The Rolling Stones have been celebrating a mark that very few bands and artists can claim. The British blues rock based band has been celebrating half a century together this year. As part of the ongoing celebration, a number of the band’s works have been reissued in recent months. Among them have been the likes of Charlie is my Darling and a new greatest hits compilation (at least the third hits compilation from the band). Earlier this summer, three more Stones works were re-issued in celebration of the band’s anniversary. Those albums were Let It Bleed, Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971, and Beggar’s Banquet. The albums in question weren’t re-issued on CD. Rather, they were re-issued on vinyl, as a gift to all of the band’s long-time fans. Sure, it’s nice to have the technology that is available today for music. But it’s just as wonderful to have these classic releases re-issued on vinyl.
All three re-issues are such a joy first and foremost because of the sound quality on each set’s transfer. Many people listen to vinyls because of the static on the records. While the audio has been cleaned up on these re-issues, there’s still a certain feeling of hearing the original masters on a vinyl yet crystal clear. It appeases both younger audiences and those with more knowledge of the band’s catalogue. Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971 is presented in a double gatefold packaging. Instead of the old school dark vinyl, this set’s discs are presented in clear 180 gram vinyl, just as with the other two vinyl re-issues of Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed. Both discs are safely packed inside their own sleeve so as to protect them just as with old any old school vinyl. Inside the double-gatefold packaging, fans will find a collage of classic Rolling Stones photos complete with liner notes. This adds even more to the feeling of nostalgia that will be felt from simply holding the clear vinyl discs.
The second of the new vinyl re-issues from ABKCO and the Rolling Stones, Let It Bleed is one of the greatest of the greatest albums released from Mick and the gang. This vinyl is presented just as the original album was presented. It comes complete with hits such as ‘Gimme Shelter’, ‘Midnight Rambler’ and what is one of the band’s biggest hits of all time, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ among many other hits. This album was re-issued on 180-gram clear vinyl just as with Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971. It should be noted here that the third in the set, Beggar’s Banquet was also released on 180-gram clear vinyl. It was all part of ABKCO’s clear vinyl project. These releases are just part of the larger program by ABKCO to release a number of artists’ classic albums on clear vinyl. It is a wise marketing move in that it is much more appealing to the eye than old school vinyls. And again, with the advances in technology, the audio is crystal clear. That combined with the original artwork gives fans the best of both worlds yet again.
Much the same already noted of Hot Rocks 1964 – 1971 and Let it Bleed can be noted of Beggar’s Banquet, too. It would be redundant to bring about the same notes one more time that have already been stated. What can be said in closing about not just Beggar’s Banquet, but of all three re-issues in this set is that this trio of albums from ABKCO and The Rolling Stones make a wonderful gift to fans from what is one of the greatest bands in the history of rock music. As impressive as all three vinyl re-issues turn out to be, one can only wonder if ABKCO and the Rolling Stones will re-issue any other of the band’s classic LPs as it winds down its fiftieth anniversary, or beyond. While fans wait for an answer to that question, audiences have quite a way to pass the wait with these records. And audiences with more knowledge of the Stones’ history have quite the start on a trip down memory lane. All three vinyl re-issues are available in stores and online now. All three records can be ordered online direct from the ABKCO store at http://www.abkco.com/index.php/store/.
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