What does it sound like?:
It’s a bit odd to claim that a mono version of a record can be revelatory, but this truly is! I have to ‘fess up and admit straight away that I have coincidently just upgraded my CD player, but playing the ‘old’ versions to compare confirms that these are (mostly) brilliant. A particular success is the first album, which packs both a real sonic punch and also allows you to clearly hear the instrumentation as if you are in the studio. Similarly, Aftermath is a particular treat in this respect. Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed have probably only been included for completeness (particularly the latter), but my original vinyl BB was mono, so this is fine for me.
What does it all *mean*?
Well, it means buying the flippin’ albums all over again, but it does mean a definite upgrade to the listening experience. A few gripes – the discs are in nice replica record sleeves, but omit the Decca and London logos for some reason (and include an abkco reference…grrrr!). I would have preferred the same approach as the Beatles mono set, which are in perfectly detailed period sleeves, including the inner bag. Beggar’s Banquet is in the toilet wall sleeve – why not revert to the actual original for this? The ‘Stray Cats’ compilation, which collects odd singles and rarities, uses the original BB design, which sort of makes it doubly annoying, at least to me! I would have also preferred a UK only box rather than the mish mash of UK and (most of) the US albums in one set. Then we could have had expanded High Tide and Through The Past Darkly discs to collect the odds and ends.
Goes well with…
Sits well with the Beatles mono box, the Beatles US albums and Dylan mono boxes on the shelf! Doesn’t sit so well with the FPO, but hey ho….
Might suit people who like…
See the above – anyone who likes going back to mono!