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Reviews: Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers

Reviews: 9

Review by analogue June 1, 2011 (25 of 27 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
We are paying big bucks for the music we love but cant get anywhere else. Such is the case with these terrific (mostly) shm-sacd's.

Such is also the case with this new Rolling Stones Sticky fingers album. Is it a classic??? You bet your bottom dollar it is. Of all the new Stones sacd's released this year this is the one I wanted the most.

I hate comparing cd's to sacd's but I have to in this case.

I own the original remaster from the 90's which while being non-edgy was impossibly compressed. So much so that any dynamic range was completely obliterated. All in all a terrible mess. wHY DO MASTERING TECH'S NEED TO CRIPPLE OUR EAR DRUMS????

Thankfully this shm-sacd was transferred with skill and taste. We listeneres are always at the mercy of the original masters and whatever is on them is what we get. This pretty excellent. It must be played loud and then it will click into focus. Not much compression was used. Bass seems to be timid alot of the time and not very pronounced. The drums are also pushed back a bit but this isnt to distracting.Watts manages to surprise us during certain passages. There were times during my listening where I was surprised by what I heard. I never noticed certain things before.
Keep in mind that the sound quality could become even better as some of these discs need to be broken in.

What this disc has (FINALLY) is dynamic range, textures and a truthful display of the extremely raw nature of the performance. At times the performances are quite nasty and gruff but this is the Stones afterall. The roughness is not to be confused with a bad sounding disc. On the contrary......its what makes this disc special.

I was surprised to hear Wild Horses having an almost poignant bent to it. The opening guitar riffs of Cant you hear me knocking were most impressive and expressive. I love the way this track starts off one way and changes into another song. The textures on acoustic guitars are awesome..the twangy quality rendered nicely. Bitch was more focussed than I remembered it. I got the blues has some nice vibrato in it. Jaggers voice recorded very nicely on the slower tracks. Moonlight mile is alsmost spooky.

This sacd and I suspect the actual recording is a tad dry. By that I mean that the sound does not really bloom. There are no echoes or decays on this disc but I believe its the way the tapes sound. It was recorded in a mobile unit and not really a full fledged studio. This is reflective of the sound. Tape hiss was not noticed much.
There is not much of the three dimentional instrumental placement we get from audiophile recordings. One shouldnt complain about this. The stones are the rawest of all musicians whose love of the delta blues is of paramount importance. At times their performances are almost haphazzardly.crudely and sloppily performed but thats as it should be.

The truthfulness of the performance is captured beautifully here. Especially when you play it loud.

Thankfully there is no remixing on this disc which would have been unforgivable. Just a flat transfer that sounds as it always has.

In my opinion THIS disc is worth the money as it is a disc that you will always return to.
Sticky Fingers put the "CLASSIC" in classic rock. It has retained its status as a true classic and it always will. To have it on Shm-sacd with terrific sound is special.

A beautiful and truthful sacd. PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Review by trich727 June 26, 2011 (5 of 12 found this review helpful)
Hmmm, a tough review. Granted, the original cd release was crap, but the Virgin remaster was a great improvement. Having said that, I decided to pit the two against each other; Virgin vs. SHM-SACD. Also at the same time, I'm breaking in a brand new SACD player, a Sony SCD-XA5400ES.

To keep things fair, I'm doing this on headphones jacked directly into the Sony, so as all the electronics and connections are identical. Even the break in period will not play a part, as the only difference will be which laser is used by the Sony.

First, let me say both cds are very musical and pleasant. Knowing the Sony has incredible Redbook reproduction, I started with the Virgin remaster, listening to the entire album. Then, I played the SHM-SACD. Very little difference, although I know the brain has almost no ability to remember subtle sonic differences. So I decided to take it track by track (in some cases several times switching back and forth).

Other than a couple of songs where I felt the Virgin remaster actually out performed the SACD slightly; I Got The Blues and Moonlight Mile (vocals a bit veiled, and mix a little muddy), the rest of the CD was too close to call. But that is on an SACD player known for both excellent Redbook and SACD sound.

If you have the original release, then by all means, get either the Virgin remaster or the SACD. If you have the Virgin remaster and it doesn't sound great, maybe you should look at your system.

As a follow up on 07/02/2011; I never read prior reviews before I post one. I don't want what I say to be biased by what other reviews have said. Now I have read the previous review, and I have played both discs on a cheap SACD player, a Pioneer DV-45-A, through a good but reasonably priced Altec Lancing speaker system. The system I use while sitting at my computer, musical, but not colored.

My findings are sililar on either system. I do not find the cd a "bit dry" on either the Virgin or the SHM-SACD. I find them both compelling, and the only way I can put it, is "toe tappingly good". Yes, this is a thing I look for when comparing discs. If I'm not getting into a disc as much as the one I'm comparing it to, then something is wrong, even if I can't identify it. I have found after 25 years of being into hi-end audio, that "toe tapping" is a real indicator of an improvement, or not.

