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on September 22, 2002
There was only one version of Let It Bleed. This is it. It was released simultaneously in the UK and US on Dec 5, 1969. The Stones had the guts to leave off their July megahit Honky Tonk Woman and instead (much to the chagrin of record company execs) put a countrified satire of their own hit on the album. The Let It Bleed sessions also produced 3 of their finest works that are not on the album (Honky Tonk Woman, Sweet Virginia, and Sister Morphine).
The album contains a huge chunk of the work that made the band famous for this era....Gimme Shelter, Love in Vain, Let It Bleed, Midnight Rambler, and You Can't Always Get What You Want have all pretty much defined not only the Stones but this era of English-speaking history to the world. The album is a staple in every serious rock collection.....it's that simple.
The album has several notable facts:
.....Brian Jones died the same day the last tracks were recorded in London
.....M.C. Escher and photographer Man Ray were both invited to design the cover (they declined)
.....it includes the 1st song not sung by Mick - You Got The Silver, sung by Keith (Mick's version was left in the can)
.....Gimme Shelter was written by Keith while he waited in his car for girlfriend Anita Pallenberg who was starring with Mick (and actually making love instead of only acting) on the set of Performance
.....the Stones have long been accused of stealing many of the song bits from Ry Cooder who was involved in the early sessions and laid down basic tracks that developed into many of the songs
The tracks were recorded between Feb 9 and Jul 2, 1969 at Olympic Sound, London, with final mixing done at Sunset Sound and Elektra Studios in L.A. between Oct 18 and Nov 3. You Can't Always Get What You Want dates slightly earlier, first recorded on Nov 17, 1968 at Olympic with Al Kooper on French horn, producer Jimmy Miller on drums instead of Charlie, and the 35 member London Bach Choir. In addition to the 9 tracks that made the album, the Let It Bleed sessions also produced:
.....the entire jam session on April 23, 1969 that became the album Jammin' With Edward
.....Honky Tonk Woman (released as a single - Mick Taylor's 1st session with the band)
.....All Down The Line (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Stop Breaking Down (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Sweet Virginia (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Shine A Light (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Loving Cup (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Sister Morphine (released on Sticky Fingers)
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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For my money this is the best Rolling Stones album ever, even if it is really not a typical example of their work. I do not think you can find a better opening to a Stones album than "Gimme Shelter" with Mary Clayton providing awesome guest vocals to some apocalyptic lyrics. The catchy guitar lead suggests bad things are coming this way, a sentiment amplified by the high pitched, wordless vocals and the complimentary piano before the rest of the band crashes in and Mick Jagger starts singing. I also know you can not top "You Can't Always Get What You Want" as the big finale, what with the London Bach Choir lending their voices (not to mention Al Kooper providing the most memorable French Horn work on a sixties rock 'n' roll album). I understand the idea that this is the Stones' response to "Hey Jude," but it certainly stands on its own as a classic pop tune, which makes it a most atypical Stones song on that grounds alone. Then there is the philosophical sentiments of the chorus, which again has you double-checking to make sure this is the same Stones who did "Sympathy for the Devil" and were the acknowledged bad boys of rock 'n' roll.

"Midnight Rambler," which originally began Side 2 in those days of vinyl, is another one of those most rare long Stones songs and featured Mick Jagger wailing on his harp. "Monkey Man" is my all time favorite non-Stones hit song with Jagger pointing out " I hope we're not too messianic or a trifle too satanic" (I used it for a class assignment once as the music background for a Pat Paulsen speech) and "Country Honk" is a countrified version of their hit "Honky Tonk Woman." You also have a couple of acoustic blues tracks with "You Got the Silver," which offers up the first lead vocals by Keith Richards, and a cover of Robert Johnson's "Love in Vain." "Live With Me" is a solid Stone rocker and the title song is okay, but what is important is that title: it fostered an inherent comparison with "Let It Be," but since that was the Beatles' weakest album, the Stones came out ahead on this one. Those were fun days in rock and roll, boys and girls, let me tell you.

