Rolling Stones ON AIR (new release)

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is
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Rolling Stones ON AIR (new release)

Post by is » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:53 pm

So, I got this for xmas and here are my thoughts...

I spent a fair bit of time during December getting into the Beatles at the BBC sets, and really found them enjoyable. Their off-the-wall choice of cover versions, and the stripped out versions of their hits. The little fragments of studio banter. Their ever-so-slightly ropey versions of Chuck Berry songs. And the excellent clarity of the reproduction.

Obviously I was excited to see that the Rolling Stones had released what I took to be a comparable set.

And then I unwrapped the CDs, stuck them on the deck, and heard... absolute catshit. Half the tracks seem as if they've been mixed by someone who really, really wants you to know Bill Wyman was in the group. Booming, overwhelming (and yet hollow, gutless) bass sound. Not all the songs are as bad as that, mercifully, but some are, and it's terrible.

They do a much better job than the Beatles of tackling the Rock n Roll - but we knew that.

And then here comes Jagger. Again, we know - we've heard before - the American accent he uses to sing the songs. I've heard a lot of the 'deep cuts' before - stuff like Cops and Robbers, and I'm Moving On - but ages and ages ago - so I'd kind of forgotten how AWFUL he sounds. To hear his 'Southern Country Negro' voice on these songs in 2018 is excruciating. As bad, as inexcusable as Jim Davidson's 'Chalky'. Worth hanging onto though, in case anyone tries to tell you cultural appropriation only started when white suburban kids started chatting Gangsta.

So yeah - disappointing, really.

What do you think of it? Compare it to other '...at the BBC' record releases if you like.

angelsighs
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Re: Rolling Stones ON AIR (new release)

Post by angelsighs » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:22 pm

I did hear about the sound quality, apparently they've done some fake stereo thing on some of the tracks which is why it sounds a bit weird? It's a shame as in theory this should be a great collection, why do the Stones never quite get archival releases right.

Jagger's singing style? hmm I guess there is a fine line between tribute, parody and borderline offensiveness.

herman
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Re: Rolling Stones ON AIR (new release)

Post by herman » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:16 pm

Well, I already had most of the songs on vinylbootlegs I bought maybe 20 years ago. At that time I had a big Brian Jones admiration. And guess what: most of them sound much better and sparkling than the official release. Same for the official release of 'Brussels Affair', the release on Chameleon Records (forgot what year) is so much better.
"Thank you"

is
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Re: Rolling Stones ON AIR (new release)

Post by is » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:25 am

Ok.

I realise I was being a bit unfair on Jagger and his big fake accent. I know *everybody* sang in a fake American accent then - it's just part of the culture. I wouldn't even have commented if it weren't for the semi-spoken bits in Cops and Robbers, because that's just so over the top it's untrue.

As you say - it's completely sincere, obviously, and quite sweet in a way - but you couldn't do it nowadays.

Fake stereo?

Ages and ages ago (like, the 1980s) there was a documentary on Radio 1 about The Stones at the Beeb (part of a series - I think they did Bowie, Bolan, Mott the Hoople...) where they played a lot of these tapes, with interviews from the time and from people involved. I taped it off the radio so I remember it fairly well.

They told the story that for one of the sessions (I think the one with 2120 South Michigan Avenue) was recorded in stereo, and broadcast early one Saturday morning as an experiment. Obviously the Light Programme was on Medium Wave, so in Mono. Apparently there were instructions in the Radio Times so that interested listeners could tune their TV sets in to hear one channel, and listen to their radios in the normal way to hear the other.

That's the kind of story you'd get in the sleeve notes if anyone knew what they were doing.

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