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Customer Review

142 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remastering the Stones 2015. Sticky still, but oh so sweet., 15 May 2009
This review is from: Sticky Fingers (Audio CD)
OK, I would imagine that most folk already know this album and will already have it in some form or other. Therefore I will not dwell too long on the peerless music contained therein. The music is a mixed bag of styles taking in deep core blues numbers, hoary rockers and a spell of jazz-rock(almost!)in the latter minutes of Can't you hear me knocking which is worth the cost of admission alone.

Straight off I could hear Bobby Keys sax playing in Brown Sugar, the background bits and not just the hard blowing. The violins in Sway were more apparent. The detail in the sound of the slide guitar in You Gotta Move and a load of other fine aspects sound even more realistic than previously. High hats and snares crisp and all correct.

In particular the background is totally silent, no hiss at all to cloud the music.I also notice that the disc has not been mastered to be loud like all too many over compressed offerings these days. The sounds just emerge out of silence.

Sound quality 5 stars all round. Best I have ever heard it. Stephen Marcusson has managed to beat his own previous cd issue. I don't know how this could be, but he has. Everything just sounds better, but this sounds even clearer than previous, without any extra compression(best for lack of compression is the Virgin ones. They sound great on the right stereo cranked up. These sound better everywhere else) that I can hear. Astonishing!

The sonic differences are noticeable, not life changing or essential, rather small but perfectly formed.

The bonus tracks are all solid gold. I love them all. The newly uncovered Brown Sugar has no less than 4 guitars chiming away on it, the extra two co of Eric Clapton and Al Kooper. Interesting and well worth repeated listening sessions. It sounds a bit more animated and loose.

Wild Horses is honed back to the acoustic and all the more poignant for it. Clear as a bell. Mick's voice just floats out of the middle of this clean acoustic backing.

Can't you hear me Knocking is another gem, if only for the "how did they figure out how to make this sound better?" aspect. Here is an early version of a great song at a point where all the elements are essentially there, but not quite gelled..... So in a sense it is fascinating to try to figure out how did they make those choices to cut out the extra guitar curlicues and to make the rhythm less flowing and more choppy. It cuts short, which is no bad thing in the end. It is good to be able to hear Keith and Mick T swap guitar licks and hear them so clearly that it is no problem figuring out who is playing which.

Bitch. Longer, resonantly loaded with horns and extended. As good as the one we are used to, but longer and none the worse for it. Different vocal take, which again is an interesting thing to hear. Different guitar work in sections......all good stuff.

Dead Flowers sounds lighter and faster. Not quite as full of gravitas and the dark humour so evident in the final mix. Some great guitar licks that got the chop float around.....

The live tracks are superb. Full on wild early Stones and well recorded at that.

Overall one of the best bonus track filled cds that I have had the pleasure of getting my ears around. If only Led Zeppelins had been this good. If only the bonus tracks on the Exile reissue did not have the vocal lines redone by Mick. His current voice and singing style does not sound the same as the wilder Mick of back then and is out of place in a sense.

So, 2015 verdict is a solid thumbs up.
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Showing 1-10 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 May 2009 00:07:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 May 2009 00:17:17 BDT
Mark Barry says:
Great review Paul - just what I needed to know. I noticed the 2009 copyright date on the back of each CD, but oddly enough it doesn't actually say on the sticker or the inlay that is visible through the jewel case that these are 'new' remasters - which is all most Stones fans will want to know. Personally, I've loved the Virgin remasters for years - but if I can get even subtle improvements on them, then I'm up for it.

The only thing holding me back is that the Japanese are putting out 13 titles in June 2009 (Sticky all the way through to Bridges) in upgraded SHM CD form (Super High Materials, play on all players). They're about £16 each from the excellent cdjapan site - the only real shame is that they're not in those fab repro sleeves they do so well - and speaking of which, that's what should have been done with these issues - like Virgin did initially.

Everyone goes on about the Sixties Stones, but for me the Seventies Stones was even better - right up to "Tattoo You" in 1980.

Again - thanks for the info. I'll definitely look into buying them now.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2009 23:16:56 BDT
Thanks for the kind words Mark! I did a back to back on this one and the new one just sounds subtly better, more musical. I must check out that website, thanks for the tip.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2009 23:17:42 BDT
ps. I agree with your views re the 60's Stones vs. the 70's Stones.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2009 00:03:02 BDT
Simon F. says:
To hell with all this remastering nonsense. I'm sticking with my old trusty vinyl LP's. the best...

In reply to an earlier post on 22 May 2009 23:32:32 BDT
This is distinctly better than my old trusty vinyl version. A friend of mine was raving about the improvements he could hear in it, not having bothered with any of the previous cd issues. Is there a new vinyl version? If so that would be worth hearing.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2009 17:48:34 BDT
LPpsb says:
Spot on as usual re: the Stones new remasters. "Brown Sugar" really is so much better.

Posted on 4 Jul 2009 01:55:22 BDT
rob slevin says:
i too just wanted to say , the Stones in the 70's ,were at their peak.... but that's not to say i don't absolutely love the 60's stuff, and ...oh look !,,, here comes re-issues of Steel Wheels,Dirtywork,Babylon,Bigger Bang , i'll have a bit of that too. Ilove all those albums. The only Stones Album I could never warm to , was and is Voodoo Lounge. Eeeeeuuugggghhhhh ! .Best thing on it is 'Had It With You'.

Posted on 24 Oct 2010 12:52:46 BDT
STEVE666 says:
Good review, and with some reluctance and weak-will I'll probably buy it----again.
It does beg the question though; how many more times can they re-package the same old stuff and expect us to keep buying it?

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2011 16:08:17 GMT
Hi Rob,
"Had it with You" is from DIRTY WORK...

Posted on 17 Feb 2014 15:28:52 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 17 Feb 2014 15:32:04 GMT]
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