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Category Archives: the rolling stones

This is an incredible rip of EXILE by PBTHAL, which I believe is not even available on his blog. Anyway, I think everyone should know about the incredible work he’s doing.

This was recorded differently than the THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST rip I posted earlier was recorded, different person! PBTHAL captures at 192khz, way higher than the SATANIC REQUEST guy did. PBTHAL also has arguably better hardware. It is then dithered down to Redbook standard 16bit / 44.1khz. In other words, analog captured as highly as consumer hardware really even allows. Now. Which is insanely better than what was available to studios in 1987, or whenever, when CDs of old albums were being made from master tapes with early, primitive DACs. Even remasters that claim to use original masters now tend to do who knows what to them.

Here’s some literal symbolism for you: look at the sleeve art from the vinyl, and now compare it to the sleeve from the CD version. Notice the difference? The art on the vinyl is a messy patchwork with obvious masking tape holding the pieces together. The CD version smooths everything down until it all looks like one professional layer. Sloppy replaced with the illusion of sloppy.

Now listen to the original mix. There are tons of mistakes. You hear dropouts, wrong plug-ins, rumbles, sibilance. These aren’t from the medium of vinyl, trust me. Jimmy Miller knew what he was doing. This was an intentionally sprawling mess in concept.

You feel like you’re in the room during Sweet Virginia, I turned my head when the saxophone came in. Hear the deep thud in the right ear during the beginning of Loving Cup. Hey, what was that weird squelch of the vocals as it went into the verse? It was Jimmy Miller or Keith Richards de-pressing a button when layering takes into the mix.

You might find yourself saying, “Ian, come on. There’s distortion during Torn and Frayed!” To which I would say, “Listen closer, idiot! That’s TAPE FLUTTER. From the MASTER TAPE. It’s SUPPOSED TO BE THERE!” This album feels lived in. It creaks like old floorboards.

Guess stuff like that gets washed away in numbing barrage of Noise Reduction during the CD remaster.

This has been THE DEFINITIVE EXILE for me for about a year. Which makes it pretty much my favorite recording of anything, ever. There’s like maybe three albums ever made that top this for me. It’s as good as it’s ever going to get. I’ve taken the liberty of making this rip available in MP3, again, for those people that just want to hear the mix but are unconcerned with lossless fidelity and just want it on their iPods.

Yes, I know. This was pretty much a big slab of hyperbole. But there aren’t reviews specific to the original vinyl, comparing it to subsequent remasters. So I had to write something. Cut me some slack, jerk!

Please consider other excellent recordings of rare vinyl from PBTHAL:

zs mu

rs mu

Something a little experimental. A high-end FLAC rip of an original MONO mix first pressing vinyl of this album, ripped at and presented in 24 Bit / 96 kHz resolution by “Prof. Stoned” (his details here), making this a higher than CD resolution capture of an analog recording on an analog source. It’s also the last Stones album to get a dedicated mono mix in the US. As in, not a fold down of the stereo mix, but created for mono specifically. The stereo mixes are engineered after the fact in subsequent remixes.

Also thrown in is the mono mix of Sympathy For The Devil, for reasons explained in the dealie.

I take issue with the premise presented in the review below. I happen to have always thought TSMR was a psych MASTERPIECE, even surpassing SGT. PEPPER. Though the mono mix of PEPPER did raise it in my esteem greatly just this past year. My point, though, is that the reputation of this album only suffered because it was a STONES album. Had this been recorded by a band like The Zombies or something it would have been forever hailed a masterpiece. But instead, it’s called “the time the Stones made a psych album.”

Anyway, this plays fine in Foobar2000, but if you use iTunes you might want to stick with the regular old MP3 version. I threw in the STEREO ABKCO version, and also an MP3 version of the mono mix taken from the FLAC if you just want the mono mix without the fancy high-end hullabaloo. -Ian!

Click for big!

What is arguably the worst album the Rolling Stones did during the 1960s has suddenly been transformed into one of the best bootleg releases ever, its reputation salvaged and its songs transformed into superb, punky psychedelia, and it’s all because of the use of the mono mix (virtually unheard by anyone outside of England) and a new transfer that runs circles around the late-’80s ABKCO stereo CD edition. Their Satanic Majesties Request has always been disliked by fans, who perceived it as the Rolling Stones trying to emulate the Beatles during the latter’s psychedelic phase, and generally not sounding terribly good. The mono mix fixes all of that and then some — indeed, all of a sudden, the album sounds great, and is great. The rhythm instruments are upfront and solid, and from the opening bars of “Sing This All Together” through the punchy break on “In Another Land” to the extended jam on “Sing This All Together (See What Happened)” (as it’s printed here), this sounds like the Stones, pounding away hard and heavy, and scarcely like the Beatles at all. As expected, “2000 Man” is the highlight, with a crunchy guitar break that’s right up close and personal, along with Jagger’s vocals over it and Charlie Watts kicking the hell out of his kit while the organ twists little Arabesques around all of them; not far behind in terms of allure, amazingly enough, is “Sing This All Together (See What Happened)” — the horns sound much more integrated into the texture of the track and a lot more dissonant, the Mellotron is more upfront in the mix, holding the piece together much better at the end, and the tom-toms and kettle drums are practically in your lap, while Keith Richards’ guitar, doing strange psychedelic slides in the opening or playing a crunchy rhythm accompaniment to the horns, comes off as a true rock virtuoso performance. The rest of the album pretty much is elevated to a similar degree — oddly enough, only “She’s a Rainbow” isn’t transformed radically — and it’s all more worth hearing than it’s been in decades.

-Bruce Eder,

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No, this isn’t the hardest thing in the world to find. But it is interesting, and I do reach for it from time to time as a good comp of mid-late 60s Stones stuff to put on that doesn’t feel played out. “Street Fighting Man” has different lyrics! -Ian!

This is the never-released album from 1971 (or was it 1972), which was pressed on a few acetates. Some acetates were sold, for a lot of money, a couple of years ago, and….surfaced on bootleg CD after a while. The songs are either completely different takes (like “Have You Seen Your Mother Baby”), or different mixes than the official versions (from Metamophosis) Pay Your Dues (the alternate version of Street Fighting Man) and the speeded-up Blue Turns To Gray are really fantastic, as Metomophosis, several of the songs features Jagger, Richards and studio musicians, and not the other Stones members.

The planned follow-up to Hot Rocks was to be titled Necrophilia, and was to have the tracks selected by the unpredictable Andrew Loog Oldham. A gatefold sleeve was designed by Fabio Nicoli using photography by the Stones’ official photographer from the sixties, Gered Mankowitz.

What you will hear here is a vinyl transfer to CD of the actual unreleased album. Alternate versions from 1964 to 1967.

The Rolling Stones-NECROPHILIA (1971 compilation)