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12 X 5 Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

96 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, August 27, 2002
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12 X 5 includes material recorded by the Stones at Chicago's Chess Studios (home to the band's idols Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf) on their first US tour. Though this document of the group's early R&B period kicks off with a couple of covers from unsurprising sources (Chuck Berry's "Around and Around,") Mick and Keith waste little time in displaying their own compositional acumen. The acoustic-based, bluesy "Good Times, Bad Times" harkens back to even earlier, more seminal Stones influences than Berry, as does the instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue," where the blues-obsessed Jagger's harp is featured a la his hero Little Walter.

The downbeat, Arthur Alexanderish "Congratulations" is an effective expression of romantic melancholy, complete with acoustic guitar solo. The slide guitar chords on "Grown Up Wrong" echo another early blues influence, Elmore James. The milestones on this album are two R&B covers to which the Stones take more than a rote approach, "It's All Over Now" and the majestic "Time Is On My Side," which they make completely their own.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 27, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1964
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: ABKCO
  • ASIN: B00006AW2O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,550 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Carlton on September 18, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is the remastered super audio CDs (SACD) of the Stones ABCKO catalog (which includes all the early Decca/London material. ABCKO acquired the Stones' catalog after Allen Klein became their manager in 1965. The legal battles during the 70s produced releases that the Stones opposed (they took out full page adds asking fans not to buy them), including the controversial Metamorphosis releases (which are now available on CD for the 1st time ever). But the sad fact is that the Stones lost control of their great early material. With these remastered SACD releases, we at last have some idea of what they really sounded like in the studio. I guess if we had these 40 years ago they would have ended up Greatest Rock And Roll Band in the Universe instead of just our tiny little World.
This is the Stones 2nd US album, released Oct 23, 1964. It cemented the early blues band legend with tracks from their famous Chess Studios session in Chicago during the 1st American tour (Muddy Waters helped carry their gear into the studio) and tracks recorded at Regent Sound in London. Essentially, this is the album that finalized their status as champions of Chicago blues.
The album starts with Check Berry's Around And Around, which the Stones had been doing as a show stopper in the UK, the big hits Time Is On My Side and It's All Over Now, and the great slow blues numbers Confessin' The Blues & Good Times Bad Times. Although they used to do a lot of instrumentals, 2120 S. Michigan seems to have survived as the only memory of this part of the early Stones familiar to most fans. Personally I always liked Congratulations, but never cared for their version of Susie Q, although it was very popular at the time.
The tracks recorded June 10-11, 1964 at Chess Studios in Chicago were:
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Perry Celestino on November 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well as a teenager of the 1960s this was my music. There are a lot of great reviewers on the Amazon site, with a plethora of knowledge and information about the Stones and their recordings. I will discuss the Blues End.

The Stones with Brian Jones started as a Blues Band. That was their primary interest. They got to record this LP at Chess Studios which to me, as a guitarist, would be like a getting to Jam with Albert King. They met Muddy Waters, got offered songs from Willie Dixon, met and had Little Walter on their next UK tour and so on. This was an essential background to the 1960s Blues Revival which started the careers of Eric Clapton, Paul Butterfield, Albert King, Otis Rush, John Mayall and so on.

The tunes, as discussed in previous reviews, are not of uniform brilliance. They were basically tunes they had been performing live for a few years in London clubs. Of the lot "Around and Around" is probably the best and the tune that helped get Chuck Berry back on a career track! It is great, especially the Johnny Otis shuffle in the bridge! "It's All Over Now" also helped the career of Bobby Womack-a great R&B guitar man and soul singer. This tune was a massive hit in the summer of 1964 and has one of the best vocals the Early Stones ever did. The long fade out ending was a prelude the the Beatle's "Hey Jude" a few years later. "Good Times Bad Times", an early Jagger-Richards attempt, was a great use of acoustic 12-string guitar. Probably influenced Jimi Hendrix's "Hear My Train A-Comin'".

My personal favourite on this LP is "Confessin the Blues", a 1940s Blues Standard penned by pianist Jay McShann. It was covered by many including B.B. King, but this is the Chess version of Little Walter Jacobs. Check out the original recording, it's great.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David Goodwin on September 5, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Despite being their second American album, 12x5 *completely* outshines the rest of the Stones' early work in the sound quality department. A good part of this album is made up of the '5x5' EP that had been released in the UK; recorded primarily at the legendary Chess Studios, the EP's tracks sounded far, far better than the material the Stones were recording in the UK at the time. Yet while previous issues of 12x5 included the Chess tracks in mono, this new disc presents their inaugural appearence in stereo on CD. Heck, as an extra bonus, the "long" version of 2120 South Michigan Avenue makes an appearence. Cool, eh?
...however, there is still a problem, here. This is still just 12x5, which I personally have never been too impressed by. The version of "Time" here is the organ-intro version, which I prefer less than the guitar-intro version, and the rest of the material is the "standard" that the Stones were performing at this point. And with no liner notes (and only 12 tracks), buying 12x5 AGAIN might test someone's patience. That said, the vastly improved sound quality makes this the preferred album introduction to the "early Stones," and it's definately a valuable entry in the new reissue series.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By on October 24, 1998
Format: Audio CD
The second LP isssued in October 1964 by the Stones in the US was in fact an amalgamation of a UK extended play (Five by Five), 3 tracks from the second UK LP(Rolling Stones 2), a UK "A" side, aUS "A" side and 2 UK "B" sides. At the heart of the LP are the five EP tracks, all recorded at the Chess studios in Chicago. The band approach the songs with cofidence including two Jagger-Richard compositions. From the same Chess sessions and included here is It's All Over Now a UK number one although it only reached a disappointing 26 in the US. This Bobby Womack song is a Stones classic and the outstanding track on the album. The remaining tracks were recorded in London and are a mixture of covers and Jagger-Richard compositions. The strongest being the self penned Good Times, Bad Times and a cover version of Susie Q. The US single Time Is On My Side, with a notable organ backing by Ian Stewart rounds things off.
The album provides an interesting comparison between the recording and production techniques of the Regent studios in London and the Chess studios in Chicago. This together with the inclusion of two hit singles provides the interest for this album which
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Stereo Rolling Stones
Some UK releases are still out of print, like the first two Decca albums, and the UK versions of High Tide... and Through the Past darkly...
May 5, 2012 by Bernard J. Ryan |  See all 2 posts
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