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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cementing The Early Legend
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...
Published on September 18, 2002 by Richard R. Carlton

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blue Stones
The Stones were probably the best white band in the 60's to play rock n roll/blues and this is quite an example. They could play it with authority, not really trying to copy, but taking those songs and turning them into rolling stones songs, that somehow matched what they were all about: a bunch of ragged and dangerous guys with guitars. Even their ballads sound obscure...
Published on March 7, 2002 by Blues Bro


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75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cementing The Early Legend, September 18, 2002
By 
Richard R. Carlton (Ada, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 12 X 5 (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:
.....Around And Around
.....Confessin' The Blues
.....Empty Heart
.....Good Times Bad Times
.....It's All Over Now
.....2120 S. Michigan version 2
.....If You Need Me)
Tracks recorded at Regent Sound in London were done on Feb 25, 1964
.....Susie Q
June 24-26, 1964
.....Time Is On My Side version 1
.....Congratulations
Sep 28-29, 1964
.....Under The Boardwalk
.....Grown Up Wrong
This album was never released in the UK, however the tracks on it were released in the UK as follows:
6-26-64 It's All Over Now, Good Times Bad Times
8-14-64 Five by Five EP - If You Need Me, Empty Heart, 2120 S. Michigan version 1, Confessin' the Blues, Around and Around
1-16-65 The Rolling Stones No. 2 - Time Is On My Side version 1, Grown Up Wrong, Under The Boardwalk, Susie Q
Congratulations was not released in the UK until 10-5-73 on the album No Stone Unturned
This information comes from "It's Only Rock And Roll: The Ultimate Guide To The Rolling Stones" by Karnbach and Bernson and from my own collection.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The R & B Side Of The Rolling Stones, November 19, 2005
By 
Perry Celestino (Tahmoor, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
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. This tune has a great arrangement. The guitars copy the Chicago sound and Keith has some of his most effective blues playing ever, a great emulation of Jimmy Dawkins and hard to do, even today! The hand damping triple time shuffle in the second half of the tune by Brian Jones adds so much and its not in the original. Very creative, and no effects!

Of course one who loves Blues has to comment of the Blues Harmonica of both Brian Jones and Mick Jagger. Again, not electricified, but played into the studio mike with reverb, very haunting. The Stones have always been underrated as harpists, but they did much to promote the Chicago Blues Harp. Case in point, "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (the address of the Chess Studios)-just super. Great harp playing and this version includes Keith's snappy guitar solo not in the original US release. And, of course, we have to also mention Keith's top solo ever (to me!) on "It's All Over Now" it's Chuck Berry with speed and soul!!!

"Empty Heart", written, or collaborated with, Phil Spector, is usually described as filler. But I love it and it was a prelude to the Bo Diddley recognition they would do on the "Now" LP. The Vibrato guitar without much singing is almost like a 1960s dance track. "Time Is On My Side" (this is the "organ intro" version released in the U.S. first, I think this is the better one too!), another massive hit from this period, was another attempt by the Stones to cover US R&B Soul tunes. In this case the tune had been a hit for the great Irma Thomas. I always had a lot of respect for Mick Jagger to even attempt to cover tunes by Solomon Burke, The Drifters (Under the Boardwalk) and The Falcons with Wilson Pickett (If You Need Me). That takes guts and they got away with it because most of the originals were not known to the mainstream population at the time. He did go too far when he did "My Girl" later on after it had already been a No. 1 hit.

"Congratulations" was an attempt to write a period Pop Tune. Its chord progression was right out of the 1950s-early 60s doowop era (something like the "Bristol Stomp!"). However the Stones put their own bluesy vocals into it and the "dirt" of the Chess Studios. "Grown Up Wrong" is another writing attempt. This tune clearly pays hommage to Elmore James with its slide riff. However, it is weak and much too repetitive. I used to skip it when I played the LP. This final tune "Suzie-Q" is their cover of Dale Hawkin's classic with the great James Burton riff. Again, it sounds like they ran out of studio time, or they didin't have their soul in it. And it's too short. Interesting, on this tune Keith's playing outshines Mick's singing. The final guitar solo has quite a spark and that's how we fade out in this set.

