Friday, June 4, 2010

The Rolling Stones No. 2 UK MONO LP 1965

Contrary to popular belief, you CAN still get good vinyl at Amoeba and sometimes even CHEAP good vinyl, if you’re lucky. After having a quick one at the Formosa, a trip to Amoeba can be dangerous. But there it was, sticking out in front of the Stones LP section, a UK Mono “The Rolling Stones No. 2” on Decca. Not a perfect copy (and maybe not a first pressing) but I believe music should age like people not get "cleaner" through the years via remastering.

My first Velvet Underground LPs were found in a box of junk on the floor of a comic book store and the covers were decent but the records were abused by their former owner who tried to clean them with some cleaning supply probably meant to wax floors. This was before Velvet Underground albums had ever been reissued (there were a few import compilations) and the only way to get the LPs was to find original pressings (which were highly collectible and expensive...remember, the V.U. didn't sell many copies at first, but their records have remained in print in a post R.E.M. world). But I loved my crappy copies. They'd been abused and rejected just like me and every other teen. I listened right through the thunderous static and heard some of the best music of my life.

A few years ago I saw an Audiophile CD of “White Light White Heat” which to me is hilarious. In this case it’s not even about polishing a turd, it’s just that sometimes sounding like shit means something. It’s not Steely Dan for Chrissakes, it’s Lou and he says “Fuck You!” for cleaning it up (well, MY Lou Reed would say that). I'll take that walk on the wild side where it's dark and the carpets are stained. But if they're going to remaster the life out of old Stones, Sabbath or WHOEVER to make it sound more IN YOUR FACE and radio ready so it sounds friendly next to Nickelback, then it's no wonder the industry died and I'm no doubt wasting my time trying to write this rant.

And by the way Chad, I want that pickle back. You got over a million people loving them and last time we went to Canter’s they didn’t even give us ANY. Your music has taken our souls and your negative popularity, our pickles. This dude Chad gets arrested for drunk driving because karma is saying, ‘Dude, you are the ugliest front man in the world and no one likes your band’ AND because he was drunk driving of course. And as sure as we all call Elvis “The King,” the world nods YES.

So GIMME VINYL. And THANKS to Amoeba for the best $9.99 I've spent in a long time.

Now, this group of youngsters, who call themselves the ROLLING STONES, prove on their second British album how much soul and passion is ALREADY an important part of their rock & roll. This album comes with a large side of BLUES, hold the pickle. It sounds great LOUD and the surface noise is dirty like the band itself. 'The Rolling Stones No. 2' is so bluesy no one could ever confuse it with “With The Beatles.” And it’s certainly not “12 x 5” which is now universally accepted as the ‘second’ Rolling Stones album.

The REAL second STONES LP starts with the rare version of “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” and gets even deeper with "Down Home Girl" and Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me." Another rare highlight is Muddy Waters' “I Can’t Be Satisfied” and there's also an audience free version of Otis Redding's “Pain In My Heart.” Top that off with three Jagger/Richards originals, "Off The Hook," "What A Shame" and "Grown Up Wrong" which make "THE ROLLING STONES No. 2" an overlooked treasure.

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