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Books, Box Sets & Reviews

Reviewed by Tim Stegall, December 6, 2019, Music

The British Invasion's bad boys have seen their vintage catalog used and abused to death. Reissues now play increasingly anemic after sourcing from safety masters and duplicate tapes robbed the spitfire Molotov hipshakers of their fire. So this 50th birthday rejiggering of possibly the Stones' most definitive work, 1969's Let It Bleed, features deluxe gewgaws like the reproduction of its original UK poster, facsimile lithographs of album art proofs, and a hardbound book featuring Ethan Russell photos and David Fricke-penned liner notes. Two LPs and stand-alone CDs featuring remastered stereo and mono mixes on an album only released initially in the former format (this is the same mono remix from the In Mono box three years ago), plus a replica single and picture sleeve of "Honky Tonk Women" b/w "You Can't Always Get What You Want," hold up the musical end with resuscitation by Bob Ludwig of the original LP tapes. The "Gimme Shelter" test alone proves the group still sounds best in mono, but ultimately, Let It Bleed reanimates all its attendant dread and swagger.


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