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Box Set, Digipack
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To mark the band's 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones have announced a Greatest Hits collection. GRRR! features two new tracks recorded in Paris in the summer of 2012 (including the single "Doom and Gloom"), as well as a career-spanning collection of hits.
Highlights include the band's first single--a version of Chuck Berry’s “Come On”, “The Last Time”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Get Off Of My Cloud”, “Jumping Jack Flash”, “Honky Tonk Women” and the juke-box and concert favourites “Brown Sugar”, “Tumbling Dice”, “Miss You” and “Start Me Up”.
This 3-disc edition contains 50 tracks as well as a 24-page booklet.
This three-CD compilation gets off to a start to gladden the heart of the purist by including The Rolling Stones’ 1963 debut single Come On, underrated by even the band themselves. However, any hopes raised that Grrr! will be a completist exercise are immediately dashed by the omission of follow-up I Wanna Be Your Man.
It’s probably for the best: a collection devoted to mopping up the singles might have led to the exclusion of some of history’s greatest, most epic recordings, among them the seething Satan flirtation Sympathy for the Devil, the melancholic exploration of the demi-monde You Can’t Always Get What You Want and the smouldering, apocalyptical Gimme Shelter.
These are all blissfully present on disc 2, which straddles the late 60s to the late 70s and makes clear why the Stones’ music and image was then the template for all rock bands.
Disc 1 covers the Stones’ tenure as teen idols, a status they managed to combine with records that captured the bellicose, decorum-busting 60s zeitgeist such as Satisfaction, Get Off Of My Cloud and Let’s Spend the Night Together. Remarkably, tracks like Time Is on My Side and Ruby Tuesday prove they could do lip-quivering sensitivity with equal aplomb.
On the debit side, the stupid title and stupider cover artwork of Grrr! seem to suggest that enthusiasm was in short supply as the Stones’ camp approached yet another permutation of their greatest hits.
Meanwhile, another sort of fatigue is conveyed by the fact that seven years after their last album, all they can muster in the way of new material to mark the milestone of their half-centenary is Doom and Gloom and One More Shot, a brace of tracks that – in the typical modern Stones style – are just riff, slogan and biscuit-tin drums.
They at least don't do anything so embarrassing as try to pretend their recent output merits equivalence with their peak material: on the third disc, their last 34 years are represented by just 17 cuts.
As ever, omissions can be complained of. And concluding with the two newies is unwise, if unavoidable with a roughly chronological tracklisting.
However, the whopping 50 tracks are judiciously enough chosen to demonstrate why the band is legendary. What with that and its pocket-friendly price, Grrr! immediately assumes the status of the best Stones compilation on the market.
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1. "Brown Sugar" [about 1 minute in] has a sharp 1 second whistle sound on one side of the stereo image that should not be there.
2. The Stereo mixes of the Decca era tracks "Its All Over Now", "Heart Of Stone" and "Time Is On My Side" are stunning so why weren't the Stereo versions of the other recordings from the same period e.g. "Satisfaction", "Get Off My Cloud" etc used as well? A lost opportunity I think.
Finally, I hope we can now look forward to the re-issue of the Stones' entire Decca and Rolling Stones Records' back catalogues in this superb Blu-Ray audio format in due course.
I hope this medium takes off. When it's good it's very good. I'm into vinyl and it still takes some beating but the blu ray is very clear sounding but with a relaxed feel to it, unlike most CD releases. I'm hoping the record companies re-release a number of albums on the one disc as the capacity of the blu-ray is far greater.
I've only listened on a cheapo Sony blu-ray player and it sounds very good. I don't know if the medium takes the player quality out of the equation but it may well sound even better on an Opp or Cambridge Audio universal player.
I've also got Getz/Gilberto which is a jazz album which sounds fantastic. Jazz always seems to be recorded to a higher quality though.
Overall the early songs from the 1960s don't have much better sound as the SACDs issued a while back.
However the 1970s songs are a big improvement in sound, makes you realise how poor the CDs were mastered.
As a value for money you can't complain. It is a shame there was no video content included such as promo clips or even some info on the music.
It also would have been nice to hear these in 5.1 if possible.
Overall its a good choice of songs and make this a good compilation of 50 years of The Rolling Stones.
I don't have any issues with the packaging, it's the typical BluRay case with a booklet with a small amount of info about each track.
For me disc 1 is brilliant and hasnt a weak track on it and half of disc 2 the same. It then has some Stones songs i dont particularly like and disc 3 is poor in my view.
I have Rolled Gold but an old copy that sticks on some tracks but when i looked i saw this 3cd was cheaper than Rolled Golds 2cd. I also have the excellent Hot Rocks and Live Licks. I will buy another copy of Rolled Gold at some time which in my view with 24 tracks on cd1 is as good as cd 1 on Grrr.