Definitive Collection of Stones' 60s 45s
Danno | NY, NY | 06/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Hot Rocks" is ABKCO's answer to Capitol Records' Red and Blue Beatles compilations. This is a double album that contains the Rolling Stones' biggest hit singles (and a couple of better known album tracks)as released on Decca/London Records in the mid-to-late 1960s. There have been a lot of similar compilations before ("Green Grass and High Tides") and since ("Forty Licks")but this collection remains in print for several excellent reasons. First, the songs are presented in roughly chronological order. This makes very good sense to any listener as you can hear the Stones' sound develop. Second, these really are the very biggest hits the Stones had, and as evidence just look at any of their concert set lists to this day. Third, these are some of the very best rock songs recorded during the 1960s and as such this is not just one of the best British Invasion compilations, it is one of the best rock compilations of all time. This is a Greatest Hits collection of the type we really don't see much of anymore, what with current trends for boxed sets and newly-recorded "bonus tracks" that are often forgettable. For a lot of fans, this is the definitive Rolling Stones album.
The songs themselves need no introduction, and as some big tracks ("Honky Tonk Women" and "Jumpin Jack Flash") never made their way onto Stones albums of the period, this is the only way for you to get the original recordings unless you want to start venturing into other compilations.
If you want a slightly broader view of the Stones' glory days, you can also pick up "More Hot Rocks" as a companion volume as it has slightly lesser-known hits left over from this volume along with some rarities and some very early Chuck Berry covers and rewrites. Put the two collections together and you will have an excellent general overview of what the Stones are about and why they were such an exciting band. I just wish there were a post-ABKCO compilation that were put together as intelligently as this one.