.

My collection so far: 
The Rolling Stones. UK Decca 1981 issue in mono which begins with Route 66 unlike the American near identical issue England's Newest Hit Makers that has Not Fade Away as the lead off track.(Not available new separately on lp and out of print on cd)

The Rolling Stones No.2 UK Decca mid 70's mono reissue which has the long version (5 minutes) of Everybody Needs Somebody To Love and the guitar intro Time Is On My side which isn't on the US album. (Not available new separately on lp and only issued on cd in Japan that issue of which is out of print).

Out Of Out Heads. 2003 Abkco reissue of UK version in mono. Much much better than the US album of the same name this version starting off with She Said Yeah.
I bought this re-issue because from the 1970's onwards the original Decca lp of this title I had was in a ghastly form of fake stereo and with some you can hear the tape riding unevenly between the channels that prevents you from putting it back into mono! This lp does sound extremely good and probably is the best way to get this title as the original mono Decca lps from the 60's are very expensive used and no doubt would of been played on cheap equipment back then which can wear out the grooves.

Aftermath 2010 Universal/Decca re-issue
A landmark Stones album from April 1966 featuring Mother's Little Helper, Lady Jane, Under my Thumb and Out of Time, everybody needs to hear it.I was missing a copy of the UK version on vinyl although I had a 70's Decca stereo copy it went in the 90's and have ordered up a new digitally sourced copy because this lp was very long - 52 minutes - and no doubt would of been hard to cut back then without filtering off some bass and reducing the quietness of some tracks to get it all to fit. Modern lp cutting is more advanced.
It arrived today has nice tonality with deep bass, wide stereo image unlike the sacd and is very quiet. The 2010 has the unboxed Decca logo on the lp label and boxed on the front and rear of the jacket giving it more of a period look.

High Tide and Green Grass Decca UK 1981 copy. My lp is in EX= condition but the lp jacket has worn corners and a missing 1/2 inch black bit from the front cover so I bought a new copy I can re-home the original lp in.
Issued in late 1966 this is a must on vinyl because singles were not issued on lps in the UK and the Stones albums over here are no different not that tracks like Satisfaction didn't change the world either.
On later pressings Paint It, Black, It's All Over Now, Heart Of Stone (From Out Of Our Heads) and Time Is On My Side (Guitar intro) appear for the first time in stereo.

Between The Buttons. 2003 Abkco re-issue.  
Musically a continuation in many ways of Aftermath with a touching cartoon on the rear cover by Charlie Watts.I was without a copy although until the early 90's I had the 1981 UK lp but recently bought the 2003 Abkco lp re-issue. This is very quiet and unlike the sacd/cd version has a wide stereo image and no noise reduction artifacts that plagued that issue. I though it was well worth the money.

Their Satanic Majesties Request 2003 Abkco re-issue.
Cruelly described by many as a second rate answer to the Beatles Sgt Pepper album, while you have to ignore all albums before or since being very much of it's time, it does have some great moments such as the Bill Wyman composition In Another Land and the dance number Sing This All Together (see what happens) utilizing West African rhythms and 2000 Man covered to great effect by Kiss on their Dynasty album
The main single was She's A Rainbow c/w 2000 Miles From Home which remain my favourites from this album.When originally issued on December 6th 1967 it came out in a 3D cover and green label in the UK and that was the one I had until the mid 80's when I let it go naively believing at the time they were all like that. So sad you could cry into your wineglass when you see just how much they go for now!
The reissue is very good - dead quiet with a very full sound and She's A Rainbow just leap out from beyond the loudspeakers at you - and although I miss the cover this version sonically more than makes up for it.

Beggars Banquet. 2003 Abkco re-issue
I originally bought this on lp in August of 1978 but have only just (1/10/11) got a replacement.It's the home to Stray Cat Blues, Street Fighting Man and Sympathy For The Devil seeing the Stones going back to their roots and even venturing into folk and country not unlike Bob Dylan in the same era.
I bought the digitally sourced 2003 version because oddly enough it was found all previous lp and cd's issued of this album run slow due to a tape speed error back then which this new version corrects and generally improves on the thin sounding original.

Thru' The Past, Darkly. Late 70's UK Decca.Rounds up all the UK singles up to and including Honky Tonk Woman and adds dedication to Brian Jones who had died near the time of release.It also has You Better Move On from the Rolling Stones EP

Let It Bleed 2003 Abkco re-issue
I first bought my copy in December 1979 from Edinburgh, Scotland but was without a copy on lp since the late 80's. This re-issue of the original 1969 album is very good with you feeling Charlie's drums coming in on Love In Vain, the bass is that low and is very quiet.This album sees the Stones exploring country, folk and produce their take on writing a blues murder ballad, Midnight Rambler which I feel runs for a little to long but, hey that's just me.

Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out 2003 Abkco.
The December 1969 Madison Square Gardens concerts and the last album that had to be issued contractually between the Stones and Decca in 1970, it remains a classic live album even if there are a number of tracks where stuff was re-recorded and mixed to the original concert reel.This edition was loads of phat bass!

Stone Age UK Decca 1971.
"Cash in" shouted the Stones publicly but much of this album had not been issued on lp form previously comprising of ep tracks, tracks only issued on US albums and the odd 45 only track which makes it worth owning in the context of a lp based collection although it's all out there on cd currently.

Gimme Shelter 1971 UK Decca.
I bought this new in December 1979.A compilation of sorts the first side plunders Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed for songs featured in the Gimme Shelter movie documentary but the second side is a gem continuing six of the 12 'live' tracks issued in 1966 on the US London lp Got Live If You Want It!. In reality many of these tracks are studio cuts with overdubbed screams and the venue for those recorded live but extensively re-dubbed was City Hall, Newcastle, England not the Royal Albert Hall, London as claimed. Fun to listen to!!!

Rock n' Rolling Stones 1972 UK Decca

The album front with Jagger surrounded by motorbikes brings up ghosts of Altamont on this cheap and cheerful cover and it would be an easy title to dismiss as yet another cash in other than this release does contain three titles of one remains an exclusive.
First off this has the track Bye Bye Johnny from the EP present although in fake stereo form but secondly it does contain the true stereo mixes of Down The Road A Piece and critically Everybody Needs Somebody To Love which some how evaded Teri Landi and the others at Abkco when researching the who Decca era tape vaults in the UK and US and so isn't available in the cd age.With this I have three of the four stereo mixes issued on the tape version of No.2 as Time Is On My Side was issued on later (post 1969) copies of the UK High Tide and available on Rolled Gold + .

No Stone Unturned 1973 UK Decca
I bought this in 1980 having borrowed it several times from the municipal library.An inspired collection of b sides in addition to odd US album tracks never previously issued in the UK with a classic David Bailey photo cover

Metamorphosis 2003 Abkco 

A collection of demo versions from the early to mid '60s for the most part not used by the group with Mick Jagger singing with session musicians on one side of the album and actual Stones tracks not issued at the time, it's an interesting release first issued in June 1975.
I did buy the Decca UK issue back in the day but my original had a warp problem causing skipping and the jacket was a bit mangy so I bought the 2003 re-issue lp recently which I feel does sound better although the tapes still have the messing about with the stereo image (a few tracks are almost mono) and other processing applied by Andrew Oldham in '75 so isn't as much as an improvement as other releases in the series.

Rolled Gold + 2007 Decca/Abkco
I wrote a review in November 2007 of the cd but this was issued in vinyl, not just any vinyl but 180 grams in a four lp format that provides plenty of space to cut the bass and minimizes any tracing distortion at the end of the lp side by making sure there's a good amount of space between the last track and the run out grooves.
I was able to get a brand new copy on Sunday cheap and it arrived on 1/12/2011 well wrapped from Laura.
This I'd have to say is the best sounding vinyl compilation I've ever heard and is pressed on really quiet vinyl.
Well worth the money.

Made In The Shade (1975)
A very good 40 minute resumé of the cream of the early 70's Stones tracks from singles like Angie, Brown Sugar and It';s Only Rock and Roll, issued to coincide with the 1975 Tour of the Americas. UK COC 59104 A2/B3 original pressed by Atlantic/WEA near mint copy.
Love You Live

The live album featuring three side from the 1976 Paris concerts where performances apart Mick Jagger's diction is poor and third side from a small 350 seater performance in Toronto where the Stones get back to their roots and is in my opinion the best thing about this double live album.My copy is the UK one pressed by Atlantic/WEA with the original Andy Warhol inner sleeves to match his album jacket design
Some Girls
(1978)I had this originally on vinyl with it's banned inner sleeve but lost it in the years then went through two cd versions.
I managed to get an original UK pressed version using the Sterling mastering that sounds great.

Emotional Rescue (1980)
This album was one I bought on a UK dolby cassette while on vacation would of been in August that very year having heard a interview with the band broadcast on Liverpool's Radio City fm stereo station where they played tracks from the album.
It had two hit UK 45's Emotional Rescue from July and She's So Cold from October that I also bought in picture sleeve UK 45 editions at the time.
My brother was a big Stones fan and bought the lp version and always loved how it sounded.
I managed to get the UK first pressing A1/B1 with the Sterling mastering and poster
Tattoo You (1981) 
An album made mainly from older sessions tapes with dubbed new playing and vocals it was the album the now famous '81 US tour stood behind featuring the hits Start Me Up, Waiting On A Friend and Neighbours. My copy is a mint UK one with the picture inner although I've put the disc itself in a better inner sleeve.

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