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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 29 October 2002
Well they're here at last! The much anticipated ABCKO re-issues of those classic Stones albums. They've been subject to much conjecture over the last two years when the project to re-present the Stones 60.s back catalogue in new and better sound and packaging was first mooted.
...And now the waiting is over and having listened to eight of these CDs and comparing them with the previous "gold standard" in Stones CDs - the Mobile Fidelity Sound European releases of the late 80's early 90's, I can definitely assure Stones fans and casual buyers alike that these new re-masters are indeed the business.
And even if you are lucky enough to own all the Mobile Fidelity mastered releases, you are still going to need these new guys on the block.
Reasons? Well let's start with the packaging; OK so the "Certificate of Authenticity" is a tad tragic and just a bit irritating, but you can always extract it from the case and place it with due solemnity in the drawer where it can happily reside with the rest of your Stones artifacts, BUT and it is a big but, everything else has been presented in a way to make you feel as if you're nearer to having the original LP (you know those strange old vinyl thingies) cover in your hands then ever was the case with previous CD releases. The digipacks I know are not to everyone's liking, but the quality of the inserts and the printed quality of the covers are infinitely superior to ANY previous CD incarnations.
The sound is also a revelation and this from someone who has only been able to listen to the CD layer, but whether in mono or stereo this is an optimum listening experience and none more so than "12 X 5".
This album has always been something of a mixed blessing, being a compilation of various sessions and featuring the wonderfully gritty photograph of virtually back lit Stones by David Bailey, which graced the cover of their second UK album "The Stones No. 2", and like it's UK predecessor was unecumbered by any type or cover blurb whatsoever, while "12 X 5" has ... well erm "The Rolling Stones 12 X 5" plastered over it, which kinda loses a little artistic je ne c'est quois in the process. It does however include all 5 tracks from the similarly titled EP that was releasd to UK fans and was the product of their first recording session in what to the Stones in 1964 (when these tracks were laid down) must have been Mecca, when they first entered the legendary Chess studios, home to Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and a host of the other grizzled ole' bluesmen that they had been so mesmerised with.
All previous CD releases of 12 X 5 including the six Chess tracks, "12 X 5" adds "It's All Over Now" to the Chess rosta were in glorious mono. This release kicks off with "Around and Around" Keef's much beloved Chuck Berry cover, in stunning stereo. As if this isn't enough we have "If You Need Me', "Empty Heart", "Confessin' the Blues" and "It's All Over Now" in crystalline stereo and to top it all the LOOOONGGGG version of "2120 South Michigan Avenue" (Chess Studios Address) which take I've never encounted before in stereo and gives us, if popular Stones lore is correct old Muddy Waters hisself a twanging his guitar on the last few bars of this fantastic intrumental homage.
So, brothers an sisters you've got to go out and buy this and after that ... well there's; "Beggars Banquet" ( I know you've got it but this remaster you need - believe me!!!) "Aftermath" the UK version, "Hot Rocks", "More Hot Rocks" with some suprise bonus tracks, oh the list is endless - perhaps all 22 might be the way to go.
But in the meantime "12 x 5" is as good a place to start as any.
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on 12 May 2003
If you are a fan of the stones or of music from this period then you will enjoy not only this but the rest of this series of re-issues.
The quality that abcko have achieved almost puts you right there in the studio 40 years ago when all of these tracks were first recorded.
More please!!
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on 30 March 2013
I completely agree with Joel.
Until we have the British version of these LPs with attendant A sides, B sides, EP tracks, alternate versions, ad jingles and BBC sessions (oh, and decent sleeve-notes), the Stones' back catalogue will remain the complete mess is has been since the 1980s, and especially since the glut of releases in 2002.

This could all be done SO MUCH BETTER, just look at the current buoyant state of The Monkees' or The Kinks' back catalogues if you don't believe me.
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on 25 October 2002
The Stones second U.S. album, 12x5, was filled with some great covers and some early original material. Besides being one of their best early albums, the sound has been improved greatly. The album now contains STEREO versions of "Around And Around," "Confessin' The Blues," "Empty Heart," "It's All Over Now," "2120 South Michigan Avenue," and "If You Need Me," which have never been heard, let alone released, in stereo before. This version is superior to the old ABKCO version. This is definitely one album worth buying in the current SACD collection. You will not be disappointed in the upgraded sound. Highly recommended.
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on 22 January 2006
To me, the absolutely excellent cover of It's All Over Now is a good enough reason to buy this album.
But if that doesn't satisfy you, let me give you a few more. The album starts out with the foot-tapping, lively Around and Around, and is followed by the very raw Confessin' the Blues. I'm sure I don't need to introduce you to the Stones' fantastic cover of Time Is On My Side...."Tiiii-iiii-iiime, IS on my siiiide... yes it is!" ... Great stuff! Under the Boardwalk and Suzie Q are also exceptional examples of early Stones. Oh, and again, you won't find a better example of chugging, charging, smirking, hollaring Stones than in It's All Over Now. Jagger's vocals are superb, and the weaving of Jones' and Keef's guitars is almost reminiscent of their later days with Mick Taylor.
On the whole, brilliant stuff. A little filler here and there, but it's reduced to insignificance by the brilliance of the rest of it. Plus two thumbs up for the packaging, remastering, and SACD-ing.
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on 9 June 2016
12x5 is the second American release for the legendary The Rolling Stones. The group go through the motions with some catchy covers and some pretty decent hooks. The album is fairly up beat and actually sounds good for its age.

