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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 September 2015
You mean 'Gimme shelter', 'Midnight rambler' and 'You can't always get what you want' aren't enough to separate you from your cash?
The sound quality is good and this is from the Stones' purple period.

Just give in gracefully.
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 11 November 2002
Following great albums like Aftermath, Satanic Majesties Request & Beggars Banquet, the Stones went to another place with Let it Bleed. This album ranks along with Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St as one of their best albums- that time when they were dangerous, had Mick Taylor & Ry Cooder on hand and there was all that Altamont business.
Each track is great, some will be familiar to those who've seen Goodfellas (Monkey Man is used along with Memo from Turner from Performance in the helicopter scene), while Gimme Shelter turned up in Casino. Country Honk demonstrates the influence of Gram Parsons (and bizarrely has Nanette Newman singing on it!)- though the epic Midnight Rambler and the Burrito-inflected Let it Bleed are my fave tracks (sorry, but I'm allergic to the last track...).
Let it Bleed is a great, great album and it is nice to see the Stones back catlogue getting a decent reissue- this album sounds fabulous; a must have!
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on 17 March 2007
Someone walked off with my vinyl of this in the early seventies (I still remember who, if you read this Tony) and it wasn't the first Stones CD I had to buy when converting everything to CD. When I did get and play it, from the opening of 'Gimme Shelter', I immediately saw what a gem I'd been missing. This is a transitional album, after Brian Jones had gone(he features on two tracks but only on percussion and Autoharp) but before Mick Taylor arrived (only features on Country Honk)

It's like the rest of the band have something to prove and Keith's lead vocal "You got the Silver" is brilliant - as featured in Zabriskie Point. A lot of keyboards, Nicky Hopkins, Leon Russel, possibly some of the last Ian Stewart and some rare Al Koooper. Keith does most of the guitars and the songwriting is some of their best. The weakest thing on here is 'Can't Always Get What You Want' which says much for the other tracks.

It's like when Ronnie Wood joined them they became a charicature of themselves - he was bought in as much for his bad boy image as his playing ability (a la Sid Viscious to the Pistols). This predates all of that and still has some innovative and delicate stuff, before everything became a bit musically formulaic. Even Country Honk sounds great & fresh. Maybe some of those Stones tribute bands should try including it in their repertoire as a medley with the more recognisable (and predictable)Honky Tonk Women.

PS - Much later I was given the book "The Making of Let it Bleed" by Sean Egan. A great companion read and explanation while your listning to this - recommended.
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on 18 March 2011
I ordered it because it was cheap. Now I know why it was cheap. The sound is just not right (an odd neither CD nor vinyl sound). I was very afraid when I saw words like 'Direct Stream Digital' and 'Super Bit Mapping Direct' printed on the vinyl cover. Absolutely makes no sense to make vinyls from digital sources. When will they ever learn. Fantastic album, though.
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In the truly fantastic and illuminating 2013 movie "20 Feet From Stardom" - one of the great unsung heroes of backing singers MERRY CLAYTON recalls with a giggle being dragged into a Studio by The Rolling Stones in her mink coat at some ungodly hour in the morning and told to scream "RAPE! MURDER! IT'S JUST A SHOT AWAY..." into a microphone at the top of her formidable lungs whilst heavily pregnant and still with her hair-curlers in. The film isolates her vocal track where she went up an extra octave to get the effect they needed - and you can hear her blowing the room out with her sheer power. Mick Jagger - who is also interviewed in the film along with Springsteen and many other rock beneficiaries - recalls it too and smiles wryly - Merry was damn good. In fact perhaps Clayton stood out as much as he did.

But whatever has passed into musical history since - nowadays both are quite rightly proud of the fabulous song "Gimme Shelter" that opens 1969's "Let It Bleed" by The Rolling Stones - what many lifetime fans feel is one of their finest hairy-assed reprobate hours. Merry Clayton would go on to have a short but sadly unnoticed Solo career of her own on Ode/A & M Records - even naming her debut album "Gimme Shelter" after her most famous moment with the grinning English boy (see separate review).

Back to this CD reissue... When the Decca label side of the Stones catalogue first came out on CD in 1986 on London - it was not the greatest moment for the new format. This 2002 reissue acknowledges this and advises that after 'long and painful' searches through tape vaults on both sides of the Atlantic - both time and technology had caught up enough to warrant a proper stab at it again - and man what a result.

Released August 2002 on Abkco 90042 (Barcode 018771900429) - it's a straightforward transfer of the album (42:21 minutes):

1. Gimme Shelter
2. Love In Vain
3. Midnight Rambler
4. Live With Me
5. Let It Bleed
6. Midnight Rambler [Side 2]
7. You Got The Silver
8. Monkey Man
9. You Can't Always Get What You Want
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Let It Bleed" - released November 1969 in the USA on London NP 4 (Mono) and NPS 4 (Stereo) and December 1969 in the UK on Decca LK 5025 (Mono) and SKL 5025 (Stereo). Only the Stereo mix is used.

Made by Sony and Phillips - the SACD/DSD Hybrid Disc actually has two layers - the first contains the normal CD playback - but the other layer has a SACD remaster which will automatically come on if your machine has SACD playback facilities (it doesn't require a special machine to play this disc). The three-way foldout card digipak unfortunately doesn't reproduce the inner sleeve or the sticker and poster that came with rare originals of the album. It does however take the figurines off the cake and dot them across the digipak and CD. But the real sweet tooth is the sound. Given a careful transfer/remaster/mastering job by Steve Rosenthal, Teri Landi and Bob Ludwig - the sonic transformation of Jimmy Miller's original production are awesome.

