We took the best first LP and mated it to the best second LP from the set to create the overall Shootout Winner with EIGHT, count ’em, eight total pluses over the four sides! And side one was WHITE HOT. We certainly didn’t expect to hear sound like that on a 1975 compilation of classic Stones hits such as this; most Stones compilations are awful sounding in our experience. Played Hot Rocks lately?
But these tracks have the potential to be taken from something very close to the real master tapes, a subject we discuss in one of our dirty little secret commentaries.
And they put the early mono recordings on these discs in mono, which is another good sign that somebody at the label wanted this material to sound authentic and correct.
Let’s break it down side by side.
A+++ Whte Hot Stamper Sound! Play “It’s All Over Now” to hear just how good this album can sound – so Tubey Magical, rich yet clear. I can honestly say I have never heard that track sound better. The top is extended, the bottom solid, this is Master Tape Sound. Who knew?
A+, the weakest side here. Somewhat dark, murky and veiled like 80-90% of all the copies we played. A least it was musical, a step up over most, but barely hot.
A++ Super Hot Stamper Sound. Now this is more like it! Track one is weak but track two is better and track three is actually quite good, with good energy and transparency and openness than any other side three we played.
The source tapes for some songs are better than others, and that is what you are hearing on these mixed-sounding sides, which is all of them. How could it be otherwise? Different studios, engineers, equipment — pretty much everything changes from song to song except (most of) the band members.
A++ again, with some superb sound on the tracks one and four. Track one has lovely Tubey Magic while maintaining its clarity, although it is fairly compressed, something that most hits have in common. Some songs are edgier and thinner than we would like but overall we feel this side four gets the best sounding songs to sound awfully good.
Mint Minus would be nice on a album such as this, but in our experience it simply has never happened, even with supposedly superior Decca vinyl. Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as we heard on any side during our shootout.
Of course originals are usually quite a bit noisier than that, so, relatively speaking, these must be considered “quiet” pressings.
I Wanna Be Your Man
Not Fade Away
It’s All Over Now
Little Red Rooster
Time Is on My Side
The Last Time
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Get Off of My Cloud
19th Nervous Breakdown
As Tears Go By
Under My Thumb
Out of Time
Paint It Black
Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Standing in the Shadow?
Let’s Spend the Night Together
We Love You
She’s a Rainbow
Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Honky Tonk Women
Sympathy for the Devil
Street Fighting Man
An excellent 28-track collection that hits all of the highlights once again, one after the other.