Strictly limited edition 13 vinyl LP box set that encompasses the Stones' early UK releases. The box set includes nine remastered Rolling Stones studio albums, two remastered EPs, plus two 'Big Hits' collections. The first five titles in the set are presented in their original mono format, affording, for the first time in years. The inclusion of the band's original two Hits collections was mandated by the fact that UK album releases in that era most often did not include contemporaneously released hit singles.
THE ROLLING STONES 1964-69/THE ROLLING STONES 1971-2005
Upper Manhattan, mid-1980s, an underfurnished railroad apartment. Three young men whose last meal was almost certainly noodle-based sit on overturned milk crates near a turntable. They're listening hard. To what? To a fixation: the first five Rolling Stones LPs in mono.
We weren't ridiculous. We weren't wrong. If you bought these records new at Sam Goody, you'd hear sound fit for a dog: old mono reprocessed into fake stereo, bassy in one speaker, trebly in the other, sloshed with reverb. If you got yourself around a used mono version, not so hard to find in those days -- especially of the sacramental "Out of Our Heads" -- you'd hear the band's greasy transmission, its full feckless assault, much more clearly.
We didn't have the British versions, though, some with different songs in a different order. We weren't that pro. We were 20 years too early. In a breathtaking all-vinyl boxed set, ABKCO has reissued the Stones' studio-album corpus up through 1969, and those that were originally mono (pre-"Aftermath") have been kept that way. Some of these probably sound as good as is currently possible. Simultaneously, Universal has released its own vinyl-only boxed set for the rest of the band's work, from "Sticky Fingers" to "A Bigger Bang." These will be more familiar to anyone who grew up with them: there was no mono-stereo issue here, no track-order scrambling between markets. They look and sound beautiful, using the best recent remastering and vinyl cutting. And here, cultured reader, would be the occasion to start building your defense of the undervalued "Goats Head Soup." -- The New York Times, November 26, 2010