Legendary British r’n’b band The Rolling Stones have been at the top of the sales (album and concert tickets) since their formation in the early 60s, and were an integral part of the British Invasion (alongside The Beatles, The Kinks et al). They trod the same boards as the likes of The Yardbirds and covered many a blues standard in their early club days. With more hits than Mike Tyson, you’ll know many, and appreciate how the band have moved on from their r’n’b roots. Fronted by the demented pigeon that is Mick Jagger, this 1967 album that now gets its 50th anniversary treatment still featured the original line-up. Released on Decca (on London in the US), it was their sixth studio album (eighth in the US). This expanded set features both the stereo and mono versions, and the SACD is playable on both SACD and regular CD players, although I imagine you’d need quite a decent bit of kit to really appreciate the remastering.
Upon its original release the album drew as much criticism as praise, as the band moved away from their roots and toward that of the experimental psychedelia of their contemporaries. The Beatles pulled it off with Sgt Pepper, and while this is an excellent album it threw a J Curve at the time.
Opener Sing This All Together has the odd Indian feel, and the vocal harmonies do nod to The Beatles, the music a little rambling and a far cry to what most Stones fans are used to.
Citadel is a nod back to classic Stones, if on the jangly side. In Another Land is clearly the land of Syd Barrett. Vocal effects, acoustic guitar, harpsichord and psychedelic prog, a decent enough tune that captured the zeitgeist but no wonder it threw a few Stones fans.
A highlight is 2000 Man, an acoustic start and good melody that moves in a classic Stones direction. The Kiss version (on 1979’s Dynasty, sung by Ace Frehley) is also well worth checking out.
A combination of drug trials and the success of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (released six months before) all may have contributed to the change in direction, and the more skittish than cohesive sound. There are some excellent and classic moments that have since received deserved acclaim, but it’s easy to see why there were issues at the time.
This excellent package will be rightfully enjoyed by Stones fans and vinyl and audiophile fans alike. 8/10
The Rolling Stones:-
Mick Jagger – lead vocals, backing vocals, percussion
Keith Richards – electric guitar, backing vocals, acoustic guitar, fuzz bass, bass
Brian Jones – Mellotron, flute, percussion, saxophone, acoustic guitar, vibraphone, jew’s harp, brass, organ, recorder, harp, concert harmonica
Bill Wyman – bass guitar, percussion, lead vocals, piano, organ, Mellotron, oscillator
Charlie Watts – drums, percussion
Nicky Hopkins – piano, organ, harpsichord
John Paul Jones – string arrangement
Ronnie Lane – backing vocals
Steve Marriott – backing vocals
Eddie Kramer – claves
1. Sing This All Together (Stereo Remaster) 03:46
2. Citadel (Stereo Remaster) 02:50
3. In Another Land (Stereo Remaster) 03:15
4. 2000 Man (Stereo Remaster) 03:08
5. Sing This All Together (See What Happens) (Stereo Remaster) 08:39
6. She’s A Rainbow (Stereo Remaster) 04:34
7. The Lantern (Stereo Remaster) 04:23
8. Gomper (Stereo Remaster) 05:08
9. 2000 Light Years From Home (Stereo Remaster) 04:45
10. On With The Show (Stereo Remaster) 03:43
11. Sing This All Together (Mono Remaster) 03:47
12. Citadel (Mono Remaster) 02:50
13. In Another Land (Mono Remaster) 03:13
14. 2000 Man (Mono Remaster) 03:08
15. Sing This All Together (See What Happens) (Mono Remaster) 08:39
16. She’s A Rainbow (Mono Remaster) 04:35
17. The Lantern (Mono Remaster) 04:25
18. Gomper (Mono Remaster) 05:10
19. 2000 Light Years From Home (Mono Remaster) 04:44
20. On With The Show (Mono Remaster) 03:43