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Rarities 1971-2003
Rolling Stones
Rarities 1971-2003
Genres: World Music, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Though countless Rolling Stones zealots contend that the band's most compelling work bubbled to the top prior to 1973, the music department at Starbucks has unearthed a sundry collection of B-sides, live takes and unreleas...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Rolling Stones
Title: Rarities 1971-2003
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: Virgin Records Us
Original Release Date: 1/1/2005
Re-Release Date: 11/22/2005
Genres: World Music, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Styles: Europe, British Isles, Blues Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR), Supergroups
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 094634540124, 094634709217, 094634709224, 094634709323

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Though countless Rolling Stones zealots contend that the band's most compelling work bubbled to the top prior to 1973, the music department at Starbucks has unearthed a sundry collection of B-sides, live takes and unreleased studio recordings culled mostly from the three decades that followed. Cherry-picking from a selection many times larger than the 14 tracks presented here, the compilation's producers reach as far back as a 1971 live cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" and navigate through the Stones' forays into blues (Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" from 1977; "Fancy Man Blues" from 1989), rhythm & blues (1986's "Harlem Shuffle" and a 1998 live take of Let It Bleed's "Live With Me") and disco (the seven-minute dance mix of the 1978 hit "Miss You"), as well as stripped-down 1995 versions of Glimmer Twins gems "Wild Horses" and "Tumbling Dice." The accompanying compendium of liner notes and band member comments testify that the Rolling Stones still believe that rock and roll will never die. And even those zealots must concur that the music here is timeless, as the band remains as vital as ever. --Scott Holter

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CD Reviews

A Bigger Bust
Christopher Bushman | Portland, OR USA | 11/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The Good News: This is pretty fun to listen to and gives us crystal-clear, remastered quality, versions of a couple of nifty vinyl B-Sides from the '70's.

The Bad News: The songs collected here are not particularly "Rare" (a few songs would be better described as "Common") and this set could have easily been a thousand times better. There is nothing here from "The Vault"; all songs collected on Rarities have been previously released as B-Sides, Album Tracks, Singles or on a DVD. Even operating within that constraint, they bypassed many quality B-Sides (not to mention widely bootlegged outtakes) that would have been a better fit than some of the selections.

The Really Bad News: The liner notes in the booklet are embarrassingly bad, riddled with errors. The clown who wrote them just does not know his Stones and nobody connected with the band evidently cared enough to proofread.

The Songs:

1. Fancy Man Blues- A great latter day blues issued as a CD Single B-Side from the 1989 Steel Wheels record. It was amusing to see so many reviewers get themselves worked up over the inclusion of Back of My Hand on the Bigger Bang record. That song is the type of thing they have been relegating to B-Side status for years and in my opinion, inferior to Fancy Man Blues.

2. Tumbling Dice- A B-Side from the Wild Horses (unplugged) CD-Single from '96 (which the liner notes author fails to note) is a pretty nifty version but butchered in the liner notes. This is a Stripped album outtake and begins with a lo-fi rehearsal version of the song featuring only piano, handclaps and Mick's vocal for the first verse. This bit was then spliced onto a hi-fi live version from the Voodoo Lounge tour and thus seems to bloom or burst into Technicolor sound. Nice trick but the dude in the liner notes insinuates that it is a single take which makes you wonder if he listened to the song all the way through.

3. Wild Horses- This is the exact unplugged version available on Stripped and therefore is not rare. The liner notes guy says that it was recorded before a live audience in a studio in Tokyo. If it was, they are a pretty darn quiet (silent) audience.

4. Beast of Burden- This terrific live version was recorded in Chicago (not LA) on the 1981 tour and released as the flip to the Going to a Go-Go single in '82. It was re-released on a limited edition CD called Rolling Stones Collectibles in conjunction with the 1990 Flashpoint live album. This live version was not included on Sucking in the 70's (which was released before this was recorded) as the liner notes state. The Some Girls studio version of Beast of Burden was used on Sucking in the 70's.