I do however have a problem with the track list. I have a nice vinyl copy of The Rolling Stones No. 2 which in my opinion has a vastly superior track list. I do enjoy 12x5 but it does not have the same flow and momentum build up that No.2 does.

I would definitely recommend checking this out for rock n roll enthusiasts and fans of The Rolling Stones. But I feel that this is not the definitive album when you compare the second album that was released in the UK.
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on 27 February 2008
British fans of one of the greatest rock bands ever are yet again ignored. This release of the 'Stones' second album is the American version. The British release was titled 'The Rolling Stones No.2' and was a far more coherent collection of tracks than this. The original cover remains the same except for the added title 'The Rolling Stones, 12X5', Duh? Oh yeah, twelve songs by five blokes called 'The Rolling Stones' (As if we need telling). The original had no type except for the 'DECCA' logo, just the photo adding some mystique to the cover. This version replaces early 'Stones' gems namely 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love', 'Down Home Girl', 'You Can't Catch Me', 'What A Shame', 'Down The Road Apiece', 'I Can't Be Satisfied', 'Pain In My Heart' and 'Off The Hook', with a mishmash of tracks that only appeared on later inferior collections of EP tracks and b'sides. Just four originals remain. What a Shame.
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I bought the Decca vinyl in Africa forty-four years ago, and the Decca London CD twenty-some years ago. Wonderful. I'm listening again as I write. This remaster is almost identical apart from the longer time for 2120 SMA, but I'm still almost tempted to buy my third copy of this outstanding work... The CDs sound so much better than the downloads.

This second (US) album should not be confused with the third album, 'Rolling Stones II' as released in UK, and which was chopped up in the US as 'Rolling Stones Now'.

It fits in well between the UK first album 'The Rolling Stones' and UK third album 'Rolling Stones II', then followed with UK 'Aftermath' and UK 'Big Hits - High Tide and Green Grass' and UK 'Big Hits II - Through the Past Darkly' for not too much duplication and most of the classic great tracks. While I still have some of the others I never listen to them, so no point in a mention.
After BHII I always felt they became too self indulgent and repetitive and some years ago I sold my mint copies of 'Exile on Main Street' and 'Steel Wheels'.

To sort out the very real confusion about which tracks should be on which album, UK or US, see the excellent discography in the back of the Stones joint 2003 autobiography "According to The Rolling Stones" (which carefully manages - almost but not quite - to avoid any mention of Bill Wyman.)
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on 12 December 2011
This was the Stones 2nd album release in the U.S.A. in October 1964. It opens with a rousing rendition of the Chuck Berry song "Around And Around" followed by "Confessin` The Blues" where Jagger excels.
The 3rd track a self-penned ( Nanker Phelge ) song "Empty Heart" shows that their early song writing efforts still have some way to go but you can`t help loving the rawness of it. " Time Is On My Side " is of course the legendary recording of the Jerry Ragovoy song. Next comes the Jagger/Richard "Good Times,Bad Times" followed by the standout track " It`s All Over Now " which was their first no.1 hit single in the U.K.
Track 7 is the instrumental 2120 South Michigan Avenue then the classic " Under The Boardwalk." followed by "Congratulations" which on my copy is spelt with a "d" instead of a "t".
" Grown Up Wrong " is another early Jagger/Richards effort and the album closes with " If You Need Me " followed by a very short " Susie Q "
One drawback to consider is that these early albums are very short in length. Although this album has 12 tracks ( hence the title ) it only lasts just over 32 minutes. Also make sure you get the re-mastered version which captures the rawness of the guitars, the vocal quality and the natural distortion of the band as it sounded in the studio.
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on 6 February 2013
I had bought the original vinyl record in the 1960's but no longer have a record deck and need to replace on CD. The first 2 albums by the stones were their best - commercial rhythm & blues - before they found their way into 'rock' & lost some of their appeal. I heard that early reproductions on to CD were not very good but later the digitally enhanced/remastered recordings were very near to the original sound. Glad I bought both this & the first album on CD - they are both great & remind me of what the early Stones were all about - takes me back to days of the changing world of the 60,s. Great listening & great memories.
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