Special mention to the efforts of Nicky Hopkins on this album, who plays piano on most of the key tracks as well as the late Brian Jones, who appears on two of the tracks, as does his replacement, Mick Taylor. On top of all that, I love the way the back of the album deconstructs the front. "Beggar's Banquet" might be the more traditional Rolling Stones album, but "Let It Bleed" still holds the top spot for me and the last time I put together my Top 10 albums of all time list for my Pop Culture class "Let It Bleed" was on it. Finally, as it says at the bottom of the liner notes: THIS RECORD SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD. It should also be played often.
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Released way back in 1969, "Let it Bleed" finds The Rolling Stones at their absolute creative peak. Though it was released as part of a string of masterpiece albums the band recorded between 1968 and 1972, the argument can be made that "Bleed" stands ever so slightly above the rest. The Stones' countryfied rock has never sounded better, and is a major source of inspiration to today's "alt. country" movement.
The album would be worthwhile even if all it contains was thier best "epic" song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want." But in addition are the other two monster hits: "Gimmie Shelter" and "Midnight Rambler." The title track rocks gently, while "Country Honk" is a teriffic reworking of "Honky Tonk Girls." Even one of the lesser known tracks, "Monkey Man," was used with tremendous effect by Director Martin Scorsese in the movie "Goodfellas." The digitally remastered CD provides particular sonic clarity, making the album sound as if it was just recorded last week.
Overall, an absolute masterpiece that is one of the many highlights of the Stones' career.
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on September 22, 2002
There was only one version of Let It Bleed. This is it. It was released simultaneously in the UK and US on Dec 5, 1969. The Stones had the guts to leave off their July megahit Honky Tonk Woman and instead (much to the chagrin of record company execs) put a countrified satire of their own hit on the album. The Let It Bleed sessions also produced 3 of their finest works that are not on the album (Honky Tonk Woman, Sweet Virginia, and Sister Morphine).
The album contains a huge chunk of the work that made the band famous for this era....Gimme Shelter, Love in Vain, Let It Bleed, Midnight Rambler, and You Can't Always Get What You Want have all pretty much defined not only the Stones but this era of English-speaking history to the world. The album is a staple in every serious rock collection.....it's that simple.
The album has several notable facts:
.....Brian Jones died the same day the last tracks were recorded in London
.....M.C. Escher and photographer Man Ray were both invited to design the cover (they declined)
.....it includes the 1st song not sung by Mick - You Got The Silver, sung by Keith (Mick's version was left in the can)
.....Gimme Shelter was written by Keith while he waited in his car for girlfriend Anita Pallenberg who was starring with Mick (and actually making love instead of only acting) on the set of Performance
.....the Stones have long been accused of stealing many of the song bits from Ry Cooder who was involved in the early sessions and laid down basic tracks that developed into many of the songs
The tracks were recorded between Feb 9 and Jul 2, 1969 at Olympic Sound, London, with final mixing done at Sunset Sound and Elektra Studios in L.A. between Oct 18 and Nov 3. You Can't Always Get What You Want dates slightly earlier, first recorded on Nov 17, 1968 at Olympic with Al Kooper on French horn, producer Jimmy Miller on drums instead of Charlie, and the 35 member London Bach Choir. In addition to the 9 tracks that made the album, the Let It Bleed sessions also produced:
.....the entire jam session on April 23, 1969 that became the album Jammin' With Edward
.....Honky Tonk Woman (released as a single - Mick Taylor's 1st session with the band)
.....All Down The Line (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Stop Breaking Down (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Sweet Virginia (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Shine A Light (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Loving Cup (released on Exile On Main Street)
.....Sister Morphine (released on Sticky Fingers)
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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on October 6, 2002
...though my favorite Stones song is not on this album- that honor goes to Can't You Hear Me Knocking on Sticky Fingers. Still, this album contains their other best songs, every one is great, even the song not sung by Mick, You Got the Silver, has a gentle, Dylan like quality to it. And of course, there are the classics: the Vietnam war inspired Gimme Shelter, the drug pumped Monkey Man, the melodic You Can't Always Get What You Want, the menacing and echoing Midnight Rambler, a total blues song (Love in Vain) and a total country song (Country Honk), and two other trademark Stones songs (Let it Bleed, Live with Me). For rock fans of today who want to start listening to the "Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World", as it's quoted, or for fans of the Stones who are out of touch, this is the first to grab a hold of. A rock masterpiece.
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on April 27, 2007
Let It Bleed for me is the band's first genuine classic album. It was the album that lived up to their billing as the greatest rock and roll band on earth in the late sixties.

By this time the Stones had released the great Beggars Banquet album, which is a great album, albeit not a classic but a pivotal record in the band's career, where country rock was added to their usual rock/blues and a few classic rock singles such as "Jumping Jack Flash" and "Honkey Tonk Woman".

Let It Bleed kicks off with one of my favourite Stones songs, the harrowing classic "Gimme Shelter". There could not have been a better song to have opened this album. "Love in Vain" changes the tempo a bit with Mick crooning the blues cover accompanied by Keith's acoustic guitar and Mick Jones slide work is nice. It's a good effort but never came near the original. A little humour is added with "Country Tonk" which is a parody of their single, Honkey Tonk Woman.

The album comes alive in a big way with the thumping bass line into of "Live With Me", which is good times Stone's rock. I love the way Keith joins Mick with harmonising vocals. Great song. The title track comes off better live in my opinion. There are some great Stones lines in it such as the coke and sympathy one amongst others.

Mick turns in a sensational effort with one of their best blues originals, "Midnight Rambler". The song remains a concert staple after all these years. Keith's song, "You Got The Silver" is a good little country blues ballad. "Monkey Man" didn't have quite the popularity as "Midnight Rambler" "Gimme Shelter" or "You Cant Always Get What You Want" but is every bit as good as any of those.

The album closes with the epic "You Cant Always Get What You Want" which is the Stone's "Hey Jude". Addition of the horn was fantastic but the choir is a little overbearing towards its closure. Underneath its epicness lies perhaps one of the best songs from the Jagger/Richards team.