5. Any Way You Look At It- This gentle Mick and Keith ballad duet was issued as a Bridges to Babylon B-Side and is a pleasurable tune of its era. The only person who would mistake it for a mid-60's psychedelic pop tune is the liner notes author.

6. If I Was A Dancer (Dance Pt.2)- This disco groover was first released on Sucking in the 70's which makes it common, not rare. It would have been more appropriate to replace this with a Licks tour live version of Dance Pt. 1, which they played at several club shows and can be found on the Four Flicks DVD. The liner notes incorrectly state that this was Ron Wood's first songwriting credit with the band. Not so, he got partial credit for Everything Is Turning to Gold, the great, disco B-Side to the Shattered single, later collected on Sucking In The '70's. Don't even get me started on It's Only Rock and Roll.

7. Miss You (Dance Version) - This is the extended dance version released as a vinyl 12" single in 1978. Sort of interesting but it won't change your life.

8. Wish I'd Never Met You- Another great blues put out as a Steel Wheels B-Side. The joker in the liner notes reports that it is "Rarely Played Live..." Uh, how about never.

9. I Just Want To Make Love To You (Live)*Misspelled as Wanna on Rarities. Great bluesy, slowed-down version that the band was playing in 1990 on the Steel Wheels tour. Originally released in '91 as a B-Side on the Highwire CD single not on the 1998 No Security live album as stated in the liner notes.

10. Mixed Emotions (12" Version) - A CD-Single B-Side remix of the pretty lame Steel Wheels tune (it doesn't get any better as a dance mix). Our favorite liner notes author reports that Mixed Emotions "...wasn't a massive hit upon release." In fact, it was their last Top Ten hit, reaching #5 on the US singles chart and featured a video that received heavy rotation on MTV.

11. Through The Lonely Nights- A It's Only Rock and Roll B-Side, this pleasant track is nice to hear in pristine form but is not a lost classic.

12. Live with Me (Live) - Good rocking' live version originally put out as a Voodoo Lounge B-Side. The liner notes incorrectly state that it was pulled from the No Security live album. Out of all the nuggets they have resurrected on the last few tours, why include this one?

13. Let It Rock- Great live Chuck Berry cover from 1971 originally issued as the B-Side to Brown Sugar, this is the best track on Rarities. Bozo writing the liner notes says it was played "Occasionally" on the Some Girls tour. Uh, let me guess, you missed that tour, right (it was the opener at every USA show)?

14. Harlem Shuffle (NY Mix) - This is the 12" vinyl dance single remix released in '86 in order to promote the terrible Dirty Work album. Not only is this the weakest hit single the band ever put out, but I have news for you boys: There is not a single Stones fan on earth that ever gave two shakes for a dance mix of any Stones song. Finally, Mr. Goofus from the liner notes reports that Harlem Shuffle was the first cover song the band had released as a single since 1964. Not so, Going to a Go-Go is a Smokey Robinson cover that the band released as a single in 1982 from the Still Life live album. Time is on My Side b/w Twenty Flight Rock was a double cover single also released to promote Still Life but received less attention than Go-Go.

15. Mannish Boy (Live) - Boy, is this one not rare, having previously appeared on both the Love You Live album and the Sucking in the 70's collection. Not even a very good version to boot.

16. Thu and Thru (Live)- This oddly compelling Keith song starts very slow and picks up some steam midway through. This version was previously released on the Four Flicks DVD.

