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As it is with The Beatles, the importance of The Rolling Stones cannot be overstated. Likewise, the band's earliest recordings changed the course of popular music while being transmitted through cheap transistor radios. How you ask, could one tiny speaker effectively render the gritty punch of Keith Richards' guitar or the cold snap of Charlie Watts' drums, to say nothing of the blues-soaked, unintelligible vocals of Mick Jagger? The answer is simple: because the music was made to come through one tiny speaker.
But even through two speakers (or earbuds), you can soak up that same sonic experience on most of these recordings. Spread out over 13 vinyl discs, ABKCO has reissued The Stones' essential UK LPs and EPs, with the first five long-players in their original mono. So what we have here are The Rolling Stones (EP), The Rolling Stones, 5 x 5 (EP), The Rolling Stones No. 2, Out Of Our Heads, Aftermath, Between The Buttons, Their Satanic Majesties Request, Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, along with the rarities collection Metamorphosis and two 'greatest hits' collections, Big Hits (High Tide And Green Grass) and Through the Past, Darkly.
ABKCO has also released another big Stones box that houses their studio albums from 1971-2005, and while there are a few hands-down beauties, to be sure (Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main St, even Goat's Heads Soup has its moments), we can't get too excited about a owning a vinyl copy of Steel Wheels or A Bigger Bang. Stick with the '60s, we say.