This is a great CD. It does have a few weak tunes on it and some early attempts at songwriting which are variable. However, the strong tunes are really strong and still sound great today.
Get this CD and revisit the onset of the "White Blues Revival" of the early 1960s!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the most improved of the reissue series..., September 5, 2002
By 
David Goodwin (Dunhaven, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 12 X 5 (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Chess studio recordings bring out the best., October 24, 1998
This review is from: 12 X 5 (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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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny, September 28, 2002
By 
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
I bought this album brand new,in mono, in 1964 when I was 12. Like another reviewer, Russell Scott, I played it until the grooves wore out. I used to lay in the dark, on the floor of my bedroom, with my ear against the speaker of my father's portable Emerson, and I memorized every lick, every pause and every breath of this amazing and astounding album. Over the years, I've purchased several replacements, including the phoney-baloney "stereo" vinyl and one CD. Now, all these years later it appears on the market as an SACD (whatever THAT is - or hopes to be) and asks me to buy it AGAIN.
Well, I'm happy to report that I have and that it was WORTH EVERY PENNY! Somebody finally found the work tapes and mixed REAL STEREO to 6 of the tracks - and what a revelation they are! Around and Around, Confessin' the Blues (which features, IMO, the best vocal of Jagger's career), the exquisite and sublime, but annoying MESS of Empty Heart, It's All Over Now, 2120 South Michigan (with an extended surprise), and If You Need Me are presented the way they SHOULD have been 38 years ago.
Only (the single version of) Time Is On My Side, Good Times,Bad Times, Under The Boardwalk, Congratulations (which has always been a favorite of more people I've known than I can count, and is still spelled wrong on the cover), Grown Up Wrong and Suzie Q are in mono.
I can't help but wonder why, if these tracks are available in stereo NOW, weren't they originally? Why was London Records compelled to LIE about it with their "Electronically Rechannelled" garbage?
I suppose I should count my blessings and be happy with 6 out of 12, but I can't help being suspicious that in another 38 years the others will surface "after an exhaustive search", of course, and I'll be too DEAD to care.
Only a big handful of British Invasion albums really MATTERED to me and "12X5" has always been, and will ever be, NUMBER ONE.
I offer a 'thank you', in small case, to those who were responsible for this release. Better late than never, I guess.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cementing The Early Legend, July 25, 2002
By 
Richard R. Carlton (Ada, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
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 with Chicago blues forever.
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 (Around And Around, Confessin' The Blues, Empty Heart, Good Times Bad Times, It's All Over Now, 2120 S. Michigan version 2, If You Need Me). Tracks recorded at Regent Sound in London were done on Feb 25, 1964 (Susie Q), June 24-26, 1964 (Time Is On My Side version 1, Congratulations), and Sep 28-29, 1964 (Under The Boardwalk, Grown Up Wrong).
This album was never released in the UK, however the tracks were released in the UK as follows:
6-26-64 It's All Over Now, Good Times Bad Times
8-14-64 Five by Five EP - If You Need Me, Empty Heart, 2120 S. Michigan version 1, Confessin' the Blues, Around and Around
1-16-65 The Rolling Stones No. 2 - Time Is On My Side version 1, Grown Up Wrong, Under The Boardwalk, Susie Q
Congratulations was not released in the UK until 10-5-73 on the album No Stone Unturned
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best of early albums, July 12, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
i bought this album when it first came out (1965?). bought it on cd recently and was reminded how good it was/is. in fact, my friends and i used to consider the stones' first 5 albums a sort of "Old Testament"of 60's british invasion r&b. check out "confessin the blues" and "its all over now" in particular.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Early Stones Blues/R&B. A Masterpiece., January 24, 2000
By 
John W. Shearer (Richmond, Ky. USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
This is the Stones 2nd US release and this displays the band in the early stages of their classic raw Blues/R&B sound. This one is loaded with great tunes like Time Is On My side, Congratulations, Empty Heart, Grown Up Wrong, Chuck Berry's Around And Around, Under The Boardwalk and their classic instrumental tribute to the Chess Studios in Chicago 2120 South Michigan Avenue. The covers are excellent and Mick and Keith's original compositions are also exploding with sound and new direction. This is a must and I highly recommend it. Original release date of vinyl is 1964.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely one of the BEST blues sounds out of the U.K.!!!!, June 10, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
I purchsed this album on vinyl back in 1964 but did not fully appreciate the true beauty of most of the cuts until years later. Listening to these songs now really brings to mind just how truly talented the Stones were at such a young age. This C.D. is a must for any real blues fan's collection. My favorite tracks include "Empty Heart","Good Times,Bad Times" and especially Jagger's rendition of "Under The Boardwalk".
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all time best, October 28, 2005
This review is from: 12 X 5 (Audio CD)
This is a great example of why I became such a big fan of the Stones. This was the best album of the British invasion period. I submit that the first five Stones US albums were the best work they ever did, this was Brian Jones' Rolling Stones at their best.

Brian was the heart and soul of the Stones and as good as they were/are they have never been better.

2120 South Michigan Ave.(the address of Chess Records) was thier only instrumental and it sizzles. Way to go Nanker Phelge. Where have you gone?
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12 X 5
12 X 5 by The Rolling Stones (Audio CD - 2002)
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