The Singles Collection 1971-2006: 45 X 45s Box set
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Lavishly packaged, The Rolling Stones Singles (1971-2006) CD box set collects the amazing run of forty-five 45s the group has issued over the last four decades.
Amongst many gems, it includes US chart-toppers such as the irresistible "Brown Sugar", the beautiful ballad "Angie" and the floor-filler par excellence "Miss You", as well as the infectious rockers "Mixed Emotions" and "Don't Stop". The new box set also highlights the band's rock and roll and rhythm'n'blues roots, and showcases their wonderful cover versions of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock", the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", Smokey Robinson and The Miracles' "Going to a Go-Go", Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle" and Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone".
The box set also brings the group's compelling story up to date with the soulful "Streets Of Love", "Rain Fall Down" and "Biggest Mistake", their most recent studio recordings.
Controversial this may seem, but the biggest benefactors of The Beatles splitting up were The Rolling Stones. Throughout the 1960s the two of them, whether by accident or design, were interlinked and took it in turns to top the charts with their nifty beat numbers and upset the establishment.
Having literally – as generally considered – ended the 60s dream themselves when they staged their Altamont concert, the Stones were free of the competition and stared down the barrel of a new decade with their own label and a loosening up of their sound. Gone was the aping around in wizard hats; now a grittier, sleazier, bluesier rock and roll was back, and the years ahead were theirs for the taking.
Packaged in a lavish box, with CD single-sized replicas of each sleeve and featuring a total of 173 tracks, over 80 of which are not currently available on official releases, this is catnip for any serious Stones collector not currently undergoing a financial crisis. And, obviously, it’s only produced in limited numbers. Naturally you’re going to find the cash somehow.
The first few discs are stunning. With Brown Sugar, Wild Horses, Tumbling Dice, Happy and Angie, they delivered a run of singles that any act would be honoured to come up with. The B sides weren’t too shoddy either, with Bitch, Sweet Black Angel and Silver Train as evidence. In fact, how can anyone argue with a release that includes Emotional Rescue, Miss You and Undercover of the Night? Even 1990’s Almost Hear You Sigh is an underrated nugget from when the idea of being interesting in the studio was still prevalent, questions of how much they could make by playing colossal tours still in their infancy.
From then on, however, it goes downhill a bit. The extra tracks are either (admittedly rather good) live versions or revisits of previous glories. And it would take a will of steel to sit through the half-dozen or so remixes of latter numbers such as Saint of Me or Anybody Seen My Baby, tackled by the likes of Todd Terry, Deep Dish and Armand Van Helden.
So 45 x 45 is strictly for the hardcore. Those wanting a more straightforward best-of would be best served by getting the effortless majesty of 2002’s sublime 40 Licks or Jump Back compilations. But that doesn’t take anything away from the fan-pleasing completeness of this lavishly packaged set.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ideal for music fans who just buy singles. I bet though, a lot of folk will buy this, play it and then go out and buy all the Stone's albums.
This would have been great to have in vinyl which I am not sure was ever done..
Someone did comment that Winning Ugly was missing. I agree, it would have been nice to have had that one for the various mixes. I think it was just a case of Keith probably forgetting to include it. I never realised it was released as a single.
For anyone who doesn't know, a few of the singles were only released in the USA but included here.
I bought this box of joy. So should you. It would also make a great gift to give to someone.
I would like to thank Amazon for stocking all these gems, many of them too and that you never see or know about these in most UK record Stores. Further more Amazon Stock other box sets of the Stones first 9 years 62 to 71 a and b sides of singles. The Triple CD The London Years is a good one. Compliments this set perfectly.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
Mismatched US/UK sleeves include "Start Me Up," "Waiting On A Friend", "Time Is On My Side," and "She Was Hot."
The sleeve for disc ten, "Hot Stuff/Fool To Cry", is a duplicate of the sleeve for disc nine, "Fool To Cry / Crazy Mama".
My disc 23 also has the well known mastering glitch at beginning of "I Think I'm Going Mad". I wrote to Universal and they sent me a replacement CD for disc 23 but said I should return the box to Amazon for the sleeve mix-up.
The funny thing is that the replacement CD that Universal sent has a different glitch! The "skip" is fixed", but the track marker for song two is off by a second or two. The beginning of song two, "I Think I'm Going Mad", starts in the last couple of seconds of track one. So if one goes to play song two directly, the first second or two is missing.
I don't think there is any point in returning my box to the Amazon seller over the sleeve issue since there is no guarantee the sleeves would be correct in a replacement box. Besides that, I might not want to play every CD in this set over again right away to find out if anything is wrong with the replacement.
I suppose I can ask Universal if they have a replacement for disc 23 that doesn't have the track marker error, but I'll probably just accept that the set is not to be perfect.
This is a 5 star collection of music and the packaging really is nice. I just wish that a little more care would have been taken in the manufacturing and assembly of the set.
The nicest part is that some singles offer you 10 or more tracks, because originally the single came in different versions.
All tracks of these different original versions are now combined on one single.