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A Deeper Delve Into Hot Rocks
on 25 June 2009
First released in 1972, this sequel to Hot Rocks 1964-1971 is necessarily somewhat short of greatest hits, as these had been liberally spattered all over the earlier double album. Nonetheless it does sport half a dozen A-sides. Surprisingly, these include The Last Time and It's All Over Now which were both number one hits in the UK, and Not Fade Away, which reached number three here. However it looks as if the collection was put together by the Stones' former US label, London, as it includes several selections that were on singles in America but that were album tracks in the UK, such as I'm Free and Lady Jane. Tell Me was also an early US single, though here it is in a longer version that was on the British version of their debut album.
Unlike Hot Rocks which, with just a couple of exceptions, contained only songs featured on singles, More Hot Rocks provides a wider and richer peek into the Stones' vast back catalogue by also plundering albums and assorted odds and ends. Out Of Time, for example, and Sittin' On A Fence were well-known songs because they were hits for Chris Farlowe and Twice As Much, but the Stones' own renditions were only on album. What To Do and Let It Bleed are also album tracks.
The Stones were more adventurous, diverse and experimental than a cursory run through their hits would indicate, and the B-sides chosen here make the point nicely: Good Times Bad Times, Dandelion, Two Thousand Light Years From Home (more like the Pink Floyd than anything else), Child Of The Moon, No Expectations and Long Long While.
Rarities include Poison Ivy (Version One) and Fortune Teller. These two covers were recorded as a follow-up to Come On, their debut British single, but were rejected and instead turned up later on a mixed artists compilation that nobody bought entitled Saturday Club. Money (That's What I Want) and Bye Bye Johnny come from their first British EP, which was not released stateside. I Can't Be Satisfied was on the UK version of their second album but was unreleased in the US, and since the 2002 reissue programme did not include the British versions of the first two albums, this is the only place it can be found on CD, and in a splendid stereo mix.
One of the aims of the reissue programme was to find the best and purest sources of the Stones' masters and get as many variants in catalogue as possible, excising all electronic stereo. Therefore, whereas Singles Collection: The London Years is all in mono up until Honky Tonk Woman, this compilation is liberally sprinkled with stereo where available, including It's All Over Now, the We Love You/Dandelion single and Child Of The Moon. Sonically, it is a big improvement on previous CD editions and sounds even better in SACD, though it maintains the authentically bright sound of the original production, as the aim here was not to remix.
Three other tracks have been added to the US version of the album, all unavailable on any other CD, but are unfortunately not included on the UK release.