So there you have it, many of these songs are worth listening to but do not be fooled by the title. For whatever reason, Mr. Jagger is not interested in opening the vaults at this time so continue to keep your fingers crossed (don't worry, we will see a true previously-unreleased-material box set someday, Bob Dylan and the Beatles have made too much money for Jagger to not take the bait eventually). Moreover, even though I am a self-professed Monster Stones Fan, all of the information offered here is easily available with a few Google searches and there really is no excuse for the inaccuracies printed in the booklet. One last jab: They chose a performance picture for the cover dating to circa '78 with Bill Wyman airbrushed out? How petty is that?
"
Coulda shoulda been something special
J P Ryan | Waltham, Massachusetts United States | 11/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Stones, like many artists, are not the ones who should be in charge of excavating the archives (delegating to a passionate and obsessive individual or team, like the Dead have done, is the way to go). Problems begin with "Miss You" - the LP take is 4:50, the unedited version (originally on 12-inch) is 8:36. Either the casette or 8-track version of "Some Girls" had a completely different (5:45) version, which has never been reissued. So what do we have here? an edit (7:33) of the 8:36 version. (The Stones, or likely Mick Jagger, has an annoying habit of editing tracks for live albums and compilations). And so it goes. I'm glad to have many of these songs and versions in album form (1991's similar "Collectables" was not nearly as well mastered), but there are inexplicable re-runs from "Sucking In the Seventies" and too many good tracks from the Ron Wood era are simply MIA:
1 the complete 'Miss You' or the alternate cassette version.
2 'Think I'm Going Mad' (4:20) a soulful 1984 b-side
3 'Undercover' (6:22) killer long version, from the 1983 12-inch
4 'Feel On Baby Dub' (6:27) Wyman's bass rattles the windows on this hallucinatory, deep dub mix, the b-side of the "Undercover" 12-inch (1983)
5 'The Storm' (2:49) 1994 b-side and a marvelous blues
6 'So Young' (3:24) 1994 b-side, one of Jagger's raunchiest, and most hilarious lyrics - think of Andre Williams' "Jail Bait"
7 'I'm Going To Drive (3:45) another fine 1994 b-side
8 'Jump On Top Of Me' (4:29) from the 1995 "Ready To Wear" soundtrack
9 'I Go Wild (Scott Litt Mix)' (4:37) a very strong alternate mix (not a dance remix) of the 'Voodoo Lounge' track, longer and with more upfront guitars
10 'All Down The Line' (4:25) great Ron Wood slide on this terrific 1995 single (and Stripped outtake)
11 'Gimmie Shelter' (6:50) a beautiful, unhurried version, from a 1996 single, (and another Stripped O.T.)
12 'Black Limousine' (3:35) 1995 single, Stripped OT
13 'Honest I Do' from the 1998 "Hope Floats" soundtrack
Well, there's a baker's dozen, each excellent in any context, and I'm not even getting into seperating the wheat from the chaff as far as the countless 'remixes', the pretty-good-but-inessential live "Flashpoint" b-sides, etc. I'm glad this exists, collecting the 1971 'Let It Rock' (worthy of "Ya-Ya's"), energetic "Stripped"-era takes of 'Live With Me' and 'Tumbling Dice', not to mention the lovely 1998 single (and "Bridges To Babylon" outtake) 'Any Way You Look At It' (with both Mick and Keith on lead vocals)- the collection feels random, quickly thrown together, but flows remarkably well. A 2-cd Rarities would have been far more enticing, and the Stones STILL would not have had to touch anything truly unreleased (and very few major artists have as much high quality unreleased material as the Stones). So, while I like it, it is also a missed opportunity."
Underneath The Hits
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 11/22/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Rarities 1971-2003 is yet another repacking of previously available Rolling Stones songs. What makes this collection slightly more interesting is that is not a greatest hits package. There are a few real gems included that are truly hard-to-find tracks and make the set worthwhile. "Anyway You Look At It" is a sparse and baroque folk song that is in the style of Aftermath-Between The Buttons era. "Fancy Man Blues" and "Wish I'd Never Met You" are meaty blues songs the type of which the band cut their teeth on. "Through The Lonely Nights" from the It's Only Rock N Roll sessions and "Let It Rock" the b-side of "Brown Sugar" and the oldest song on the album remind you as to why the Stones were the biggest and best band in the world in the early 70's. The dance mix of "Miss You" extends the great original disco riff over seven minutes and the version of "Tumbling Dice" from the Stripped sessions is an interesting live take on the classic. All in all, Rarities 1971-2003 will be of interest to Stones fanatics, but will only wet your appetite for a better and expanded rarities collection."