This is an essential rock album which I recommend to everyone. There was a second classic Stones album, that was Sticky Fingers. Beggars and Exile have been touted as classics over the years but just don't measure up to Let It Bleed and Sticky Fingers.
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on April 29, 2007
The album has been reviewed for content excellently on these pages. I will only comment on this New Edition.

I have listened to this album since 1973, and have LP and CD.

Was it worth to buy this Remastered version?

Absolutely. I hear things in the mix that I'd never heard before (even with my older and well-abused ears!).

Same for Aftermath, and Beggars Banquet. There's a new freshness on these re-editions that is simply staggering.

Of course, only if you have listening equipment that can capture these details... But even on my old Quad and Heresy's the difference is amazing.
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on September 12, 2002
Let it Bleed is simply one of those albums that pulls you in, shakes you around, and never lets you go. I bought it when it first came out (am I that old?) after hearing them perform "Love in Vain" on Ed Sullivan (think ol' stone-face ever heard of Robert Johnson?) In 1969 the Stones sounded dangerous. In 1969 the Stones WERE dangerous (Now we have Eminem. Please!), and this album bears that out.

Let it Bleed is the album that turned me on to the blues. I heard all these vague atmospheric traces of Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson, and other Delta denisens throughout. Of course, at the time, I didn't know who those people were, but when I started looking back, it all made sense. Thanks to Mick and Brian and Keef and the boys for reorienting the pop compass.

I've been waiting forever for this to come out in re-mastered form (never even picked up the original CD), and now that I have it, I'm as blown away as I was from the first listen. The remaster is amazing. You hear fingers rubbing against strings, lips cascading against harmonicas, menace in every lyric.

Get Let it Bleed for yourself AND for everyone you care about. Because, we all need someone we can bleed on.
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on August 27, 2002
WOW - You hear subtle sounds (and not so subtle sounds) never heard on any previous release of this album, and that is just listening to it in the car. At home on an SACD player, the depth, sound staging and clarity are fantastic. Keith's guitar tone takes on a new meaning of raw. The percussion has all kinds of little nuances. Want a real treat? Go ahead and turn the balance all the way to the left in YCAGWYW and listen to the french horn & Mick's vocals. Add to it the fact that this is one of the Stones finest studio albums ever, and it is a real winner. Go buy it today!
The reason I gave it only 4 stars was because of the packaging. For a release of this caliber, the copy I have is using cardboard instead of the jewel case. Do you want more information in the liner notes? Well forget it. The only information printed is what was originaly on the inner sleave of the LP. Come on, not even an original release date?
For a project of this magnitude, releasing so many Stones albums remastered and on SACD, why didn't they do a little better job here.
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Wow!

There are a lot of terrific rock and roll albums; this ranks among the best. There is great poignancy with this work. For one thing, some of the songs are poignant--"Love in Vain," "You Can't Always Get What You Want." For another, we see Brian Jones on only two cuts, and playing a minor role (autoharp on "You Got the Silver" and percussion on "Midnight Rambler"), with Mick Taylor (his successor) playing guitar ("Live with Me").

As a salad dressing apothegm has it, though: "'Tis the taste that tells the tale." And what a work!

It starts off with a great little rocker, "Gimme Shelter." There is a foreboding note at the outset (ironic given that this song, if memory serves, was being played when the Hell's Angels began their havoc at Altamont). Nice choral singing in the background. Key lines:

"A storm is threatening'
. . . .
If I don't get some shelter
I'm gonna fade away."

The rhythm section (Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman) plays well, and Keith Richards spews forth chunky guitar notes. Mick Jagger does a nice job on harmonica.

"Love in Vain": I risk the wrath of blues fans. . . . I like this version better than either of the multiple ones on Robert Johnson's 2 CD work. Keith's spare guitar work and Mick's vocals simply work extremely well. The Stones have done an estimable job over time covering blues classics--and even recording some of their own original blues-y works. Here, they show that they can do a credible job as compared with the originals.

"Country Honk": Interesting in its country sound, but listen to "Honky Tonk Women" for the real deal. This is a nice experiment, but. . . .

"Midnight Rambler": The album version is terrific, but after you listen to the live version on "Get Your Ya-Yas Out," this recedes into the background. And that's a compliment to the live version, since this is a great, haunting, disturbing rock and roll song. A song about Albert DiSalvo can only be described as "creepy." Still, the recorded version works well and is compelling rock theater. Mick's harmonica work is quite well done here. The presto close out is fabulous.

"You Can't always Get What You Want": Some of the most poignant lines in rock and roll:

"You can't always get what you want,
But if you try, sometime you just might find
You get what you need."

This song features the London Bach Choir in support! This is an interesting and intelligent (and poignant) song. Noteworthy: Al Kooper joins the Stones with some nice turns on French horn (kind of weird for rock and roll!), piano, and organ.

Simply, one of the classic rock and roll albums. . . .
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