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You Can't Always Get What You Want
on May 1, 2011
What would like first, the good news or the bad news?
The good news: this set has very attractive packaging, generally good sound quality, and approximately 80 out of print non-L.P. songs & mixes(previously offered on out of print 7" or 12" vinyl or CD singles) are now available again, and many of these rarities will be new to American fans.
The bad news: even with the stated goal of including all 1971-2006 Rolling Stones 7",12" & CD singles tracks, this set falls short. Notably absent: "Too Much Blood"(extended version) "Too Much Blood"( dub version), "Winning Ugly"(New York Mix), "Sexdrive"(12" mix) & "Sexdrive"(Dirty Hands Mix). Hard core fans will remind me that UK & some U.S.A. vinyl singles of the 1971-1972 songs were mono mixes(dedicated mono mixes, not folded down from stereo), but the compiler of this box set uses the stereo album mixes. I may catch some flack for this, but having been a CD box set compiler in the 1990's and understanding the need to balance artistic & commercial requirements and fan wishes, I too would have chosen the stereo album mixes. Most people want stereo. (This set provides the stereo album mixes of the 1971-72 songs)
Also, not only does "I Think I'm Going Mad" have a mastering glitch causing a skip in the music 0:04 seconds into the song, it is an edited version of the track, running 4:47 versus the full 5:47(I've had the track in my collection for many years on a German 12" single "She was Hot" b/w "I Think I'm Going Mad"). Since the song is a ballad, it is unlikely that there would have been different 7" & 12" edits. In the full uncut recording, there are several bars of saxophone playing in the intro, which are lost due to the mastering glitch/skip. Given the bad shape that the record labels are in these days, it is unlikely that Universal Music will acknowledge the defect or manufacture a corrected pressing. After all, Universal wouldn't put things right for consumers who bought recent box sets or Deluxe Editions by Derek & The Dominos, Level 42 & Mike Oldfield with mastering or manufacturing defects. Universal's attitude is "If we goofed, you're stuck with it!"
Many of the early CD singles in this box are housed in generic Rolling Stones tongue sleeves, despite the fact that there were original 7" single picture sleeves for many of them.
......but the joke may soon be on Universal Music & The Rolling Stones: Online bootleggers will soon unleash a 56-disc FLAC torrent download version that shows just how incomplete this box set is. Apparently, there were many more dance mixes & variations that were exclusive to other countries other than the UK or U.S.A.