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Reviews: The Rolling Stones: 12 x 5

Reviews: 4

Review by Tom February 9, 2003 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
In the mid 1960's when this album was released it was both 10 years after it's time and showed a glimce of the future. The album includes recordings that were originally written and recorded by other groups in the 1950's or early 60's like Under the Boardwalk, Susie Q, and Around and Around. On the other hand, the future is revealed by cuts like Time is on my side, Good Times Bad Times, and It's all over now. The album is a bridge between the Stones early and middle periods. The album demonstrates how the Rolling Stones matured and I believe its sonically one of the best Stones albums. Overall, this is one of the better Stones albums, but those who do not care for the sound of the 50's probably should stay away from it. I'm glad that I bought it.

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Review by mcondo September 9, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have had 12x5 (SACD) since it came out. My bet is many readers of this review have it also, maybe just haven't played it in a while. Suggestion: Crank up Confessin the Blues followed by 2120 S Michigan Ave. This is definitive Rock & Roll and shows how raw and powerful these guys were 40 years ago (ouch!) If you don't own it, buy it before any of the Stones SACD's except LIB. The sound is georgous, the performance is outstanding. The rest of the tracks are great too.

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Review by JW September 30, 2004 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Shall I give this 4 stars for Performance or three ? I still am not sure. We are still in cover-mode here hence the three star rating, but '2120 South Michigan Avenue' is a gem, and so is 'Time Is on My Side'.

When they first came out I bought 10 of the ABKCO discs but I never got around to write something about them. I'll try and rate them sonically and in comparison to each other. This is early Stones and therefore it bears the hallmark of the times in the way they sound in the studio (or live) and by the nature of the songs. Bluesy, Beatle-like but infused with real rock and attitude initially, to more and more of their signature sound as they progress over the years and hone their craft. Overall these ABCKO series are a tremendous achievement, but they cannot touch many of the modern DSD recorded SACD's or even the sound quality of Living Stereo SACD's or some of the Japanese Miles Davis titles. 'Let it Bleed' and 'Beggars Banguet' come closest. So do you rate them in comparison to other SACD's regardless of age, or do you rate them on their own merits. I guess I have done a little bit of both. There are many more angles with which to review these titles, I fully realise that. I chose this one for these pages.

So here is my list ranked by audio quality: (P=Performance. S=Sonics)
1) Let It Bleed (P5,S4)
2) Beggars Banguet (P5,S4)
3) 12x5 (P3,S3)
4) Out of Our Heads (P3,S3)
4) Aftermath (P4,S3)
5) Between the Buttons (P5,S2)
5) December's Children (P5,S2)
5) Their Satanic Majesties Request (P4,S2)
6) Get Yer Ya-Ya's out (P5,S1)

I also bought Hot Rocks, but that is a compilation which reflects the variety of recordings it was based on, so did not feature it here.

Some listening notes to back this up:
1) One of the most modern sounding recordings of the lot. This one does not have the 'we are playing in an empty oil drum' sound from say a 'Buttons..'. In addition to its desert island disc musical quality, the sound is pretty amazing. Of the you-are-there variety.
2) Close second. Somewhat lower recording level than some of the others. Remarkably wide soundstage on the opening numbers. Sounds come from outside the speakers. None of the others display this.
3) Nice center image with clear left/right seperation. This is one bluesy album.
4) Both display pinched and somewhat hard treble.
5) All of these have this 'barrel' sound. It's not so bad, but it sounds really dated. On DC the live track "Route 66' sounds pretty bad, worse even than the fantastic live album that is Ya-Ya's. Satanic Majesty is a psychedelic album. This is really interesting music and with 21st century ears not as revolutionary and therefore perhaps people can be more appreciative.
6) Great music, great atmosphere, bluesy rock, nice weight to the bass, but there is a huge blanket smothering the sound.

Hopefully we can look forward to more Stones. I would like to complete this collection with their later works.


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Review by pvcmusiclover April 11, 2012 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
The prize sonic gems of this disc are tracks 1, 2, 3 and 7, which were all recorded at Chess Records. Holy cow!!! Bob Ludwig knows what he's going.

The remasters were done end-to-end in DSD (he used analog EQ and the like). On the Chess songs, Everything is really tight and snappy, not to mention the great 3D rendering of soundstage and reverb. Makes you wish other rock and roll of that era was recorded to the same standard of sonic awesomness.

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