Right from the opening moments of "Gimme Shelter" with its atmospheric guitars and NICKY HOPKINS piano playing - you know you're in the presence of something special. Things get even better with the largely acoustic cover of Robert Johnson's "Love In Vain" featuring RY COODER on Mandolin to great effect .The lead in car-horns and fiddle playing of BYRON BERLINE on their countrified piss take of "Honky Tonk Women" (called "Country Honk") sounds suitably ramshackle. Bill Wyman's Bass and Charlie Watt's Drums kick in with power on "Live With Me" as does the piano playing of LEON RUSSELL. The two acidic Side 1 finishers "Live With Me" (with MICK TAYLOR) and "Let It Bleed" (with IAN STEWART) have that fantastic British Rock 'n' Roll swagger that only the Faces seemed to be able to get near with any conviction.

Side 2 opens with the killer "Midnight Rambler" - a concert pleaser to this day. I love the wickedly sly "You Got The Silver" with Keith giving it bottleneck slide and half-stoned half-jealous vocals. Reputedly about the actress Anita Pallenberg immersed in the filming of "Performance" with Mick Jagger - the song also turned up in the futuristic classic "Zabriskie Point" - a notorious bomb at the box office in 1970. There can't be many Stones who don't think "Monkey Man" one of their great, unheralded Rocking masterpieces - a snotty little number perfectly placed before the glorious symphony of "You Cant Always Get What You Want". What can you say about this album finisher - how many times has its opening magic been used in movies to elicit emotion - and worked! To this day the 7" single edit of it on the B-side of "Honky Tonk Women" can only be found on the 3rd Stones Singles Box 1968-1971 (see separate review). As Al Kooper bashes the keys and Doris Troy, Nanette Newman, Madeline Bell and The London Bach Choir sing the song out - I'll admit to blubbing little Glimmer Twin tears...absolute f***ing genius.

"This Record Should Be Played Loud" it stated on the inner bag of the original vinyl LP. Whether you go for the 2002 SACD/CD Hybrid issue or Japan's SHM-CD from 2010 (with all the repro artwork and 2002 remaster) - I'd apply the same code to this blindingly good remaster...CRANK IT!

PS: A young Delia Smith baked the cake on the cover...swear to God...
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on 1 December 2008
This album, like Black and Blue, saw the Stones effectively reduced to a 4-piece. Keith has to work that much harder and it shows in some strong songs.
"Gimmie Shelter" is not only, in my opinion, the best Stones song ever, but also one of the best songs ever. It is simply stunning. "Love In Vain" has a nice feel to it, although I rarely warm to Stones covers (apart from the adolescent charm of the early covers on their first and third albums). "Country Honk" is an uptempo country track that feels right and not contrived, while "Live With Me" showed the Stones with a snarl and contempt that was was still convincing when they were in their mid 20's. "Let It Bleed" is another great track and was written in the period when Jagger's lyrics still had resonance and feel. "Midnight Rambler" is good but not as great as it is sometimes made out to be. I think it is sometimes praised more for its concept than for the song itself. "You Got The Silver" is an atractive Keith song, rendered above average by Brain Jones's last contribution to the band on autoharp. "Monkey Man" I used to think was just filler, but my view has changed and I now think it is the Stones experimenting with heavy rock (as The Beatles did with Helter Skelter) and pulling it off. Finally, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is another classic, which I can see in years to come being sung by professional choirs as a "traditional" staple.
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on 7 February 2016
The first time I saw this band was in 1964 and paid ten pence for a place no more than ten feet from any of the line up. Times have changed :( This is the fifth and last time I'm going to buy this album, what with it now being on my MP3 cloud. I still have the vinyl, which I must have played thousands of times. In my opinion it's the band at its best.
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on 13 May 2011
I bought this in vinyl (the mono version) over 40 years ago and recently bought it as a CD. For me it's probably the best Rolling Stones' album with Aftermath coming a close second. For what it's worth I think the best five tracks in order of preference are (1) You can't always get what you want (2) Gimme shelter (3) Monkey man (4) Let it bleed (5) Live with me. The other tracks are all of a high standard, especially Midnight Rambler. Most of the Stones' albums have at least a couple of weak tracks but not this one. It's still as fresh now as it was for decades ago. Some of the lyrics are extraordinary if you listen closely: "My best friend he shoots water rats and feeds them too his geese, don't you think there's a place for us, in between the sheets?" - perhaps not Byzantine reasoning but definitely intriguing. I still don't see the connection. The only thing I don't like about it is the cover which just doesn't look quite right. Strongly recommended.
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on 16 January 2015
One of the very best Stones albums. my all time favourite is 'Beggars Banquet' though, because of it's brilliant rawness, but if your collecting Stones stuff you need this, Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main Street, It's Only Rock N Roll, Some Girls, Rolled Gold, and the best live album 'Get Yer Ya Ya's Out'. Then you have The Stones at their very best.

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on 26 April 2014
I have the original vinyl album, the CD, the SACD and now this Blu-Ray Version. This is my favorite Rolling Stones album, and I have listened to it many times in its different formats.This is, hands down, the best yet. Every detail of the music is prominent. I cannot praise it enough. Just listen to the guitar at the beginning of "Love in Vain." You will be convinced that this disc is worth every penny.
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