So, being as the previous reviewer said "dry", and I find the Virgin remaster actually warm for a Redbook cd, even on a cheap SACD player. Yes, you can over-drive your ears into anything sounding good if you beleive it will sound better. That doesn't make it true. Even on my cheapest system, at reasonable listening levels, both the Virgin and SHM-SACD are great sounding discs. If it doesn't sound great at regular volumes, over powering your ears is hardly the answer. Tom

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Review by MattMan657 August 6, 2011 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is probably my favorite Stones album. I've never heard the lyrics to Sway so clearly as on this SACD. 100% worth buying. I have to agree with analogue, play it loud. The whole thing sounds great. Amazing instrument separation, Jaggers voice sounds clear as if not forced in front of the instruments or subtly behind it. Very happy with this purchase.

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Review by cooltype937 September 20, 2012 (3 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
As excellent an album as it it, technically "Sticky Fingers" is rife with problems. The most notorious of these problems are the distortion and clipping on the beginning of "Brown Sugar" and throughout "Wild Horses". Historically, this distortion has been on all releases of the album. The high resolution of the SHM-SACD only exacerbates this problem. Listening on my headphones, I thought I had blown a driver. The rest of the songs are great, in particular "Can't You Hear Me Knockin'" and "Moonlight Mile". I would think twice about buying this one again.

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Review by Sergey July 9, 2013 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
It is ridiculous to compare this release to another publication. Most SHM-SACD just pick up the sound quality to a new level, to do this, simply unknown to rock. This is the most disks sound just like audiophile releases, this CD is one of them.

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Review by scotty January 2, 2014 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Well here we have in my opinion the best Stones album! I am not going to add a lot of feedback here as just to say the review from Analogue is dead on perfect! The sound quality has to be heard to be fully believed here! One of my all time favorite Stones song - Sway is so crystal clear and Can you Hear Me Knocking is earth shaking good! As I said, Analogue set this review right! An amazing sounding disc and I could not recommend this anymore!!!

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Review by tdunster March 19, 2014 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
While not my favourite Stones album, Sticky Fingers does contain a very good mix of tracks and is essential to any serious fan of rock music.

My previous experience with Sticky Fingers is the Virgin 90's remaster by Bob Ludwig - 7243-839525-26. As far as CD's go it sounds very good as it has dynamics and a relatively smooth sound.
My first impression of the SACD made me smile from ear to ear.

Smooth and analogue are the best way to describe this SACD. You could listen to it for hours without any fatigue. But don't think it lack detail because that is no the case at all.

In comparison, the CD now sounds bright and artificial with a somewhat false, almost synthesised top end.

This is the best I have ever heard Sticky Fingers sound and I cannot imagine how it could be improved for playback on my current system.

Highly recommended.

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Review by HiFiGi April 29, 2014
Performance:   Sonics:
What an incredible album! The first side has some awesome hits and one of the best jams they have ever done on a studio album (cant you hear me knocking), but imho side 2, from Bitch to Moonlight Mile is one if the best sides of music the stknes (or anyone) has ever done.

The Virgin CD is a great remaster and the best rbcd I have found to date (and I have the original US CBS disc, the Austrian CBS disc, and a japanese recording). Unquestionably, the SHM SACD is the best digital version of this classic album.

Unfortunately, the first few recordings on Rolling Stones Records leave much to be desired (esp SF, Exile, and GHZ), but this SACD is probably as good as it can get.

One reviewer remarked about the distortion on Brown Sugar and other songs, but the distorted electric guitar was intentional - Keith did this too make the sound raunchier, grittier, etc. This reviewer also said that the distortion is easier to notice, and I agree - everything instrument and voice sounds clearer and easier to distinguish, even the (intentional) distortion.

If you like rock 'n' roll, this is a MUST HAVE album, and the SHM SACD is the best digital version I have found.

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Review by Marpow December 7, 2014 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers SHM SACD, Re release, 11-26-2014
UIGY 9579 Stereo Only.

I might be considerably knowledgeable on The Rolling Stones but certainly no expert on previous recordings. I have only previously owned original (zipper) album and original CD. They are long gone so I am on my own with this disc.

Other reviewers are on the first SHM SACD, mine on the reissue. Note, there has been controversy than and now.

Performance: Awesome, Mick Taylor's 2nd album. This is an iconic 1971 recording for Stones fans. One of my top 5 Stones discs.

Stereo Sonics: My current system McIntosh with HDMI cableing, stereo (right-left-sub) for this purpose. No tweaking of my system needed. What I hear is great stereo separation, vocals center, solos come center, great stereo mix between bass, rhythm guitar and drums. Some minor tape hiss, for some reason I like it when I hear tape hiss? Abstract talking here and there between some tracks. Can play medium to loud with out bother. Shining moment is track 4, Can't You Hear Me Knocking, for heavy sound and Track 8, Sister Morphine for the rising acoustic sound. Fills my listening room very well. I don't get too rattled on these older recordings of rock music, they are what they are. The original 2011 SHM SACD DR value is 11, pretty good, I assume this disc is equal. The worst version is 2009 with a DR of 6, that is horrible.

Packaging: Plastic jewel case with square corners. Mini paper booklet, photo, track listing with personal. Mini Japanese booklet all in Japanese except for lyrics in English.

I am happy with this 2014 SHM SACD and I am glad I have it.

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