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Reviews: Rolling Stones: Black and Blue

Reviews: 2

Review by vonwegen December 31, 2011 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is one well-recorded album. Same studio (for 7 of the 8 cuts) as It's Only Rock & Roll, but the difference between the two albums is night & day. A very different, funky kind of beast from the classic Stones albums of 1968-72, it has more in common with a Steely Dan-type sound than anything the Stones ever did before or since. Mick Taylor had just quit, so you got guest guitarists like Howie Mandel and Wayne Perkins (and Ron Wood) filling in, plus lots of Billy Preston's keyboards.

Glynn Johns engineered this one, and it shows. The drums are big (but very natural-sounding), the guitars (on the three up-tempo tunes) are nicely balanced and the vocals sound great. The keyboards, and there are lots of them here, are crisp and clear.

What this album does not have is top-tier Stones songs -- there are some pretty good ones, but no obvious hits to get the party going. It's also a tad short at only 8 songs -- it would be nice to slot in "Slave" (from the '75 Rotterdam sessions but released on Tattoo You in '81)) in the track listing here, just to give the very ballady (and jazzy) middle section a bit more life.

The separation and stereo imaging are the best I've ever heard this album sound, which is no mean feat, because the UK vinyl was pretty darn good to start with.

But this SACD is even better, revealing everything in gorgeous hi-rez that really breathes. In summary, a real treat for the ears, especially on the Sennheiser HD600 headphones I prefer. Oh, and the artwork includes the original 1st pressing UK inner sleeve with the studio multitrack track allocation listing, so you get to see who played what on every track (my US vinyl had only a plain paper sleeve).

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Review by Sergey June 6, 2013 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Overflowing emotions and the living presence of the musicians in your own home, that's what can be said about this album.

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